Thursday August 16, 2018
Watching your toddler playing, it is hard to believe how quickly time has flown by and how your beautiful helpless baby has developed into the charismatic little person standing in front of you, who can now walk, kick a ball, chatter and feed themselves.
If you are planning to celebrate with a little birthday party, invite just a handful of children of a similar age with their parents and make the party a short one – about 90 minutes is good. Children of this age do not play together but will play in parallel to each other – keeping one eye on what the other is doing! At this age, children do not appreciate all your hard work so keep things simple. A great idea is to get a cardboard cake box for each child (you can usually buy them from your local bakery or cash and carry) and get your toddler to help you colour the name of their guests on the lids. Glue five large paper cake cases on the bottom of the box – leaving room for a carton of juice. Fill each paper case with a selection of different snacks (potato hoops, cocktail sausages, mini sandwiches) and add a juice carton and napkin. Children of this age love having something that is theirs and most want to take their boxes home!
For fun, don’t forget to measure your toddler’s height on their birthday as it is said that they are half their adult height on this day. It is also worth blowing the dust off their baby book again, filling in as many of the empty spaces as possible and adding plenty of information about their birthday. I drew around my children’s feet and hands and they colored the outlines in beautifully!
With new words emerging every day (and an average of about 50 words now in their vocabulary) and your child’s comprehension developing just as rapidly, your toddler will be able to enjoy ‘pretend play’ from rocking their baby to eating a delicious pretend sandwich. Some toddlers will even hold a discussion with a pretend person! They enjoy sorting and organising things and will enjoy listing different groups to you such as animals, clothes and food. They will still get easily frightened by a sudden noise but with reassurance will understand that it was an ambulance or dog barking.
The beautiful natural world will be fascinating to them and it is fun to take them to see the fishermen unloading their catch or for a walk to pick up leaves, flowers and feathers to make a picture. If it is tadpole time, your toddler will love to watch their wiggly tails and to see them change into frogs. Growing a dish of mustard and cress can be fun and this can be done in different shapes too. If you have a river or stream nearby, your toddler will love ‘Pooh sticks’ just as much as you did!
After another busy day, your toddler will be ready for a relaxing bath followed by bed…if they enjoy their bath, why not give them some small plastic cups to play with? You can make one into a mini sieve by carefully punching some holes in the bottom with a hot skewer which will add to the fun. As they snuggle down in bed after story time, you will probably be thinking about how much they will change in their third year. It will certainly be as much fun for you as their second.