Your toddler is growing up fast! Are you on your feet to give them the necessary stimulus? If you are thinking why do they need any, given that they have such high levels of energy already, here’s what you need to know:
Your child is developing motor, cognitive, social and emotional skills - the right set of activities in the right way will go a long way in ensuring the development happens!
Try these out to see for yourself!
Sensorial - For their tactile sense, a routine visit to supermarket can also be a learning ground. Let them fiddle around with different kinds of grains, pulses and groceries with their hands. Let them use a scooping utensil if they can and want to. As they explore various containers, give them the names of the commodities and nourish their vocabulary too!
Fine Motor - I used these hooks and used double sided tape to stick them and gave key rings to my son to hang on to them. He struggled initially but very soon he figured it out and every time he successfully put the key rings on the hooks, he felt so happy and accomplished!
Gross Motor - It is very important for kids of all ages to develop their large muscles well(gross motor). Only when the body is healthy & fit, the mind will be healthy. Outdoors is a great place to help these develop better. I personally have an everyday routine of outdoor play in the evenings with my son. This is my son at 16 months, climbing the slide upwards.
Free Play - Children badly need unstructured time to play the way they want. Blocks play is a wonderful way to bond with them, see how they see the world through their eyes and how their imagination runs wild! At this age, they might just be able to stack the blocks one over the other but slowly you will start seeing some designs coming out of their creations!
Visual Discrimination - As simple it may sound to us, visual discrimination activities are very important for children and they really enjoy doing this. My son was very fond of matching activities. It sharpens their eye and later, matching graduates to sorting and then to counting. It is a precursor to Math skills. You can simply start with matching the right pair of socks and then increase complexity over time, like matching pictures. There are many printables on the web that you can use. Just take two prints of the sheet with pictures. Paste one sheet on a cardboard and cut individual pictures from the other sheet. Let your kiddo match their pairs.
You can see some examples below of what I did with my son. Every child is different so please follow your child’s interests closely.
Practical Life - You should involve your child in daily chores like dusting furniture, helping with loading unloading clothes in the washing machine or keeping vegetables in the fridge, among others. I personally love Montessori inspired practical life activities and so does my son! Look how he is arranging his toy eggs in an egg crate.
Such activities are a great way to bond with your children so make the most of it! They grow up too fast :-)
Keep following this series as your child grows and also follow me on BabyChakra for many more Montessori-inspired, child-led activities.
Also read: How To Develop Your Child’s Brain: 15 Months
Explore the entire collection of articles: Toddler Learning