Want to help your toddler stay one step ahead and hit those first year milestones? A mix of fun games, exercises and nutrition will get you there, mama. Check out our tips for more!
Look at your little one grow, mama! It’s just a matter of time before your bub is zipping around so fast, you’ll be cross-eyed just trying to keep up. Love and encouragement are more crucial than ever and with these quick tips, your bub will be developing faster than you can say “Ready, set, go!”
Hitting that 1st birthday is a time of learning, and parents play an integral role in helping your toddler reach key developmental milestones like walking and speaking. It’s a super exciting time for everyone, mama!
There are quite a few special moments to look forward to, from your bub standing up and walking without any help, to pointing to objects that interest him or her. They’ll even drop their toys on purpose and go looking for them just for kicks! To top it all off, you’ll get to know even more of your baby’s personality when they sound out a couple of recognisable words and continue to add more and more to their growing vocabulary everyday. There’ll be plenty of proud mama tears to come, we assure you.
With all these developmental leaps, you’ll be amazed at the new kinds of play your toddler will get into. And you can totally get in on the action, mama! Here are a few toddler play tips to inspire you:
1. Stack toys, build bricks and put objects inside containers together
These are all fun activities that put baby’s fine motor skills into practice. They can also help with spatial awareness, sorting and colour recognition. Consider “sportscasting” along the way to practice language: “Mommy is stacking the BLUE block now.” “Let’s put all the RED blocks together in a pile…” and so on.
2. Encourage bub to get messy with non-toxic crayons, paint and play dough
Drawing and painting encourage creativity, exploration and imagination, while grasping a crayon or brush improves fine motor skills along with hand-eye coordination. Along the way kiddos will also hone their visual analysis and perceptual skills. Play dough has many of these same benefits, plus its malleable properties make it fun for sensory exploration, and help strengthen tiny hand muscles and tendons.
3. Pretend to be different animals together
This promotes imagination and creativity. Pretend play is how children learn to make sense of the world and how it works. Of course, making animal sounds is a great way to encourage them to say some of their first, easy words and, because young children generally love animals, it’s an engaging way to teach them to associate a sound with an object or picture, which is a building block on the path toward reading!
4. Cheer your little one on as they push a walker, stroller or shopping trolley
This will help your baby feel more confident on their feet. Push toys are fantastic for pre-walkers as they help develop gross motor skills and build strength, balance, and confidence. They also stimulate imagination and encourage pretend play, as your bub can imitate what they’ve seen at the grocery store, or push a baby doll around in a stroller just as they’ve seen you do with them.
5. Promote proper nutrition to keep up their energy
Ensure that your bubs receive their daily required DHA intake (DHA is an important building block for brain and eye development) by including oily fish such as salmon and mackerel into their diets. Food rich in zinc and iron is also essential to be included in your child’s diet as it helps to support your child’s natural defenses while you and your bubs are out exploring and discovering the world around you.
Incorporating essential vitamins and minerals into baby’s diet supports growth and development and helps keep your child one step ahead, mama. Don’t forget about Calcium, either, to promote the development of strong bones and teeth!
Play is one of the most important ways kids learn, and you can help build your child’s physical, social, emotional and intellectual skills with a mix of great games, creative activities and strong nutrition – let the fun times roll, mama!
This article is brought to you in partnership with AptaAdvantage, which is all about empowering your child to be one step ahead. Sign up here to receive your AptaAdvantage Discovery Pack.