The Artful Toddler

Mastering Crayons and Scribbles.

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Why use paper when the driveway is just as fine to scribble on? Yesterday I built on my fine-motor skills by drawing on my parents driveway (frankly I got bored with my paper so I experimented with the driveway instead). My choice of art supply? Crayons, and let me tell you: Discovering colors is pretty darn exciting for us little ones!

Crayons are kind of magical because they provide us with a wonderful introduction to the art of making art! I feel like a pint-sized Picasso who wants to scribble everywhere except where you want me to (aka on the paper), but giving me the opportunity to draw to my heart’s content is actually very important and I’m glad my parents let me experiment.

Scribbling helps us develop finger control which we need to use a fork, write with a pencil, and brush our teeth. Plus, it gives us the freedom to choose which colors we like, what kinds of marks to make, and where to put them on the page (boosting our sense of independence!).

So, next time your tot wants to get creative please, let him/her explore (with supervision) because there’s nothing like making masterpieces — just don’t forget a smock (and maybe a drop cloth or two!).

Happy Coloring!

Tame Your Toddlers Pouty Lip

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I may use my lip to indicate frustration, sadness or to get attention.

Why the pouty face?

  • Someone took my favorite toy
  • Mommy and daddy are leaving for work
  • Brushing my teeth
  • Bed time
  • My puppies won’t play with me

These are just a few reasons why I would give my parents the pouty face, yet it seems my parents discovered a way to tame my pouty lip by laughing it off! It’s their favorite method, in fact. They try to distract me by being completely funny and completely unrelated which is followed by an outburst of laughter! It turns my pouty face into a big smile indeed!

Hug that pouty lip goodbye!

Sometimes a pouty-lipped toddler like me needs a hug. Good old comfort never hurt anyone, don’t you agree? So next time you see your tot giving you a pouty lip simply laugh it off or give us some extra love and we’ll put that frown upside down!

Playground Safety for Toddlers

Facts and Tips for Parents of Toddlers and Preschoolers.

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If your family is like mine, you are probably spending a lot of time at playgrounds now that summer time is here. I love playgrounds! My favorite activity is going down the slides!

Playgrounds offer us the opportunity to explore, to have fun and to develop our gross motor abilities – yet a lot of accidents happen at playgrounds too. The CDC estimates more than 200,000 children ages 14 and younger make a trip to the Emergency Room each year due to playground-related injuries; and an estimated 8,250 of those children are under the age of 2 years old.

This being said – make sure you’re there to supervise your child(ren)!

  • Inspect the equipment and make sure all the hardware is in place
  • Make sure there is protective surfacing underneath the equipment
  • Read signs about which age group the equipment is intended
  • Be aware of any spaces that could entrap children, such as openings in guardrails or in between ladder rungs
  • Look for any tripping hazards, like rocks or tree stumps
  • Inspect your child’s clothing and make sure they don’t have any drawstrings on their clothing that might get tangled on playground equipment
  • Make sure your child is wearing appropriate foot wear (flip-flops aren’t safe for playgrounds!)
  • Teach your child to use the equipment the correct way: “Climb up the ladder and go down the slide.”

Happy Playing!

Toddlers and The Importance of Pointing

Pointing is a crucial speech and language development.

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I’m 22 months old and I’ve discovered the power of ‘pointing’. I point and ‘talk’ about EVERYTHING. I love pointing at things and “discussing” them with my parents! You know, a very intellectual conversation in the likes of “ohhhh”, “mama-AH” and or ”babababaguhdadadadada”. Yes, I’m a pointing and babbling machine these days!

Now, you might wonder about the importance of ‘pointing’…, well, let me tell you that it certainly makes you look at what we are pointing at, am I right? So, it gets your attention. We want your attention; that is, we want you to attend to the same item of interest as we are attending to. Did you know that joint attention is a very important communication and social skill as well?

Further, researchers found that “joint attention is also associated with the depth of information processing in infants” (Striano, Chen, Cleveland, & Bradshaw, 2006). The joint attention between a child and his parents is very important, in fact, it links to IQ, self-regulation, and social competence. This being said: Please, do not discourage us from pointing – but instead be engaging! Being involved in your tots surroundings only carries benefits for your toddler, whereas if you don’t – your child might develop great difficulty learning language, participating in symbolic play and/or understanding social cues.

Happy Pointing!

Your 22-Month-Old Toddler

Our social and emotional milestones.

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I am almost 2 years old, whoop! I can communicate using both words (“Milk, please!” or “Stop it!”) and gestures! I’ve been experimenting with how my ability to communicate affects my parents and nanny. Sometimes, I would yell “Stop it”, not because I really mean it, but simply because I’m interested to see how my parents/nanny respond to my order! It amuses me – truth to be told! Or I would randomly point at things and shout: “Look”! Usually this request signifies my need for their approval, for instance: My parents and I have this game where I would point at something and they go: “Great, job! What do you see”? I love it when they praise me because it gives me the confidence to keep trying new things on my own.

Other developments: Expressing love and cooperating … maybe.

Yes, I freely kiss and hug the people I love around me because I know it makes them happy. Every now and then I help “clean up” too until I get bored with that ‘game’, such as throwing trash into the garbage bin. My attention span only goes for so long…which is typical for a tot like me!

What are your adventures/experiences with your toddler?

How Toddlers See the World

Mind Matters.

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Have you ever wondered how toddlers view the world? I’m 21 months old right now and I’m starting to get really curious about the world around me and how I fit into it. I don’t have the ability per se to understand anything bigger than my direct experience – but I love to explore the world! Also, I may not be able to ask my parents a million questions (yet!) but I know the day will come where I certainly will! Right now, I fill it with my own imagination which – by the way – is a wonderful place!

Below are some of my developmental milestones (age 2) on how I see the world:

  • I still think that my parents know what I’m thinking (because they are my super hero’s!)
  • I easily mix up reality and fantasy, so sometimes my own imagination can certainly frighten me
  • Everything I see is real, what happens on TV actually happens (Elmo is real!)

You know , children and adults see the world in fundamentally different ways…but that’s not say that one’s better than the other! We just have the passion to get out there to discover the world!