Blocks belong to a toy box of any child!
Playing with blocks is so much fun! During block play I experiment with my muscles, senses, vocabulary and emotions. It encourages me to use my imagination as well! I’m currently obsessed with building towers, but I also enjoy knocking down my tower (once it’s high enough) just to see my blocks fall all over the place!
Listed below are a few activities you can do with your child to support learning:
- Make a demolition game of knocking down a short tower of blocks (again, my favorite!).
- Make a game of filling and dumping blocks from a small bucket.
- Build a short wide tower. Place a small animal on top and cover with a fabric square to make a bed.
- Add toys (wheel barrow, wagon, shopping cart) to move blocks around and extend learning.
- Make a tape “road” on the floor to push ”block cars” on.
- Cut a block-sized hole into a large sturdy box to use as a mail box in a block area.
- Play “Copy Me.” Arrange two or three blocks simply and see if your child can replicate.
Scrunched-up nose? Pay attention to our cues!
Even before we start talking, we, i.e. toddlers, do tell you what we want! In fact, we are filled with cues – just pay attention and you’ll see! We are known for “making faces” – from smiling, frowning and scrunching up our noses! I certainly scrunch my nose every now and then (combined with sounds such as cooing, crying and/or grunting). We also move a lot (if you haven’t noticed it by now!); we move our bodies to reach out, turn away, push up or push down.
So, these are my cues to you! I hope you find them helpful – but now it’s your turn!
What are some cues you’ve discovered with your toddler(s)?
Pointing is a crucial speech and language development.
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.
Learning for Toddlers.
Do ya’ll know that sand is actually a toy?! In fact, the less a toy does the more a tot like me will learn! Sand is such a great sensory toy as we explore our senses of touch and play! My parents took me to the beach (once again!) so I can discover the wonderful texture of sand! I spent many hours playing in the sand which was wonderful because it encouraged my imaginative play!
That being said – there are many benefits letting us play with sand, such as:
- Development of fine motor skills
- Eye & hand coordination
- Creativity and imagination
- Sensory skills
- Language development (playing with sand is a social activity that requires speaking and listening)
You see, playing with sand has a lot of benefits… What hinders you from taking your tot(s) to the beach?! Let’s get ready and have some fun!