Living Life with a Toddler
Guys. I was chatting with a friend the other day about new borns and the wonderfully stressful, but blissful period of time you go through in that beginning couple of months. Everybody tells you they grow up in a blink of an eye, but DANG. This last year just flew by and, I cant believe I am saying this, my newborn is now a TODDLER. I cannot believe I am using that word! While we were chatting I remember saying, “yeah I don’t really know if shes actually considered a toddler now that I’m thinking about it, I need to do a litter research.” And, as we all know, they’re considered a toddler after their first birthday. AHH! It’s such an incredibly bitter sweet step in her journey and I have been feeling alllll the emotions the past couple of days. To commemorate this pretty exciting next step in all of our lives, I thought it would be fun to create a little list of activities you can do with toddlers, and some general bits of information to keep in mind on where your child is at the developmental stage! Granted, activities you can do with a 15 month old and the developmental stage are actually quite different than what you can expect with a 2 year old, so these are very simple, but interactive activities/information but hopefully will help you build a foundation for those in this current stage (ie me!)
I found this really cool website called raising children (its actually an Australian parenting website!) that gives a lot of easy to follow information on developmental stages as far as what’s happening, what you can do to help them along, and how to parent at this age! This last part is actually super interesting to me because I didn’t realize that was the kind of guidance I needed until I stumbled upon it. Right when I felt like I mastered Savannah as a baby, she turns into a toddler before my very eyes and once again I have no idea what I’m doing. Here are some of the things they listed that help toddler development!
What You Can Do
- Give you littles lots of hugs, cuddles and kisses. Apparently empathy and positive attention are super amazing for a child’s emotional development and learning how their emotions work and how they go hand in hand with how they get along with other kids. I smother Savannah with kisses every chance I get, but its awesome to know that it actually makes a difference in the long run!
- Talking with your toddler about every day things! Naming things, like their favorite toys, food they’re eating, body parts, or even animals, help with their language skills . You can also do this by listening and talking back! Now, you might be thinking that Savannah is only 14 months, shes not talking – and to a certain extent, you’re right! But she does babble A LOT and I have realized that if I respond as if she is speaking actual English, she’ll keep babbling and make facial expressions/hand gestures as if we’re completely on the same page! It only lasts a minute or 2, but its such a treat when it does happen 💛
- Encourage moving. I know this one is like whaat why on earth would I do that, they move so much already! But moving around actually serves a much more basic purpose other than driving us parents absolutely insane – it helps them build muscle strength. They will need this strength to make that leap to walking and running, something that seems daunting at the moment but is necessary for their development! Playing is also an easy, but also necessary, way for them to do that! Playing teaches them how to work things out on their own. Indoor, outdoor, both are great options! This one leads me into my next little set of lists for you – different activities to do with your toddler that keeps them busy and also helps their development!
Activities They Can Do
Finding things to entertain your toddler can seriously be a daunting task. I mean, there are more times than I’d like to admit where I turn on Frozen to just get a little bit of time to decompress – you know? Now that she can move freely on her own, its getting more and more exhausting trying to keep up! These activities are definitely ones that I want to try out with Savannah, even if its just to help *me* from turning to Disney movies to get some peace and quiet! Here is a super awesome website that has some great ideas for sensory activities for toddlers!
- Laundry basket play! I have zero clue why I didn’t think of this as an activity sooner! Savannah just DIES every time I bring up a load of laundry to fold! She tackles the basket and immediately starts ripping out clothes and then tossing them back in half a minute later. Shell do this for what seems like hours but because I’m always trying to actually *fold* the laundry (anyone else absolutely loathe folding laundry?) I don’t usually let it go on for that long! But it’s a perfect game! Just fill the laundry basket up with anything – stuffed animals, clothes, dish towels, – then your toddler can employ, refill, and push it around for as long as they like! It’s a strengthening activity and also stimulates their proprioceptive sense (which is a fancy way of saying their awareness of the position and movement of their body). The act of climbing in and out of the basket strengthens their gross motor skills, and it’s a great way to practice eye hand coordination when they toss the laundry back into the basket. I can *definitely* get behind all of that.
- Putting object through container hole – ok, this one I gotta be a litttttle careful with for Savannah right now because this little bee loves to sneak anything new into her mouth at any given notice, but if I use little poms like this article suggests, I bet it could work! So basically what you do is take a clear plastic container with a lid (old peanut butter jar, empty drink bottle) or even a cardboard shoe box, and then you cut a hole in the lid! Your little is then supposed to take all of the little poms and put them through the hole – the smaller the hole, the more challenging the task! This helps with their fine motor skills and eye hand coordination. Also, its and incredibly cheap toy which I’m once again definitely here for considering all of the beautiful toys she refuses to touch now.
- Suspended balloon – ok, this one is super creative and is one I really would love to try! You just take a balloon (doesn’t have to be filled with helium, so save your money) and tie the end with a piece of string that you then tie the other end to something high up – like a fan or even the ceiling! But make it low enough so they can bat it around and then watch it float up and down. Your little might even decide to use something they have on hand to bat it around with! This activity helps with their eye hand coordination and is super simple, and super effective. Super! Don’t you think? 😉
These are just a couple of simple activities that you can do with your toddler, but there are so many creative, cost efficient things you can do! Savannah loves tupper ware, so Trev and I filled one with rice and she likes to carry it around and give it a shake shake every now and then! But I think everybody could use a little help from time to time and I feel just a tiny bit more prepared moving forward as a parent to a toddler 💛