Although your toddler may already know how to walk, talk, and undertake basic tasks, there are ways you can aid them in developing their skills further. Even though they may not yet be approaching the minimum age required to attend mainstream schooling, that doesn’t mean that you can’t give them a head start from the comfort of their own home. This can allow them to get ahead once they do reach school, give them more confidence in their own capabilities, and also allow you some new ways to bond and spend time together.
Play and Learning
Toddlers do not learn in the same way as older children and adults. Instead, a lot of their development is derived from play. By giving them ample opportunities to play, both with yourself and independently, you can allow them the chance to develop skills they will use in life. Things that we take for granted, such as our fine motor skills or even the ability to solve basic problems, are developed during this period of a child’s life. This is why it is imperative that age-appropriate toys are used. For example, looking at 2-year-old boy toys for your toddler can allow you to see what kind of developments they may be making that age, and then adjust your gifts and toy buying habits accordingly to promote those same developments.
Even though you may need to help your toddler with a number of aspects of their day, both for convenience and safety, a lot can also be said for stepping back and allowing them to try for themselves, where appropriate. On days where time constraints are less of an issue, you might want to consider laying out your toddler’s clothes and allowing them to dress themselves, as an example. This will allow them to build on basic skills needed as they grow up, including fine and gross motor skills, as well as to help them work through frustrations when things don’t go quite right, and figure out the right ways to achieve the result they desire. This can also go a long way towards building up your toddler’s confidence in themselves, and their ability to reach their goals, even at such a young age.
Younger toddlers may be more concerned with their own wants and goals, and not give a lot of consideration to sharing spaces and toys with others. By allowing for a lot of social interaction at this young age, you may be able to help your toddler to better learn the importance of sharing with others, as well as to develop their levels of kindness towards their peers. This can be undertaken via toddler groups, meeting up with friends who have children of a similar age, or allowing them to play alongside their siblings. Play that takes place in public spaces, such as parks or activity centres, can also help them to develop these skills when playing alongside children that they do not know.
Putting in the work now to help your toddler develop can greatly benefit them over the coming years. This can allow them to engage better with those around them, as well as gain the level of independence needed in adulthood.