Archive | Physical Development

Handwriting For Kids – Six Steps For Better Handwriting

Is your toddler having problems with his handwriting? Here are some tips on handwriting for kids you can follow to help improve your toddler’s penmanship.

Develop Fine Motor Skills

Practice your toddler’s grip by encouraging him to manipulate objects. Finger paint, use a hose to mist the plants, have him hold a spoon and fork or do craft projects that involve beads, beans, rice and shells. These activities help build your toddler’s fine motor skills and hand muscles essential in handwriting.

Have The Right Tools

Having the right writing tools can help hone your toddler’s handwriting. If he is struggling with a regular pencil, try a jumbo-sized pencil or better yet, a golf pencil which is smaller and lighter. A good eraser will be handy for erasing mistakes. Raised line papers will help your child learn correct sizing while alphabet books and tracing papers are great for outlining letters which helps him learn proper letter formation. In addition, supply your toddler with fun accessories such as pencil toppers, crayons, colored pencils, scented markers, gel pens and doodle pads to help him associate writing with fun.

Teach Proper Grip and Posture

Proper grip and posture are necessary in having a good handwriting. Show him the right way to write by sitting up straight and gripping the pen an inch from the tip. Index finger should be on top and the thumb underneath. The pencil should rest on the third finger and his non-writing hand must be at the top of the paper to keep the paper in place while elbow must be out and lightly resting on the table. After which, ask him to copy what you did.

Spot The Problem

Know the problem. Is your toddler having a hard time sizing letters, forming letters or lining words on the page? Knowing where your toddler is having the most difficulty is important so you know where to concentrate on.

Practice

Practice makes perfect. Start by making him write letter in groups of six. Ask him to make a set of swirls like cursive lower case “e’s”. Show him how punctuations are used in sentences. Ask your little one to write things for you. Dictate reminders, your home address, telephone number, shopping list. Write on a foggy mirror or give him a stick so he can write on a patch of mud. Another great idea is to help him write a letter or a short story. Giving him a diary is also a good technique to encourage your toddler to write.

Play Games

Hone your toddler’s spelling ability by playing fast-paced games. Take turns thinking of words that end with “-ight” or “-tion”. Play simple word puzzles, a game of hangman or anagram or ask him to jot down the things he sees in your home. See how many your little one can write correctly.

Most importantly, do not pressure your toddler too much if he still writes his “B” backwards even if you have been practicing for a week. Give him time and encouragement. Once your toddler gets the hang out of it, it will stick with him permanently.

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Activities That Boost Motor Development In Children

Sitting, standing, crawling, running and head control are just some motor skills children need to master as early as possible. Thus, it is very essential for toddlers to have ample opportunities to exercise these skills every day. Here are a few ideas that can help improve motor development in children.

Put On Some Music

Take advantage of your stereo at home and put on some music and dance with your little one. Interactive songs such as “Patty Cake”, “Itsy-Bitsy Spider”, “Head, Shoulder, Knees and Toes” or “Ten Little Indians” are creative ways for your toddler to use his hands and bounce and wriggle to music which enhances his gross motor skills. Use instruments to make it more fun. You can make your own instruments – a bottle filled with coins can be a noisemaker, pots and spoons can be drums and string bells to thick paper plates to make a tambourine.

Coloring and Writing

Toddlers love to draw, write and color. Give him a pencil and a piece of paper. Draw a circle or any shape and have him copy it. Give him a coloring book and jumbo sized crayons. Show your toddler how to color inside the borders of a picture. Have your toddler draw or color on the floor. These activities teaches your toddler to hold objects properly which helps improve his grasping skills and reinforces the hips and shoulders, improving stability.

Exercise

Practice your toddler’s walking and running skills by exercising. Walk on different surfaces such as sand, gravel, grass and smooth concrete to help perfect his balance. Climb up and down the stairs together. Play with large balls and ask your toddler to kick the balls, throw them back and forth and catch them to increase hand-eye coordination. Jump with your toddler. Let him ride a children’s bike or tricycle to get him used to pushing his foot forward on a pedal which strengthens leg muscles.

Dumping and Filling

Place an empty container or box and different items (e.g. plastic spoons, forks, cups, blocks or toys) in front of your toddler. Ask him to sort out the objects by color, size, and shape.

Household Chores

Give your toddler simple household chores such as sorting laundry, dusting, sweeping, setting the table and putting away groceries. These chores will get your toddler’s body moving as he bends, squats and stretches. Not only will this hone your little one’s motor skills but it will also give him a sense of pride for being mommy’s little helper.

Play With Toys

Stack blocks to build a tower. Blow bubbles. Have him squeeze a plush toy, a ball or squirt water from a washcloth. String large beads. Work on a simple puzzle together.

Play Games

There are countless children’s games that help increase gross motor skills. Games such as “Follow The Leader”, “Hide and Seek”, “Duck Duck Goose”, “Hot Potato”, “Simon Says,”, jump rope and hop scotch are simple, interactive games your toddler will enjoy. Role play with your child by putting on a puppet show. These games not only help develop motor skills but also improves your toddler’s social skills.

Motor skills help individuals perform multiple tasks appropriately and contribute to a person’s overall well-being. With the help of the tips above, you can help him develop this skill at an early age.

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Self-care – How Parents Can Hone This Physical Development In Toddlers

Physical development means learning to take good care of oneself. Self-care is an important part of a toddlers’ physical growth, hence, they need to learn it as early as possible. Here are some ways how parents can help their children achieve it.

Set A Good Example

Be your toddler’s role model. Children learn things based on what they see. Take advantage of this by modelling positive hygiene behaviour. Take care of yourself, keep yourself well-groomed at all times and follow the same healthy practices you want to teach your toddler. Make sure every family member participates so there is consistency. Once he sees everyone doing the same things, it will be easy for him to mimic these actions and ultimately, make them a part of his daily routine.

Explain

Actions and words go hand in hand. Support your actions by discussing the importance of self-care to your toddler. Do not just say “Do not touch the toilet bowl because it is dirty.”. Be specific. Lay down the facts in front of him. Talk to your toddler about germs – what they are, how germs can affect his health and what he can do to prevent germs from making him sick. Discuss the importance of washing hands, brushing teeth, sleeping early, fruits and vegetables and so on.

Use Gadgets

The secret to keeping your toddler occupied is to surround him with toys. Fill the tub with toys like rubber ducks, ships, toy trucks or a bath toy set to make bath time more fun. If you have trouble getting him to brush his teeth, buy him an hourglass sand timer or a colorful egg timer. This will give your little one something to focus on and anticipate while he waits for the sand to run out or for the timer to go off while at the same time making sure he brushes each row of teeth long enough. Or, you could also get him an electric toothbrush. He will love the vibrating motion it creates in his mouth. A toothpaste that has your toddler’s favorite cartoon character on it also helps.

Play A Game

Trick your toddler into completing his daily self-care routine by playing a game. Toddlers love games so think of ways how you can incorporate them to make things more fun. Help your toddler wash his hands the right way by asking him to sing a song as he washes like “Happy Birthday” and “Row, Row Your Boat”. Take turns brushing each other’s teeth. Brush his teeth and have him brush your teeth after. Read him a storybook about bath time while he is in the tub or play his favorite children’s song so you can sing together while you are scrubbing him.

Be Patient

Learning a new skill takes time so be flexible. If learning to wash his hands means a messy bathroom for a few days, or if eating on his own means staining his shirt, or if getting dressed on his own means finding a room filled with clothes everywhere, just go with the flow. Remember, practice makes perfect and the more he practices, the better he will be.

Reward Him

As always, encouragement is key. Each time your toddler tries doing something new, tell him you are proud of the effort he made whether or not he succeeds at it. Create a chart where you can list down self-care tasks he needs to do. For every task he completes, put a sticker beside it. Once he has collected 5 stickers, give him a special prize like eating at his favorite restaurant, watching a movie or a new toy. This will make him feel good motivating your toddler to repeat his actions.

Learning proper personal hygiene does not happen overnight. It takes practice. While it is not an easy thing to teach self-care skills to your toddler, you can outsmart him with the help of the tips listed above.

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Simple Ways to Encourage Toddler Physical Development

Toddlers are the most active because of their energy level. You may even find it challenging to keep up with your little tot’s day to day activities. However, there are some cases wherein a toddler is very picky with what he enjoys, what he dislikes and what he eats. This can hinder the child’s physical development. If this is the case of your child, then you need to act fast and do something about it in order to help nurture your toddler’s physical development.

There are countless of ways where you can boost toddler physical development of your tot. A lot of these techniques are very easy to do since it involves a child’s normal day to day activities. All it needs is a little prodding and your effort to open opportunities.

Ways to Enhance Toddler Physical Development

Parents who stimulate their child to be actively involved with daily activities increases the child’s physical growth. Furthermore, it encourages them to build up their skills at its finest level. You can try these easy to do physical activities with your toddler:

Maximize Playtime

What tots love best is to play. Playing always gives any child a thrill. It is a fulfilling activity to do while at the same time enhances your toddler’s physical growth. Let your child play many times in a day, be it in the playground or right at home. You can try out the following activities:

  • Climbing – Climbing in the playground’s monkey bars allow your child’s muscles to be firm giving him full support of his body strengthening his capability to control his body.
  • Balancing – Another great exercise that can improve your child’s physical strength is through balance. When in the playground, there are equipments such as ladders or logs that allows your child improve his balance. These are safe as they have soft sand on the ground providing protection for your toddler. Straightly placing a ribbon or a thin rope on your living room floor is also a good balancing activity your child can do at home. A good exercise for firming the bones in his knees resulting for him to walk solidly.
  • Drawing – Drawing or doodling is exercise that improves both your child’s physical and artistic development. Set up a scribbling area in the house and place plenty of papers, pencils and crayons. Place blank canvases and watercolour paints on the floor. While your child doodles away, he slowly learns how to write and the more he draws, the better his hand writing will be.

Hold Activities Involving Body Contact

  • Running – Whether indoor or outdoor, running strengthens the upper and lower muscles of your toddler. Try holding a mini race in your garden or play tag with your toddler. Include other family members as well to make it more exciting for your child. Run back and forth to help condition his body.
  • Jumping – Simple jumping exercises can strengthen him physically allowing him to be fit and in top condition. Do activities like bouncing in the bed, on a trampoline or jump rope together. This doubles the fun plus it eases your child’s fear of falling. Let him practice how to jump by sticking colored tapes on the floor with a few spaces in between letting your child hop and jump in between the tapes.

Let Him Take Classes and Workshops

Classes and workshops that particularly entail body cooperation such as fitness programs encourages your toddler’s physical development. Have him take body sports like swimming, tennis, soccer or baseball. Or try enrolling him in a dance or taekwondo workshop. Full body contact allows every part of your toddler’s body to be used waking up weak muscles to become firm and strong.

Practice Healthy Eating

Nutrition is as important as physical activities. How else can your child get all the energy he needs to perform these activities with an empty stomach right? Be an example to him. Minimize junk food and sweet intakes. Prepare nutritious meals for your toddler to give him all the proper vitamins and nutrients for his body.

Proper Sleep

A toddler who slept long and well wakes up bright and happy the next morning. Also, do not forget to let him take a nap in the afternoon. The body needs sleep to restore the energy that was used for physical activities.

Balance is the key to ensure correct toddler physical development. Involving in physical activities coupled with rest and proper food intake makes your tot a bright and healthy child inside and out.

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