Archive | Toddler Funs

Children and Computers – Advantages and Disadvantages

Technology is so powerful that even the very young get hooked on it. Children and computers make a good team. But, it is important for parents to know the advantages and disadvantages of computers to children.

The Advantages

Educational Value

Academic growth is one the best advantages of computers to children According to a research, toddlers who use computers gain more learning which result to better development as compared to children who do not use computers. Clicking on icons teaches cause and effect. Teaching a toddler how to e-mail can improve his writing skills while searching the internet exposes a toddler to various resources which helps expand a child’s knowledge.

Boosts Motor Skills

Using a mouse and pressing keys gives your toddler’s chubby hands the same type of exercise he gets from drawing or coloring. These movements also improve hand-eye coordination that will pay off in the years to come as your toddler learns to tie his shoes, use scissors or throw a ball.

Hones Performance of Toddlers With Special Needs

Toddlers with special needs can greatly benefit from computers. There are a lot of activities and lessons designed for children with special needs you can find online. With these learning materials, a toddler with special needs is able to execute tasks he cannot normally do. In addition, since they are found online, it can be accessed by the toddler at his convenience unlike a special needs teacher.

Source of Entertainment

Another advantage of computers to children is entertainment value. Toddlers can spend a couple of minutes playing games online. There are a lot of child-friendly websites your toddler can visit to play games. Most of these websites are educational so a toddler can learn the ABC’s, numbers, shapes, words and other basic concepts he has to learn for preschool.

The Disadvantages

Limits Interaction With People

The main disadvantage of computers to children is that it limits social interaction. A toddler needs to interact with people, especially kids his age to hone his social skills and learn empathy.

Too Much Stimulation

Bold colors, loud sounds, flashing lights and continuous action can overwhelm a toddler. This can make a toddler irritable after a computer session and give him a hard time focusing on quieter activities such as reading.

Impedes Physical Development

Too much sedentary time is not only bad for your toddler’s posture but it also limits him from moving. Physical play is essential to toddler growth as it helps build strong muscles. Computers rob off a toddler’s chance to figure out how to stack blocks to construct a building or shovel sand into a bucket – hands-on activities that can help a toddler discover the world around him.

Vision Problems

A toddler who spends too much time staring at a computer is at risk of having childhood computer vision syndrome. Children are prone to this because computers require motor skills from eyes that are still underdeveloped.

In this modern time, computers are undoubtedly a part of a toddler’s development. While computers are beneficial to children, too much exposure can cause harm. Thus, it is important for parents to guide their children so they know how to balance cyberworld and real world.

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Toddler Swimming – Teaching A Toddler To Swim

Knowing how to swim is one life skill every individual should know. Teaching a toddler to swim as early as possible will help him get comfortable and equipped while in the water. Here is a step-by-step toddler swimming guide to help you out.

Get Comfortable In The Water

The first step to teaching any toddler how to swim is to make him feel comfortable in the water. Start in shallow water so your toddler can sit and stand with his head above water. Hold his hand and take him to the steps. Sit down together. Give him a toy, sing a song or play games. This will help your child associate water with fun.

Blow Bubbles

Have your toddler sit on the steps and have him watch you as you dip your mouth and chin into the water. Or, you can try submerging your nose, showing him how to blow bubbles through the nose and then ask him to follow you. If your little one is still hesitant to put his face in the water, you can practice blowing bubbles in the bath tub instead. Start by scooping a small amount of water and ask your little one to blow bubbles while gradually lowering your hands into the tub. Slowly remove your hands altogether. Once he is at ease lying on his tummy and blowing bubbles on his own, it is time to try it in the pool.

Submerge The Head

Once your toddler is comfortable blowing bubbles, ask him to try dipping his whole head. Remind him to blow bubbles. You can do it together or you can put your hand on his head while counting up to 3. Doing this helps reduce his anxiety. If he does not like getting his ears wet, pretend that there are fishes in the water and ask him to listen to them.

Practice Kicking

Start by letting him sit on the top step. Stretch his legs in the water and tell him to kick. Once he gets the hang of it, position your toddler’s hands on the edge of the pool. Hold onto his waist and then tell him to “Kick, kick, kick” or “Make waves.”. Continue holding your toddler as you move him around the water as he continues to kick.

Practice Gliding

Once your toddler is an expert at blowing bubbles and kicking, it is time to combine the two. Place your hands in his armpits and slowly glide him around the pool as he kicks. Ask him to blow bubbles with his nose and mouth immersed for 3 seconds and then have him blow bubbles with his face entirely underwater.

Allow Your Toddler To Do It By Himself

Once he has mastered the three skills, have your little one swim to you on his own. Move away from him about 2 feet and ask him to stand on the steps, put his hands over his head, face in the water and push off the step and kick toward you. Once he reaches you, scoop him up, give him a hug and say “You did it! I am so proud of you.”. Offering praise motivates you toddler to try again and will make swimming a positive experience.

When teaching your toddler how to swim, it is also important to teach him safety skills so he can rescue himself in case of an emergency. Train him to extend his arms and legs to the sides like a starfish and blow bubbles in the water.

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Choosing The Best Travel Destinations For Kids

Traveling is a great bonding activity for families. Parents can unwind and take their minds off work which allows them to focus on their children and strengthen parent-child relationship. Choosing the best travel destinations for kids need not be complicated as long as their needs and wants are considered. Here are some tips to help you out.

Tip # 1: Make A List

Make a list of the places that interests your family. Do you want to go to a place where everyone can enjoy? Then list down Disneyland or a private beach resort. Is your toddler fascinated with culture? New York has lots of museums that will surely satiate his interest. Plus, you and your partner can see a Broadway show. By listing down your choices, you can better come up with an idea that will satisfy everyone.

Tip # 2: Consider Accessibility

After making a list, weigh the pros and cons. Search the web to learn more information about each place. Guidebooks and magazines are also great resources to find out what each option has to offer – a hotel that caters to children (e.g. kiddie pools, playground or a babysitting service), attractions your toddler can explore, kid-friendly restaurants and other places of interest you can visit via a train or rental car. The more you know about a place, the more you can make the most out of the trip.

Tip # 3: Consider The Impact

If your little one can withstand long hours of air travel and jet lag, then flying to another city is perfect. But, if you are uncertain about taking a long trip with your toddler, opt for local destinations instead. Why not try camping? For sure, your toddler will have fun staying outdoors and pretend to be a hunter. There are websites that will help you choose the best family campground in your area. Stay at a hotel during the weekend. Ride a train and visit the countryside. Take a trip to a dairy farm or a fruit farm so your little one can see how his food is produced. Plus, he can even help milk a cow or pick his favorite fruits. This is a good way to get your toddler used to traveling before you take a trip across the globe.

Tip # 4: Do Not Be Too Detail-Oriented

Sometimes, you do not have to always pick a place that is family friendly. Take a break from all the preparation and expose your little one to the real world by planning a daytrip to a construction site, train track, park, zoo and taco bus. New restaurants are great local destinations as well. You and your toddler can try out new dishes which is a great way to introduce him to a variety of foods and give him a break from eating deep fried foods.

No matter where you decide to travel with your toddler, make sure to relish the experience and make happy memories you can look back fifty years from now.

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Motivating A Child To Be More Active

Putting your toddler’s endless energy into good use is essential in making sure your toddler is healthy. The best way to ensure that is to teach your toddler to exercise. There are various things you can do when it comes to motivating a child to be active. The following tips will help you get started.

Be An Example

Children love imitating their parents, and the best way you can encourage your toddler to be more active is by leading a physically active life. Get yourself moving. Hit the gym or buy an exercise video so you can exercise at home so your toddler can see you getting active. When you show your toddler that fitness is a priority for you, he will follow your lead.

Choose Age-appropriate Activities

Choose the right activities for your toddler’s age. Remember to keep the focus on fun rather than how many calories he will burn daily. Go for physically demanding activities that are not boring or frustrating. Some fun exercises include – playing a catchy song or a children’s exercise song and letting your toddler dance, throwing or kicking a ball, skipping on one foot, playing tag, freeze dancing, running in the backyard or riding a bike (with training wheels).

Go Outside

Instead of taking a stroller with you each time you go out, let your little one wander freely. Being out in the fresh air and basking in the sunshine will motivate your toddler to walk, run, kick, hop, jump and climb much more than he does when inside your home. Look for safe outdoor play places like the playground, park or a wide open field and bring along balls, jump ropes, bike and other toys. Walk to the supermarket. Go apple picking. Visit a dairy farm. Head to the beach and build sand castles or look for seashells. Let your toddler jump in the leaves you have raked.

Enroll Your Toddler In A Class

What does your toddler love to do? If he likes to dance, enroll him in a dance workshop. If he loves wading in the water, sign him up in a swimming class. Taking advantage of your toddler’s hobbies and interests is the easiest way to get his body moving.

Exercise Together

Exercising is more fun when you have a companion. Let your little one join you while you practice a dance routine or do stretches. Organize daily afternoon strolls with other moms and toddlers in your neighborhood. Better yet, get the whole family involved. Play tag in your backyard, take the whole family for an early evening walk around your local park, visit a zoo or go swimming.

Limit TV Time

Children under 2 years old should not spend more than 2 hours watching television every day, including computer and video games. Limit his TV viewing and choose shows or DVDs that encourage your toddler to get up and move or dance along with the characters.

Exercise is one of the key ingredients to living a healthy, happy and balanced life. Encouraging your toddler to be active is actually very easy as long as you keep it fun.

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How To Enjoy Your Travel With A Toddler

Taking a trip with a toddler is no vacation if one is not prepared. Here is what you should do to enjoy your travel with a toddler whether by land, air or sea.

Pack A Carry-on Bag

Searching for your toddler’s essentials should not be like a treasure hunt. Prepare all of your toddler’s basic travel needs in a carry-on backpack to keep everything handy and in place. Do not forget to bring the following:

  • Extra clothes for you and your toddler
  • Sunscreen
  • First-aid kit
  • Children’s acetaminophen or ibuprofen
  • Changing pad
  • Diapers (at least 3)
  • Wet wipes
  • Tissue
  • Alcohol
  • Bibs
  • Sippy cups and bottles
  • Milk
  • Plastic, re-sealable bags (for stashing dirty things)
  • Travel pillow
  • Blanket

Dress Your Toddler Comfortably

Dress your little one in easy-to-add layers so that you can keep your toddler comfy and fresh whatever the weather. A great travel outfit consists of a cotton ¾ sleeved t-shirt, jeans, sneakers and a jacket or an overall with a long-sleeved shirt underneath. Give your toddler a scarf too so he can simply use it as his blanket if wearing a jacket is just too hot.

Bring A Car Seat and Stroller

For any types of travel, a car seat and stroller are a must-have. A car seat will keep your toddler comfortable and secure and it is more convenient than letting your toddler ride on your lap or using the plane’s car seat. Leave the bulky stroller at home. Bring a lightweight or umbrella stroller instead so you can simply stash it in your car trunk or a plane’s overhead bin or drop it off at the departure gate.

Fill Your Toddler’s Tummy

Dealing with a hungry toddler is a nightmare. Prevent tears, screams and whining by packing tasty finger foods like apples, bananas, pears, cereals, cookies, crackers, fruit gummies, rice cakes and trail mix in medium-sized re-sealable plastic bags.

Also, it is important that you keep your little one hydrated. Keep drinks close at hand. Make sure you have bottled water on hand so you can keep your toddler’s sippy cup full. Avoid giving fruit juices and sodas as the caffeine content will only amp up your tot’s energy when you least want it to.

Provide Entertainment

Travel time bores toddlers. Keep you little one busy by bringing a goodie bag containing a few of your toddler’s favorite toys, plus a couple of new objects he can enjoy. For instance, you may bring two of his favorite books, his stuffed dog, robot, stacking ring toy, a new activity book, papers and pens, finger puppets, musical toys, sing-along CD’s or anything else that interests him. Stash all of them in a mesh bag and pin the bag to his car seat or to the seat back in front of him so he can easily pull out his toys.

Traveling with children is both a happy and tense experience. So expect some setbacks, be patient and ready to face these hurdles. Keep your calm, no matter what.

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Fun Toddler Games You And Your Toddler Can Do At Home

At this point, all your toddler wants to do is to have fun. Playing all day long is your little one’s major activity and the great thing about it is that you can make a game out of anything. Games do not have to be expensive or modern for your toddler to enjoy it. All that matters is that these games provide entertainment and education at the same time. Most importantly, games are more fun for your toddler when you play together.

You and your young one can play games within the comforts of your home. You can have fun playing inside or outside your garden. Just select games that are fun so your toddler will not get bored. The following are some examples of fun toddler games you and your child can accomplish at home.

Do-it-Yourself Projects

Introduce your toddler to the beauty of arts and crafts. This helps your little one to discover that there are fun things beyond his action figures, robots and PlayStation. Look up online and search websites for unique do-it-yourself games you both can play at home. You and your toddler can sit down and make your own version of a castle by using Styrofoam’s, toothpicks, art papers, etc. or you can have a game of Tell Me A Story wherein you both get five to six objects found in the house and put it inside the paper bag. After which, you can take turns removing each item in the bag, create a sentence for every object removed. Your toddler will surely love this game since it gives him control to make his own stories. Another great alternative to this game is to use finger puppets. You and your toddler can draw puppets using washable markers on each of your fingers and create story lines for every puppet character.

Play Dough

Your toddler loves to get his hands dirty and create something out of nothing. This is a fun game you and your young one can do anywhere in your house. Get him clays at your local toy store or bake together to make your own dough. He can squeeze his dough’s and form them into different shapes helping him boost his mind and fine motor skills.

Jigsaw Puzzles

There is no better game to perform at home than completing jigsaw puzzles. Puzzles give your toddler a challenge making him more determined to fill up every blank space. Help him out by assisting him in filling out the blank spaces. Start out with simple puzzles first such as a puzzle forming a circle or a triangle or the letter A.

Treasure Hunt

If your toddler loves to play games that involve lots of body movement, then hold a treasure hunt game. You and your toddler can be partners in hunting for the hidden treasure. Place clues that will lead him to the treasure inside and outside of your home to make it more exciting. You can also try using a ball of yarn and run it around the house (under his chair, table or bed, across the living room, above the dining table, etc.) until he reaches the end of the yarn where his treasure awaits.

Household Chores

House errands can be a game as long as you find ways to make it fun for your toddler. Since toddlers generally like to help around the house; why not let him help you wash the windows, set the table or sort out the laundry. This simple game will not only give amusement to your child but this also allows him to feel good about accomplishing something encouraging him to help you out more often.

Hide and Seek

Hide and seek is one classic all-time favorite game that gives any toddler the thrill of not getting caught. You can take turns looking for each other or you can hide an alarm clock under your bed. Together, look for the clock by following the ticking sounds it makes.

Memory Cards

Use index cards to draw identical letters of the alphabet, numbers, colors or shapes. Place the cards facedown in the table and have your toddler pick out the cards until all the cards have been matched up. This is a good game to increase your toddler’s memory and retention.

Playing games together gives him more confidence that he can do things on his own and that making mistakes is normal allowing him to maximize his development.

 

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