Archive | June, 2012

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.


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.

Posted in Development, Physical DevelopmentComments (0)

Why Buy Eco-friendly Toys For Your Toddler?

More and more individuals are becoming environmentally conscious. A lot of environment friendly products are available – from food to clothes to bags to toys. Yes, toys. During the past years, a lot of manufacturers are offering Eco-friendly toys. Here are some reasons why you too should make the big switch.

Eco-friendly Toys Are:


Eco-friendly or non-toxic toys are safe for your toddler and for the environment. Your little one has a tendency to put everything he comes in contact with into his mouth. In addition, rough and tumble play and his natural inquisitiveness can often times lead to the disassembly of his toys causing him to be exposed to unknown elements. The usual toys often contain polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic, which is often labelled non-toxic. But in reality, PVC generates dioxins in the manufacturing process which contain softening substances like phthalates, considered to be hormone destructors. But with Eco-friendly toys, you do not have to worry about him encountering harmful materials which can jeopardize your toddler’s health since all green toys are non-toxic.

Because Eco-friendly toddler toys do not contain chemicals such as pesticides, plastic and other poisonous materials, they are less likely to be tossed aside decreasing their chances to wind up in the local landfill. In this way, you help decrease the pollutants in this world.


Unlike the usual plastic toys which you instantly need to dispose once it cracks or breaks, Eco-friendly toddler toys are made from durable, natural materials assuring you that they can withstand the hard play habits of toddlers. Examples of Eco-friendly toddler toys include wooden toys and cotton toys. They are so tough that they can be passed down from one generation to the next.

More Effective In Developing A Child’s Imagination

Researches have proven time and again that the best toys that can maximize the creative side of a toddler are Eco-friendly toddler toys. One good example are toys made from cotton and Eco-friendly books. They are colorful, versatile and are great tools for free play. These types of Eco-friendly toys encourages creative play such as pretend play or role play which stimulates your toddler’s mind to think beyond what is presented in front of him.

Helpful In Boosting A Child’s Skills

Eco-friendly toys like wooden toys will have some educational or developmental benefit. Wooden puzzles can help develop hand-eye coordination and problem solving skills boosting cognitive development. Sorting games such as bead sequencing sets can teach your little one memory and reasoning skills while push toys can improve his motor skills.


Toys are your toddler’s first playmate, making them a very essential part of his childhood. An expensive toy does not always mean it is the most durable. So make the most out of your money by opting for Eco-friendly toys. They are very affordable and you can choose from a wide array of choices such as stackers, rock crayons, puzzles, trucks, balls and many more.

It is possible to take care of your toddler while caring for the environment at the same time. With the help of Eco-friendly toys, you help nourish your precious one to be the best person he can be while saving Mother Nature from further distraction.

Posted in Toddler Educational Toys, ToysComments (0)

Helping Your Toddler Say Goodbye To His Night Fears

Night fears are common in children. Add the media and an active imagination, bedtime fears can go into overdrive. Here are some tips on how you can erase your toddler’s night fears so the both of you can get that much needed sleep.

Monitor TV Viewing

Generally, night fears are generated by what a toddler sees on television (e.g. scary or action movies or cartoon shows). Pay close attention to the shows your toddler watches. Change or turn off age-inappropriate television shows. Extreme, violent scenes often create disturbing or terrifying ideas which can develop night time fears leading to your toddler not wanting to go to sleep. Let him watch TV shows that encourage happy thoughts to help him sleep well throughout the night.

Establish A Bedtime Routine

Create a bedtime ritual that is simple and relaxing and make sure you stick to it. Start the routine the same time every night. You can begin by giving your toddler a light activity a few hours before bedtime to help him calm down after a long day followed by a soothing warm bath, helping him dress in his pajamas, dimming the lights in his room, reading a book and kissing him on the forehead before saying goodnight.

Acknowledge Your Child’s Fears

Do not make fun or downplay your toddler’s fears. Remember that your little one does not think the way an adult does so do not expect him to distinguish fact from fiction on his own. Talk to your toddler about his night fears. Ask him what he thinks he sees at night and why he is afraid. Calmly reassure him that his fear is normal and it is okay to be scared. Tell him that you also had your own bedtime fears when you were still a child and tell him how you dealt with them to make those fears go away. When your toddler knows that you can relate to him, he will become motivated to work towards alleviating them.

Give Your Child An “Anti-fear” Weapon

Provide your toddler with tools that can fight the monsters, ghosts or whatever is causing the night fears. For instance, you can fill a small spray bottle with water and tell your toddler to use the spray bottle which contains “monster fluid” to any scary areas of the room before going to bed so anything that comes into the room is instantly destroyed. Encouraging your little one to fight back against his bedtime fears is often the best approach to eliminate his fears completely.

Offer A Security Object

A stuffed animal, pillow or your old shirt can act as your toddler’s security blanket. He can bring it with him to bed to help make him feel secure at night. A set of walkie-talkies makes it easier for your toddler to contact you every time he gets scared. Hearing your voice will reassure your toddler that he is safe and that you are always by his side. Using a nightlight also helps illuminate any objects in your toddler’s room which can ease his feelings of anxiety whenever he wakes up to a dark room in the middle of the night.

Create A Peaceful Sleeping Area

Ambiance is important in ensuring a good night sleep. Make your toddler’s bedroom as comfortable as possible. Decorate his bed with bed sheets with a design of  his favorite superhero and place his favorite things (e.g. toys, stuffed animal, pillows, drawings, etc.) in his room. This will give him a sense of familiarity which creates a homey feel which will make him think less of his fears and think of more happy thoughts so he can drift off and dream sweet dreams.

The only way to deal with your toddler’s night fears is to help and support him. Think of creative ideas which you think can erase his fears so he can sleep well and wake up bright and happy.

Posted in Health, Toddler SleepComments (0)

Encouraging Creative Play In Toddlers

Creative play in toddlers is very important for it is through it that they can develop their skills and grow into fine, young individuals. Help promote creative play by following these tips.

Tip # 1: Limit TV Viewing

TV time can affect the imaginative side of toddlers. When your toddler is in front of the television, his eyes and mind are fixed in the representative images flashed in the screen which limit your toddler’s ability to think and visualize things. Set aside an hour or an hour and a half for TV time. Once the time is up, have your little one turn off the TV even if his favorite show is still playing. Be firm with this rule but do it slowly. Do not just stop your toddler from watching TV without informing him beforehand about this change. Explain to your little one what is changing and why it needs to be changed. Here is an effective tip to stop your toddler from throwing a tantrum – recite a list of activities he can do besides watching TV.

Tip # 2: Pretend Play

Role play or pretend play is a game well-loved by children. Toddlers love to imitate most adults, especially their parents. Play with your toddler. Give him toys that will enable him to learn and enjoy his very own make believe fantasy. Use his stuffed toys or get creative and turn old socks into puppets so you can stage your own puppet show. Let your toddler decide the theme of the story, the name of the characters and how it will end. Give him props or let him help you make a costume he can put on so he can pretend to be a pirate sailing out into the ocean to find a missing treasure chest. Play schoolhouse and you, your toddler and his other siblings can take turns being the student and teacher.

Tip # 3: Read Books

Books can take you to different times, places and events. They are the best instrument for opening up a person’s mind and imagination. Expose your little one to various books such as books about pictures, fairytales, fables, parables, short stories and so on. Pause in between pages and ask your little one what he thinks will happen next or how the story will end. Once you have finished reading, discuss it with your toddler. Ask him about his favorite character, what he thought of the story and what ending he would have preferred.

Tip # 4: Do Lots of Arts and Crafts

Buying art projects complete with instructions is perfectly fine but they can limit creative play since your toddler needs to follow directions. Instead, provide him with tons of recycled paper, crayons, pencils and other drawing supplies. Let him scribble away and color it with the shades he likes. Give him coloring books so he can experiment with different color combinations. Use an old plain shirt or a piece of cardboard and water-based paints for painting activities.

Tip # 5: Go Outside

Encourage your toddler to explore the wonders of nature. Go out and visit a park, playground, museum, amusement park, zoo and other places where he can discover and be more curious of things. Let him touch the soil, feel the water in the fountain, observe the birds, etc.. It is okay if he gets dirty, he can take a shower once he gets home.

Anything and everything can be a tool to unleash and hone your toddler’s creative mind. Just think out of the box.

Posted in Playtime, Toddler ActivitiesComments (0)

How To Stop Your Twin Toddlers From Fighting

Are your twin toddlers constantly on a battle? Twins do share a close bond but it does not stop them from fighting, and when twins fight, a simple “shhh” or “stop” will not suffice. Here are some tips to help relieve this problem.

Remove The Source of Disputes

Know the source of squabbles. Is it a particular toy? TV show? Clothing? Food? Once you have determined the root of the problem, remove it. As the popular adage goes, “Out of sight, out of mind.”. You will be surprised to find your twins playing peacefully together when the cause of their fight is nowhere in sight.

Make Sure They Eat and Take Naps On Time

Twin toddlers will take out their annoyance out on one another especially if they are sleepy or hungry. To minimize fighting, see to it that each of them eats on time and that they do not miss their nap time. Remember that a full and well-rested toddler equals a happy and peaceful environment.

Let Them Make Their Own Choices

Yes, dressing up twins in the same clothes from head to toe may be cute. However, some twin toddlers do not like it resulting for them to start a fight. Twins have their own unique identities so help them establish it by giving them their freedom to make choices. For example, if you are preparing them for a trip to grandma’s house, instead of choosing t-shirts and shorts in the same color, ask toddler A what he wants to wear and do the same for toddler B.

Offer Variations

On the other hand, if they like the same things, buying only one item for them and expecting them to share it nicely is definitely not going to happen. Give them slight variations of things instead of buying two same things. Buy a backpack in varying colors, blue for toddler A and black for toddler B or purchase a coloring book with animal pictures for toddler A and a car-themed coloring book for toddler B. This will reduce fights effectively and encourage them to swap their things.

Do Something They Enjoy

Find one thing that makes them both giggle or happy and do it. If they squeal with laughter each time you make funny faces in the mirror, do it. If your twins love playing in the park, then go to the park every afternoon. When they are both laughing, they will both look at each other with loving eyes. Twins have a strong, loving bond, nourish that.

Schedule A One-on-One Time

Sometimes, twin toddlers fight because of two reasons – they are always together or they are competing for your attention. Set a few hours every day for each one of them. Have someone babysit toddler A when you are with toddler B and vice versa. During the day, you can help toddler A finish his puzzle or let him accompany you to the grocery store. In the afternoon, read a book with toddler B or allow him to help you prepare dinner. Doing this will reassure them that you love them equally. Plus, the time away from each other allows them to miss one another so when they are together, they can share their own adventures without hearing a scream.

Place Them On A Time Out

If your twins are at each others throats even after you have warned them, stop the fight by placing them on a time out. Separate them into different rooms and let them stew for a minute or two. The time out will help them relax so they can process their emotions accordingly.

Twins are at the same developmental stage which makes fighting a common issue. They are learning their life lessons and limitations at the very same time and being in their position is not easy. Keep your calm, stay composed and be fair so you can effectively minimize the fights once and for all.

Posted in Parenting, Toddler SiblingsComments (0)

Ways To Help Children With ADHD

Children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) are often distracted, restless and impulsive, damaging their ability to function as a whole. While there is no cure for it, there are ways parents can help their child. Here is a guide on how to do it.

Establish A Routine

Come up with a daily schedule and make sure you and your toddler stick to it. Toddlers with ADHD thrive when they know what to look forward to. To make it more interesting for your little one, hang a wall calendar or encourage him to create his own map and decorate it together with your toddler. For instance, stick a blue sticker for mealtime, yellow for naptime, red for playtime and orange for bedtime. Use unique stickers for special tasks such as monthly check-ups or getting a haircut. For every task he accomplishes, have him put a check mark beside the sticker. Doing this enables him to identify what the schedule will be for each specific day.

Be Clear With Your Words and Retain Eye Contact

Giving verbal instructions is an effective way to get your toddler’s attention. It allows him to focus more in finishing a certain task. Each time you give him a chore, give instructions in a clear and slow manner and have him repeat them so you can check whether or not he understood it correctly.

While giving out instructions, make sure you and your little one maintain direct eye contact as well. Sit down and gently hold your toddler’s face in your hands so he cannot turn away from you. This will help him focus on you and your words, decreasing the chances for him to become distracted.

Give Simple Tasks

A toddler with ADHD does not do well in terms of completing tasks as compared to a normal child. Do not set unrealistic chores for him as this will only frustrate him which will cause him to ignore the task completely. Keep tasks easy by breaking them up into simple steps. For instance, instead of telling him to put all his dirty clothes inside the washing machine, ask him to pull out his t-shirts, socks and underwear first. Once he is done, ask him to put his pants and the remaining clothes in the washing machine.

Make Use of Your Child’s Interests

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can affect your toddler’s speed of learning. Work around this condition by focusing on your toddler’s interests. If he has a strong fascination for cars, give him books about cars to improve his reading skills. If he loves dogs, give him a connect-the-dot book with illustrations of dogs to enhance his writing skills. If he is attracted to anything bright, using flashcards in different colors will keep him focused when you teach him various words.

Commend Every Job Well Done

Giving positive reinforcement shows that you support your little one which will boost his self-confidence and in turn, motivate him to repeat positive behaviours. Focus on the good rather than the bad. Praise him for a job well done. Give him a kiss, pat on the back, hug or a simple reward each time he finishes a task.

Create A Quite Space

Assign a room where your toddler can have some private time. Make sure there are no distractions. Giving him his own space allows your toddler to do the things he wants to do. The alone time he gets helps him focus on whatever activity he is doing increasing his concentration.

Keep Your Calm

Emotions can get the best of us especially during difficult times. Extend your patience. If he ignores you, do not lash out. It will bring no good. Instead, give him the “time out” so he can think about his actions. If you feel like you have had enough, take a break. Go out for awhile. When you are calm, you can take better care of your toddler.

Life can be stressful when you have a toddler with ADHD. But, do keep in mind that it is most demanding on your child’s part since everything in his life can be affected by this disorder. Make this condition easier for your toddler by helping him deal with it one step at a time.

Posted in Child Health Issues, HealthComments (0)

The ABC’s of Building A Safe Playground For Toddlers

Building a safe playground for toddlers require cautious planning and attention especially when it comes to safety issues. So before you go ahead and execute your plan, consult with an expert. Below are a few basic points you should keep in mind.

Avoid Weak Surfaces

A playground should withstand any pressure (e.g. weather conditions, kids’ weight, etc.). The safety of a playground relies on the foundation where it is being set-up. Do not build a playground in earth surfaces such as grass, soil and hard packed dirt. Asphalt and concrete surfaces should also be avoided as they are weak, tending to lose their ability to absorb shock when frequently used or during major environmental conditions which only result to serious head injury, or worse, death.

Use Flooring That Can Reduce The Effects of A Fall

First, make sure that the flooring you use can decrease the impacts of a fall. There are 2 types of flooring materials you can use – loose-filling materials and manufactured artificial surfaces.

Loose-filling materials consist of wood chips, fine sand, gravel, shredded bark mulch or rubber mulch and shredded tires. Although it is cheaper than manufactured synthetics, loose-fill materials cannot endure wet weather, freezing temperature and prolonged use. It requires regular maintenance and constant replacement to retain its depth.

Manufactured artificial surfaces include rubber mats comprised of rubber and urethane components (ideal for applications of geometric shapes and special graphics). Manufactured synthetic surface are more expensive but less maintenance is required. Plus, it also absorbs water very quickly keeping the playground dry and clean at all times.

Take note that the greater the depth, the greater the shock absorption. Be sure to ask the producer for test results on shock absorption.

Make Room For Space

Allowance is the key to having a safe playground. Always make room for more space. Hence, the floor should extend to over 6 feet past the play area. If the fort is over 4 feet, it would be a good idea to not leave the guard rails open. Make sure you keep them close together to prevent your toddler from getting his head trapped in between the rails. See to it that the railings are above 38 inches and most of all, ensure that there is adequate space that can grow as your toddler grows.

Create A Cushion Zone

A cushion or buffer zone is an area that lies between two or more other areas that is used either for adjoining or segregating. Use a cushion zone plastered with a protective surfacing material under and around all the equipment where a toddler might fall. It must be able to extend to at least 6 feet in all directions starting from the edge of the equipment. Make sure this area needs to be free of other equipments and barriers.

Attach Swing Sets Securely With Proper Spacing

The front and back of the swing should be big, one that extends out a minimum distance of twice the height of the swing (measured from the ground to the swing hangers). Swings should not be too close together to avoid injuries from the collision of moving swings. Spacing should be a minimum of 8 inches between swings, 8 inches from the support frame and 8 inches between the ground and base of the swings.

Divide The Playground Into Different Areas

To avoid collision, separate the playground into areas. Reserve a spot where toddlers can play in sandboxes or engage in various activities, an area for sliding and swinging and an area where toddlers can play house.

Keep in mind that no matter how safe a playground is, adult supervision is still crucial. While you may not totally stop things from happening, at least you are assured that your toddler can play freely without constantly worrying so much.

Posted in Safety, Toddler ProofingComments (0)

Child Proofing Your Toddler During The Summer Months

Summertime means spending the day’s outdoors, traveling and unlimited playtime for toddlers. However, summer is also a tricky season for keeping toddlers safe at all times. Here are some child proofing tips to keep your toddler out of danger.

Slather On The Sunscreen

Your toddler’s skin is very sensitive making it susceptible to sunburn. Combat this painful condition and the risk of getting skin cancer by using sunscreen. A waterproof sunscreen designed for kids with an SPF of 15 or higher should be applied generously to your toddler’s neck, tip of his ears, arms, legs and tops of his feet at least 30 minutes before going outside. Apply sunscreen to the areas covered by clothes as well. Reapply every two hours or whenever he gets wet or sweaty.

Stay Hydrated

Prolonged exposure to the sun can wear out your toddler. It can also lead to dizziness, exhaustion and dehydration. Let your toddler drink a glass of water every 30 minutes. On extremely hot days, have your toddler drink 2 glasses of water every 30 minutes even if he is not thirsty. This will help replenish the fluids in his body especially if he is doing physically demanding activities. Give him his own water jug or water bottle to encourage drinking. Avoid giving him caffeinated and sweet drinks as these can deplete the body of water.

Choose The Right Clothes

Layering or bundling clothes do not really make sense during the summer months. To help beat the heat and keep him feeling cool and fresh all day, dress your little one in clothes that are made from cotton, are lightweight and loose-fitting. Opt for clothes in light or pastel colors since dark-colored clothes tend to absorb more light, causing a person to perspire more easily. Change your toddler’s shirt after a round of running since wet clothing looses half of its UV protectiveness.

Stay In The Shade

Use a sunhat or a wide-brimmed hat to protect your toddler’s head and sunglasses with UV protection to shade your toddler’s eyes from the sun. Bring an umbrella every time you go out. Also, make sure to stay in the shade between 10 AM and 4 PM when the sun is most intense. Look for shady, breezy spots where your toddler can play.

Keep Bites and Rashes At Bay       

Protect your little one from insect bites by applying a kid-friendly insect repellent. Spray it on his clothes instead of his skin since repellents contain DEET (an active ingredient that can cause skin irritation) which is absorbed by the skin easily. Remember to wash off the repellent when it is no longer needed. Apply cornstarch baby powder all over his body to avoid heat rash.

Practice Preventive Measures

  • Let your toddler play on age-appropriate equipments only.
  • Make sure playgrounds have safe surfaces such as mulch and sand and have rubber matting materials.
  • Check his clothes for any loose threads or any foreign materials that can risk your toddler’s safety.
  • Always let him wear a helmet, elbow and knee pads. See to it that they are a good fit.
  • Never leave your toddler unattended near or in the water (even when he is wearing a floater).
  • Securely strap your toddler in a car seat both for short and long road trips.

The summer season is a fun time for toddlers. Practice the tips given above to make sure your toddler makes the most out of summer while remaining safe and unharmed.

Posted in Safety, Toddler ProofingComments (0)

Getting Your Toddler Ready For Preschool

Starting preschool is a major phase in your toddler’s life. It is a big step and he is afraid of not knowing what to expect. Ease out his frustrations and help him get ready for preschool with these tips.

Increase Social Interaction

If your toddler has not spent much time interacting with other kids or was not enrolled in a day care center, then most likely, he will have difficulty getting along with other children once he starts preschool. Let your toddler get used to being a part of a group by arranging play dates and other social opportunities where your little one can learn basic social skills such as respect, cooperation, listening, sharing and taking turns. Enroll him in a music class. Join a summer workshop. Organize a swimming party. Make afternoon visits to the playground more frequent.

Adjust Your Child’s Daily Routine

Mimic the schedule of his future preschool class to his daily routine. This will help him get accustomed with the changes. For instance, if he is used to eating lunch at 11:30, yet his class does not eat until noon, adjust the time he eats lunch at home. Train him a few weeks in advance and do it slowly so he will not get shocked with the changes.

Practice Independence

His fine motor skills are still developing so everything is a struggle for your toddler. Opening his lunchbox can turn into a frustrating battle and lead to a meltdown. Avoid this outrage by training your toddler how to do things on his own. Let your little one eat his breakfast and drink water by himself. Mishaps may happen at first, but eventually, he will learn it and this will help him adjust to preschool more smoothly.

Practice bathroom skills. Ease your toddler’s fears of not being able to control his bladder by training him what to do each time he needs to use the bathroom. Inform your toddler that it is okay for him to ask to go anytime. Role play it. At home, act as the teacher and have your toddler raise his hand each time he needs to go to the bathroom. Constant reminders can also help your toddler remind himself that he needs to use the toilet. He will get used to these reminders which will act as his warning signals that he needs to pee especially in the middle of class activities.

Hone Your Child’s Skills

Indulge your toddler in creative activities like drawing, coloring, finger painting and clay molding. Give him basic jigsaw puzzles and connect-the-dot picture books. These activities help hone your little one’s visual and motor skills which helps enhance his writing skills.

Read books to your toddler every day. Preschool classes have at least one reading period each day. Setting a reading time (at least 15 minutes) every day will help make this a familiar routine even before school begins. Since he is not yet an independent reader, he needs to learn how to listen. Read out loud to help improve his listening skills. Question him in between pages, ask him what he thinks will happen next or how he thinks the story will end. After which, ask him about his thoughts. This will help your toddler express his views openly.

Visit The School

Visit the school with your toddler a few weeks before he starts. Have him to take a look inside his future classroom. Introduce him to his teacher. Stay for a few minutes so he can see what goes on, who his classmates are and so on. This will help make him feel more comfortable and less anxious to start his first day of school.

Acknowledge His Fears

Talk to your toddler. Give him a sense of what to expect and ask him what he feels. Most often, the thought of starting preschool scares toddlers. The best way to ease your toddler’s fears is to be honest. Let him know what to expect - where he will be going, what he will be doing and who will be in class with him. Try watching a video together about a little boy starting preschool or read a book about it. Share your experiences. Assure him that you were also nervous at first but everything turned out to be exciting. Information will help calm his fears.

Finally, when the first day of class starts, allow extra time to get him ready. Walk him to his classroom and do not just sneak out. Give him a hug, kiss or a high five as a sign of reassurance. Tell him you will see him later and most of all, to have fun.

Posted in Education, Starting PreschoolComments (0)

Children With Dyslexia - Spotting The Symptoms and Ways To Treat It

Dyslexia is a brain damage that seriously affects an individual’s cognitive skills. Treating this requires a lot of time and effort so once it is spotted, immediate action is necessary. Below is a guide to help parents spot the signs of children with dyslexia and some tips on how to resolve it.

The Signs

Delayed Learning of Speech

A toddler with dyslexia often does not learn to speak at the same rate a normal child does. A normal child will speak his first words by the age of 1 while a dyslexic child might take another year or two to begin speaking.

Difficulty In Reading and Pronouncing Words

A dyslexic toddler cannot read and articulate words, specifically longer words. Between 7 and 8 years old, a normal toddler should be able to read simple books (e.g. storybooks, activity books, etc.) without any trouble. If a toddler reads out loud and it sounds off, is very slow, often pauses in between words and ignores a lot of complex words instead of trying to read them or asking for help, then most likely he is suffering from dyslexia.

Interchanging Sequences, Letters and Sound

A toddler with dyslexia has difficulty learning sequences of the alphabet, numbers, days of the week and so on. He will often times interchange them even if he was previously corrected. He will also have difficulty learning letter names and sounds (e.g. A is for apple or the sound moo is associated to a cow). In addition, he tends to misspell words with the correct letter sequence. Instead of “pot”, he spells it as “top” or “pin” instead of “nip”.

Difficulty Identifying Rhymes

A dyslexic toddler every so often cannot tell what words rhyme with what other words plainly because of a dysfunctional capacity to comprehend letters and words. For example, a toddler with dyslexia might not be able to say what rhymes with cat or hop even though these words are very simple to remember.

Mixing Up Syllables

A dyslexic toddler will have difficulty pronouncing and understanding compound rhymes or multi-syllable words (e.g. aminal instead of animal). He will also have difficulty learning to identify syllables (e.g. backyard in back-yard) and speech sounds (e.g. d-o-g in dog) in words.

Poor Writing and Motor Skills

A dyslexic toddler may have difficulty with handwriting. Meaning, he has poor handwriting, inability to write straight on a blank paper and writes slower than the average speed. Motor skills are also affected. A dyslexic toddler is clumsier and have poor dexterity.


Consult An Expert

Treating dyslexia requires professional help. A speech pathologist is a medical professional who help individuals correct various problems related to speech. This expert can create a special verbal dyslexia treatment program suited to the needs of the dyslexic toddler. Parents can ask for recommendations from their child’s school, private practices and non-profit organization. They may also visit the website of National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) for help.

Teach Phonics

Phonics is a technique for teaching reading and writing by developing a learner’s phonemic awareness or the ability to hear and identify phonemes in order to teach the learner how letters are related to sounds in order to form words. This will help the dyslexic toddler manipulate words more effectively so he can easily read and spell them out loud.

Focus On The Weakness

Hold guided activities a few hours each day. If he has difficulty reading, concentrate on that and hold reading sessions. If writing is the problem, focus on teaching the toddler how to write correctly. Repetition is very essential for the child to correct his errors. Repeat these activities until he gets them right.

Encourage Participation In Recreational Activities

A dyslexic toddler needs to relax and have fun. Let him join workshops, enroll him in a swimming class or anything he excels at. Hone that talent. This will help the toddler build self-esteem and the courage that he needs to tackle complicated reading, writing, and spelling assignments.

Show Support

A dyslexic toddler needs the full support of his parents. Remind him that he is loved. Praise him each time he reads or writes a word correctly. Be patient and give the toddler as much time as possible.

Children with dyslexia have special needs and require more assistance than other children. They need specific techniques repeatedly done overtime so they can progress beyond their inability.

Posted in Child Health Issues, HealthComments (0)

  1. We welcome any feedback, questions or comments


June 2012
« May