Archive | June 22nd, 2012

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)

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