Archive | January 16th, 2013

Toddler Games That Teach Good Behaviour

Parenthood is a huge responsibility. One of the most important obligations you need to instil in your toddler is good behaviour. Fortunately, you can teach your toddler proper manners while having fun at the same time. How? By playing toddler games! Here is a list of good behaviour games to try.

Build A Train

Gather several large cardboard boxes. Provide a variety of art supplies – crayons, markers, stickers, glue, construction paper, etc. and ask each toddler to turn the box into a train car. After they are done decorating the outsides of their box, assist them in organizing the boxes one behind the other and then ask them to jump aboard for a make-believe train ride.

What It Teaches: Teamwork and Perseverance

This game encourages toddlers to work hard in order to generate a positive result. It also teaches the value of cooperation and creates a feeling of “oneness” as they help decorate each other’s boxes.

Blind Workers

Group the toddlers into 3 and assign a leader per team. Each team leader receives an object they are supposed to create (e.g. bridge, tower, etc.) and building materials. The team members are blindfolded so they cannot see the model they have to make. Then, the team leader will direct his teammates to copy the model using the provided materials by giving verbal directions to the members. The team that finishes first is declared as winners

What It Teaches: Leadership, Trust and Cooperation

This game effectively teaches toddlers the significance of giving accurate instructions, performing them correctly, improves leadership skills and promotes trust in children.

I Spy

This game is a great boredom buster. You can take turns spotting nearby objects and describing them. For instance, while you are driving to the grocery store, you can say “I spy with my eye something that is tall…”, then your toddler will try to guess the object by looking for it by following your description. Once he guesses it correctly, he gets to be the next “spy”.

What It Teaches: Patience

Everyone knows toddlers are very impatient because they have a short attention span. The I Spy game will teach your little one to be persistent and to wait courteously while others take their turn.

The Cheer Up Game

Draw a couple of faces showing different gloomy emotions (angry, sad, scared and crying) on large pieces of paper. Place them on a basket and ask the toddlers to take turns picking a face and then have them act out the feeling. For instance, an “angry” toddler can pretend to cross his arms or shout. Then, ask the other players to think of ways to help the “angry” child feel better. They can ask questions like “Why are you mad?” or console the “angry” child by giving the toddler a pat on the back.

What It Teaches: Compassion

This is a very important behaviour toddlers must learn. Through this game, toddlers are able to understand how it feels to be hurt and why it is very important to show respect and be kind to others.

Follow The Helpful Leader

Ask your toddler to follow the “helpful leader” (you). Lead him inside a messy room by singing a song, hopping or clapping. Then, start cleaning up. Make sure he is copying your actions. After a few minutes, switch roles. Your toddler will be the “helpful leader” while you are the follower. Once the room is clean, say “This room looks very tidy!”.

What It Teaches: Cleanliness

This teaches your toddler that he should be accountable of cleaning up his own mess and that tidying up can be fun. It will also motivate him to help in household chores.

Teaching your toddler good behaviour does not have to be complicated. All it takes is a little creativity and entertainment.

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How Learning A Foreign Language Helps Boost Toddler Development

The early years are the most important years of a toddler’s life since it is during this time when learning patterns are best established. Learning a foreign language is one way to increase toddler development. Here are some of the benefits it brings.

Helps Toddlers Develop Intellectually

Many researchers have said that although learning a foreign language is effective at any age, the human brain is more open to learning a new language from birth to toddlerhood. Hence, the reason why a 4-year old child can better absorb the sounds and intonations of a new language as compared to a 12-year old child. In addition, learning two or more languages can boost certain crucial brain functions. In fact, it has been proven that children who grew up speaking two languages are better at “executive function” – an important skill that helps people focus, pay attention, plan and make decisions.

Enhances Language Skills

Introduction of foreign languages helps a toddler build his vocabulary which in turn increases the child’s reading aptitude and generates new ways to be communicative. Moreover, learning a foreign language greatly benefits a toddler’s communication and oral expression. Grammatical formation, memory and listening skills are improved which helps enhance a toddler’s cognitive abilities. In addition, teaching a toddler to speak a foreign language before he reaches 10 years of age increases the chances of the child to develop native-like pronunciation (speak the language like a native).

Encourages Better Understanding of Other Cultures

As a toddler discovers a new language, he is also exposed to beliefs, cultures and traditions which are different from his own. Instead of shutting out another language, he gains better awareness of not just his own individuality but also of others which helps a toddler become well-rounded.

Improves A Toddler’s Personality

Research has also proven that toddlers who are bilingual are more creative and seek various ways to resolve problems aside from having tantrums and displaying aggressive behaviour. They are capable of thinking outside the box because they have been exposed to different points of views and languages.

Helps Toddlers Excel In Academics

According to a recent study conducted, toddlers who continue learning concepts in their native language while at the same time learning a foreign one perform better academically than children who only learn American English. This is because bilingual children have developed better concept structure, systematic skills and cognitive flexibility – skills that are important in providing academic success. As a result, the toddler will be able to build a strong educational foundation that will be of great help once he enters higher education.

Learning a foreign language offers plenty of benefits to children. Thus, honing your toddler to be bilingual is valuable for his development. Start early. Expose your toddler to native speakers by letting him talk to an aunt who lives in Spain or an Italian neighbour. Read books and watch shows that teach children various languages and practice speaking them at home to help reinforce your child’s brain.

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Speech Delay In Toddlers

Your toddler is 2 years old and still is not talking. Though he can say a few words, he cannot put whole sentences together unlike his playmate. Is this something you should worry about? Here is what you need to know about speech delay in toddlers.

Types of Speech Delay

There are 2 kinds of speech delay – expressive and receptive delay. Expressive speech delay is the inability to produce speech while receptive speech delay is the inability to comprehend and decode the words of others. In some instances, children may both have these types together (mixed expressive or mixed receptive speech delay), hence, they are incapable of generating any sound or speech.

Causes of Speech Delay

A lot of factors can cause speech delay in children.

  • Oral Impairment – Problems with the tongue, having a cleft palate or an extra fold beneath the tongue can restrain tongue movement to produce speech.
  • Developmental Disorders – Autism, mental retardation, PDD (pervasive developmental disorder) and auditory processing disorder (dysfunction of the central nervous system which results to a difficulty in identifying and understanding sounds) are also one of the major causes of speech delay because a toddler’s brain is still immature delaying the child’s ability to grasp, study and create speech.
  • Hearing Problems – Toddlers with hearing problems such as chronic ear infection can also suffer from speech delays. This is because they are unable to hear words and sounds to emulate them properly.

Spotting The Problem

If you are concerned about your toddler’s speech development, here are some warning signs you should watch for:

  • Does not use gestures such as waving, shaking and pointing
  • Prefers gestures over words to talk
  • Does not use consonants
  • Unable to speak at least 1 to 3 words
  • Unable to follow basic instructions (e.g. asking your toddler to hold an object or point at various body parts)
  • Does not imitate actions or words of others
  • Cannot join 2 words together
  • Has a strange tone of voice (raspy or nasal sounding)
  • Parents or caregivers have trouble understanding half of a toddler’s speech

How Parents Can Help

Read To Your Toddler

Reading is the foundation of speech and language development. Read to your baby on a daily basis. Stick to picture books to encourage your little one to focus while you name the pictures. Help him imitate the actions and point and identify the pictures.


Communicate with your toddler as much as you can. Sing, ask questions, inform him about your activities, explain to him what you are doing while cooking dinner or cleaning a room. Make sure you speak clearly and loudly and use simple words. Each time your toddler talks, reiterate and expand what he says. For instance, if he says “Mama, ball.”, say, “Yes. That is a big, red, bouncy ball.”. Then, have him repeat the words slowly.


Provide your toddler tons of positive reinforcement whenever he talks. Doing so boosts his confidence and will make him more motivated to try again.

Get Help

Consult with a speech-language pathologist. This specialist can give you a precise evaluation about your toddler’s condition. The doctor can also suggest speech therapy sessions to help improve his speech.

Be patient. Do not pressure your toddler to talk. Give him time to say what he wants to say. Sooner or later, your toddler will improve and start gabbing unceasingly.

Posted in Development, Developmental DisordersComments (0)

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