Tag 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 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.

Posted in Development, Physical DevelopmentComments (0)

Growing Pains In Toddlers

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night to find your toddler whining about his throbbing legs? Most probably, your toddler is experiencing growing pains which normally occur in the legs, front of the thighs, back of the knees and calf muscles. These pains are very common in children ages 3 to 5 and then again between 8 and 12.


The causes of growing pains in children are unidentified. But, what is proven is that growing pains are a part of toddler development and that the pain is not caused by growing bones. Some child health experts believe that the intense physical activities (e.g. climbing, jumping and running) performed during the day can cause growing pains.


Recognizing growing pains can be quite tricky. Here are some indicators to help you identify growing pains:

  • Dull aches in the muscles, not in the joints (lasts about 10 – 15 minutes)
  • Pain causes nighttime waking
  • Pain is absent in the morning and is only felt before and during sleep
  • No symptoms of sickness such as fever, chills, limping and puffiness

Handling Growing Pains In Toddlers

You cannot prevent growing pains. But, you can help alleviate some of your toddler’s discomfort with these tips.

Give A Massage

The best thing to do is to massage your toddler’s legs, focusing on the muscles that feel tight. A massage allows the blood to circulate which will relieve the tension in his legs. To do this, place one or both hands on your toddler’s legs and knead gently yet firmly for 15 minutes.

Do Some Stretching

Encourage your little one to do stretches an hour before his bedtime especially if he has had an active day. You can also make him lie down on his bed or on a flat surface and then gently twist and flex his legs. This will help prevent and ease sore muscles so your toddler can sleep through the night.

Give A Warm Bath

You may also give your toddler a warm bath before tucking him to bed. The heat from the water helps loosen up aching muscles which help your toddler relax.

Elevate The Legs

Try putting some pillows under your toddler’s legs to elevate them for at least 10 minutes, 2 to 3 times a day. This is an excellent technique to improve leg circulation because it permits the body to easily drive the blood out of the legs since it does not have to work against the effects of gravity anymore.

Hot Compress

Place a heating pad or a hot water bottle around your toddler’s legs to keep them warm. Never cold compress the legs as it will only make the pain worse.

Give Pain Medicine

You can also give your toddler the right dose of acetaminophen or ibuprofen. But, consider this as a last resort.

If you notice inflamed joints, severe limb pain or suspect your toddler is suffering another condition that causes leg pains, it is best to see your doctor immediately for an evaluation.

Posted in Child Health Issues, HealthComments (0)

How To Teach Your Toddler To Dress Himself

Teaching your toddler how to get dressed by himself helps him develop his physical skills. This is very challenging, so patience, persistence and practice is required from both you and your toddler. Follow these simple steps on how to teach your toddler to dress himself.

Step 1

Buy clothes for your toddler that will be easy for him to put on himself. This helps boost self-esteem and makes it easier for him to learn to dress himself. These might include – t-shirts with loose or v-necklines, underwear with logo or pictures on the front (to help your little one identify front from back), shorts and pants that are loose with elastic waistbands (so he can easily pull it up and down),  clothes with Velcro fastenings and stretchy, low-top slip-on shoes or shoes with Velcro straps instead of shoelaces.

Step 2

Put your toddler’s clothes in an area that is easy to find to allow him easy access to his clothing. Hang shirts and pants on a low bar in the closet or place shirts in one drawer, pants in another. Place underwear and socks together in the bottom drawer.

In addition, only put clothes in your toddler’s closet that are suitable for the season. Store his winter clothes during summer months and vice versa. This way, your little one will not end up wearing a jacket in the summer.

Step 3

Let your toddler decide what clothes he wants to wear the night before. Take his tastes into consideration and have him choose between two different outfits. He can take his time making a decision and this will make him feel more independent. Another effective tip to teaching your toddler to dress himself is by letting him pick out new clothes when the two of you go shopping. He has his own style by now and buying a shirt that he chose will make him ecstatic to wear it the next day.

Step 4

Demonstrate to your toddler how to put on each article of clothing by dividing each task into small steps and using simple words and instructions. Here is a tip – teach your toddler the last step first. Once he can do the last step, teach him the second last step, the third last step and so on. For instance, when putting on jeans, help him face the pants the right way by letting him look for the tag inside the clothing to determine front from back, hold the waistband and put his legs through the leg holes. Then teach him the last step – pulling up the pants to his waist by himself. Once he can do this, teach him to put his legs through the leg holes. Keep working your way backwards through the steps until your toddler has mastered them all and can put his pants on by himself.

Step 5

Your toddler might feel frustrated to find out he wore his shirt inside out or have his pullover stuck on his head. Remember that practice makes perfect. Practice dressing and undressing by buying him a “Learn To Dress Doll”, or better yet, encourage your toddler to play dress-up.

Step 6

Provide positive reinforcement. Praise your toddler when he dressed himself even if his shirt is on backwards or if his clothes do not match. It is a huge effort for him to dress himself and by giving him praise, he becomes more motivated to continue dressing himself.

Teaching your toddler to dress himself takes time, effort and patience. It is a new skill he has to learn slowly and perfected through repetition. So do not worry too much, just smile, laugh and have fun.

Posted in Clothes, Discount Toddler ClothesComments (0)

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.

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