Toddlers, usually refer to children between the age of 1 and 2 . It is an important time of a child’s life and the transition between being a “baby” and a “little person”. At this stage the child starts slowly becoming
independent and starts thinking for himself. It is an important phase of the child’s education, and what the child does at this stage influences their future education. This article focuses on some types of activities that can be done with toddlers and what skills they will help to develop.
At this age the sensory systems are developing. Children learn to understand and interpret the world around them through different sensations. Sensory activities provide opportunities for the child to experience a variety of sensory input. Most toddlers enjoy sensory play activities and are not often ready for more complex games.
Visual activities include playing with bright color and light toys and playing with a torch in a dark room.
Auditory activities include a whole range of musical activities like songs, listening to music and playing simple instruments. It also includes playing guess games where the child tries to guess what the sound is.
Tactile activities include sand play, water play and modeling with plasticine. Children will also benefit from guessing the object just by touching it.
Movement activities help the development of the movement and position sensory systems. These include dance, running, climbing, rolling and other physical activities.
Similarly, the child must also have opportunities to experience various
tastes and smells.
Gross motor activities:
By the age of one children start learning to walk, and this opens a whole
new world of physical skills for them. They start exploring the environment,
and learn new skills like climbing and running. This is also the stage where
children develop their balance and muscular strength which will help them
to learn new physical skills. Physical activities can be introduced in the
form of play and games. Parents can demonstrate new skills, and provide
support to help the child try out new and more challenging things.
Language and Communication Activities:
Hearing their little babies speak meaningfully is a wonderful milestone that
parents experience at this stage, Children start picking up words and try
to put them together to form meaningful words. Speaking to children in
simple short sentences helps them to understand more easily, and also
to respond. Stories, books and songs are great ways of introducing new
vocabulary to children. Using the actual word for things and not a baby
form of the word is recommended.
Self care activities:
At this stage, toddlers start learning to be independent and are
interested in doing their own self care tasks including eating,
bathing, and dressing. Helping toddlers learn these skills early will
promote independence and prepare them for kindergarten.