Are you a busy working mom? These hacks will make your life easy.
A toddler between 18 to 30 months is frisky and temperamental needing constant supervision, care and mother’s nurturance. Therefore, toddlers may find it difficult to settle in a daycare centre for long hours amidst unknown adults and children of varying ages, many of whom seek attention from time to time. However, if you seriously want to send your toddler to a daycare centre, there will be trained staff in early childhood care and education and support staff to act as substitute caretakers to look after your child’s developmental needs and requirements. They will also help your child adjust to the group setting. Let us delve into the pros and cons comprising advantages and disadvantages, to help you make an informed choice about a good daycare centre for your toddler.
- First of all, a formal day care centre is licensed and regulated by local authorities. Being a group care for children from infancy to middle childhood, it is affordable, unless flashing a huge brand name.
- A good daycare centre offers a daily program which includes meals, sleep time, play and co-curricular activities with close supervision both indoors and outdoors.
- There is the provision of nutritious meals, age-appropriate activities, and hands-on experiences for children. Sufficient space and materials are provided at all times.
- Facilities such as first aid and paediatric consultations are provided whenever needed. Most daycare centres are equipped with a hygienic kitchen, clean bathrooms and changing areas, and individual cubbies for children’s belongings.
- Nowadays it is mandatory to have a closed circuit surveillance to upgrade the children’s security.
- Many daycare centres maintain regular contacts with parents to discuss the health and welfare of their wards.
- It is usually a challenge to find good daycare centres that meet all your expectations. For instance, the preferred one may be either full or far away from your residence, with rigid hours for dropping and collecting your child.
- If there are many younger children at the centre, the staff will be hard-pressed to meet their individual needs, especially as it is easy for little children to fall sick in group care.
- Many centres compromise on some aspects of their program which fall outside the ambit of the prescribed norms. For instance, on some days the support staff may bundle younger children together in smaller spaces, during nap time, for personal convenience.
- The holidays followed by the centre may not match with your holidays as a working mother, so you may have to make alternative arrangements on those days.
- You may have to drop off your toddler early in the morning with his extra clothes, munchies, and water, which may be very inconvenient for you.
The advantages of a dycare far outweighs the disadvantages at such centres.
It is important for you to study the pros and cons of daycare and narrow down a few choices. It is then advisable to visit these centres to observe the setting and meet the staff and parents before you make a final decision.
Toddlers between 15 to 24 months with their just-gained simple sensory-motor skills delve gleefully into everything exciting that catches their eye! Don’t be surprised if your toddler tries to reach for the porcelain vase or raid your makeup box and smear lipstick and mascara all over her face. All work and activities at home are a toddler’s play. It helps stabilise their sensory motor skills and promotes new learning of concepts and behaviours. Your toddler will find her own avenues to play if no likable activities are provided at home. She will try new heights, run around, test her physical skills, play with gooey stuff and bang on things. She will assert her new found independence of mobility and will want to do everything on her own.
With a limited vocabulary, she will rely on physical force and tantrums to get her own way. She will also have mood swings many times in a day. One moment she will be loving and the next moment she may throw a terrible tantrum. Once you shower attention on her, she will be calm and quiet. But if you pull away your toddler from such escapades, she will fight you and throw a huge tantrum. If your verbal ticking off after such incidents has not put the brakes on your little one, here are some useful tips that will help you avoid a power struggle with your toddler.
Provide her a safe play area at home, where she can express her autonomy, control and release her physical energy, within safety limits and her maturity. Allow her to make a mess without making her feel guilty or ashamed. Stock a variety of attractive play materials and accessories for playing in the safe area and replenish or change them from time to time. If she enjoys her space, she will not have the need to indulge in forbidden escapades. If your child is playing beside another child, provide enough toys that look similar, or you will have them snatching at each other’s toys. Also, do read up on preparing age-appropriate play activities for toddlers.
Keep your expensive and treasured articles out of reach of your toddler and make your house child proof in general.
Always tell your child what to do instead of telling her what not to do. Follow through on what you have told your child. This approach will reinforce positive behaviours and perhaps avoid power tussles with you and your child.
When your child is hurting someone stop her immediately by holding her wrists or carrying her outside the room. Give her a hug and wait till she calms down. Only then you can tell her why you did not like her behaviour, but you love her.
Have some quiet time for yourself and recharge your energy levels by relaxing with a good book. You will be ready to face any challenge.
Well planned play activities and accessories in a designated area at home will keep your toddler happily occupied so that she does not have the urge to go in search of forbidden escapades. It will also diminish her negative behaviours used with others, and, power struggles with you.
Toddlers aged between 18 to 20 months spend most of their time in being adventurous or trying to assert their independence at home. They like to get their own way in their social environment and, when thwarted, they like to cry, grab, bite, poke or hit others. As a mother, you can develop your child’s social skills through guided experiences in key areas. Some well planned guided experiences will go a long way in helping your toddler build social skills.
Set a daily routine
Knowing what to do will help your toddler regularise his daily routine.
It will also give him the opportunity to make independent choices in things under his control, such as picking out what to wear.
Provide a safe home environment
As far as possible, allow your child to express his likes, dislikes, independence and adventurous behaviours by close supervision. In turn, this will help him gain greater mobility and a positive self-image.
Set up a supervised play environment
Provide plenty of resourceful materials and activities, so that your toddler can use them to release his pent-up feelings and physical energy.
Let your toddler play alongside other toddlers without having to share toys or take turns with them. This is because they like to indulge in parallel play. Just remember to provide multiple toys and be sure to supervise from a distance.
Also, arrange play dates with older children so your toddler can observe and learn about sharing and other social skills.
Give opportunities to practice and internalise, for instance, a newly learnt social behaviour through “pretend play” as children love this medium.
Set limits for unacceptable behaviours
Provide corresponding reasons when setting limits for unacceptable behaviours for your toddler. If he crosses the line, let your child know that you love him but did not like his behaviour. This way he will feel loved and secure while understanding why you ticked him off.
Help your toddler be aware of his feelings by labeling them, such as “feeling sad” because his toy is broken or “feeling angry” because he did not get the balloon he wanted. Slowly he will start verbalising them instead of throwing tantrums.This will also help your toddler show empathy to his peers in trouble.
Lead by example
Speak as much as possible and verbalise your actions when interacting with your toddler, so that he picks up some language skills. They will prove to be very useful in communicating with others.
Provide a good role model to your toddler as he learns by imitating others around him.
So work on those key areas and if you found these tips useful share it with other mothers you know.
A toddler aged between to 30 months, usually asserts her new found motor abilities by indulging in forbidden activities. She throws huge tantrums when pulled away by a harried mom. To avoid such power tussles, you can offer pleasurable and engaging activities to your toddler which also give dividends.
Experts opine that these activities provide ‘sensory motor stimulation’ for improving gross and fine motor skills, and help them learn new concepts and behaviors that allow better adjustment in their environment.
The five senses maybe addressed one at a time through guided steps. After each step, have a little talk with your toddler about the experience. Repeat the experiences for as long as your child enjoys.
- If you want to familiarize your toddler with the sour taste, let her first examine and smell a lemon.
- With her help, squeeze a little lemon juice and let her taste it, and know it is a sour taste.
- Make lemonade in front of her and let her drink some.
- During the week, make simple recipes with lemon as one of the ingredients.
- Simultaneously, make rhymes, jingles, tiny stories with lemon as the central character. Your child will enjoy this assortment.
- When your child is ready, start with the sweet and salty tastes. Defer the bitter and hot tastes to the future for obvious reasons.
Sweet and salty
- Use the above-given steps making adjustments with reference to context.
- Use familiar smelling things. Show and name the source of each smell.
- Borrow as many steps as suitable here keeping the reference to the context in mind.
- Start with two opposing concepts such as wet and dry or hard and soft. Use colourful household material for the same.
- Don’t forget to use homemade gel and dough made with vivid food colours as toddlers like to mess around with malleable and gooey stuff.
- Offer your toddler a range of activities that will help improve her focus.
- Assemble 2 or 3 piece puzzles and discriminate between 2 to 3 colours by sorting coloured cards and copying linear patterns with them.
- Use any other activity liked by your toddler to sharpen her eyesight.
Gross motor is the control of large muscles which enable walking, jumping, and climbing. Fine motor is the ability to control small muscles that enable the toddler to eat by self, scribble and play with small objects.
- You may want to enhance your toddler’s newly acquired motor movements by clustering movements such as reaching, running, jumping, skipping, hopping, crawling and stepping up and down. Set up a mini obstacle course with chairs, boxes, ropes sticks and any material at hand.
- You can also sing action songs and let your toddler do the actions suggested in the songs.
- Make a cardboard postbox which has primary geometrical shapes carved on them. Let your child post corresponding shapes from their respective openings.
The sensory activities outlined above lend themselves to promoting small muscle skills.
- Try to put together other activities which your child may like.
All the sensory-motor activities mentioned will stabilise your toddler’s gross and fine muscle skills, and, help them develop new concepts and behaviours for better adjustment with her environment. So be innovative moms! Let your imagination run riot and prepare your own sensory-motor activities for your toddler. In this quest, be guided by your child’s likes, dislikes, and abilities to perform.
At three years, your child is testing his emerging physical skills to explore everything new that he encounters. He is also more agile, with better body coordination and balance. Take this opportunity to fine tune his motor skills with fun-filled activities that will pave the way for advanced skills.
Activities to boost gross motor skills
Movements such as rolling over and sitting use the larger muscles in the arms, leg, torso, and feet. You can improve the gross motor skills with a few of these activities.
- Make an obstacle course wherein your child leaps over a chalk line, goes under a chair, climbs up and down a big square block and runs to the finish line.
- Your child can also try a medley of activities at different times. He can walk forward three steps and three steps backward.You can play the game of “Simon says” with your child and give commands for doing different types of movements, such as hopping, skipping and jumping. Or, you can sing action songs and have your child do the human, animal or bird movements depicted in the song.
- Your child can go on a treasure hunt in a strategically arranged room to challenge his physical skills.
- Your child can have fun with a large ball by aiming it at a target, throwing it in a basket or at a distance, and catching it.
- To enhance his balance, your child can try walking on a thick chalk line, or he can leap over one stick at a time.
- Riding a tricycle will help your child use different sets of muscles and coordinated movements.
- You can also let your child dance freely to his favourite tune or do simple exercises.
Activities to boost fine motor skills
Fine motor skills are small movement such as picking up small objects and holding a toy. Fine motor skills make use of small muscles such as finger, toes, wrists, tongue, and lips. Involve your child in these activities to fine tune his fine motor skills.
- Make your child thread 5 to 10 large wooden beads on a child-friendly plastic wire.
Also make him sort out beads by colour, from a small pile of two coloured beads.
- He can pound, squeeze and make shapes with play dough or with clay.
- Your child can button large buttons on a sample cloth or try to cut paper by using child-friendly scissors or even tear a piece of newspaper into small pieces.
- He can use thick crayons to draw or pour coloured water through a funnel, into a plastic bottle. Make him do palm painting, by moving both hands vigorously on a big paper which has some blobs of thick starchy paint made at home.
Do not forget to use close and guided supervision when giving these activities to your child for safety and maximum learning. Also, use your creative imagination to generate more such activities as your child likes change and variety.