Toddlers, upward of 18 months, are very inquisitive as well as adventurous. They spend most of their time exploring everything that takes their fancy, even if they land themselves in awkward and risky positions. When confronted by tyrant mums, they create a big ruckus like aggrieved victims (of course)!
However, it is important to understand that they are merely driven by instincts, which enhance their development skills to explore and discover things around them. After all, playing is all about exploring and learning. It is possible for a mum to harness some of the pent up energy and promote a few developmental skills of her toddler through daily routine activities by advance planning.
Select developmental skills
Here are examples of the developmental skills you may promote through daily routine activities of toddlers.
- Gross and Fine motor skills which includes learning head control, trunk stability, standing up and walking. Fine motor skills are involved in smaller movements that occur in the wrists, hands, fingers, and the feet and toes.
- Sensory skills through the senses such as vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch, vestibular, and proprioception
- Personal skills of independence and self-help behaviours.
- Cognitive skills such as thinking, recollecting and retaining information with dedicated practice.
- Emotional skills such as empathy, kindness, positive thinking, resilience and many more.
Plan of action
Following are some exemplars for mums to start off
- Allot a dedicated play area to your toddler where he can make a mess and not be reprimanded. If you label it with his name he will own it.
- Allow him to select his day’s clothes from a pile of two sets only.
- Ask his help in carrying his plate, sipper cup and spoon to the dining table.
- Seek his help in cleaning up his play area.
- He can be directed by you to carry his towel to the bathroom and put his used clothes in the laundry basket.
- He can carry the picture storybook from its designated place when it is time to read out a story to him and can also put the book back when you are done reading for him.
- Encourage him to bring his shoes and the shopping bag from their designated places, when you are both ready to go out.
The above plan of action will help your toddler feel empowered and thus independent.
Keep it simple and let him carry out the activities at his own pace. Motivate him to practice and hone his skills. This will ease his transition to the next level of development.
Feel free to include your creative ideas when you want to extend the scope and execution of such plans for your toddler.
Remember that he directs this and it is significant to take cues from him to find out if his participation is age appropriate and beneficial to his skill set development.