What’s going on for baby?
At this age toddlers are becoming more skilled in using their hands and eyes together. They are interested in exploring both objects and relationships by trying out, or testing, what happens when they do or say something.
They’re able to make a plan to solve a problem such as getting something that is out of reach.
They enjoy taking things apart and putting them back together again.
How can parents and whānau help?
- Provide paper, big crayons or chunky chalk that doesn’t break easily. The chalk can be used outside on fences or footpaths too.
- Protect floors and surfaces with newspaper, an old sheet or shower curtain. Taping their drawing paper in the middle can help them to stay ‘on the paper’.
- Give them other activities to develop and strengthen their hand–eye co-ordination, such as block play, stacking and nesting games.
- Remember that a toddler’s ‘testing’ behaviour is often their way of finding out about consequences.
- Think about how they respond to unacceptable behaviours and try to make any consequences:
- reasonable for their age
- respectful of the child
- related to the specific behaviour.
- Do some activities where the child’s actions have a result — for example, pressing this button makes the bell ring.
- Understand a toddler is likely to find ways to get to things that are out of reach. This includes moving furniture or pulling drawers open to use as a ladder to get to things up high.
- Be aware of the changing risks, both inside and outside, now their toddler can climb and move further and faster. Check dangers indoors and out, including:
- open windows that could be reached
- ladders that might be climbed
- gates/fences that they might get over or go under.
- Join a toy library to borrow puzzles and big toys.
Suggest to others who want to give their child gifts that connecting blocks like Duplo (best for their small hands at this stage) or simple inset puzzles with knobs would be great.