Toddlers are able to move around much more than they did just a few months ago. They’re also curious, and love to explore and learn about their environment and things in it.
In the Whakatipu booklet Te Pihinga 3 (page 23), in ‘Ngā tohu whānau’ under ‘Love and warmth’, it reminds us of the value in ‘Sharing lots of love and time with our tamaiti, playing, talking, reading, singing and having fun together’.
Under ‘A structured and secure world’, it tells us the benefits of ‘Balancing daily activities so there’s a mixture of quiet and active times’.
Some other helpful places in Te Pihinga 3 to explore with the whānau are:
- Page 3 — ‘Pēpi says’:
‘I like to get in and around things. Crawling under tables and chairs, getting into boxes and anywhere I see an opening.’
- Page 4 — ‘Pēpi says’:
‘When I want something, I let my whānau know by pointing to it and they watch me and work out what I want.’
- Page 6 — ‘Whānau say’:
‘She likes to practise new motor skills too, over and over again!’
- Page 8 — ‘Te hinengaro mīharo’:
‘His brain receives information best when he sees, hears and touches at the same time.’
- Page 9 — ‘Waiata kōhungahunga’:
‘Pēpi is more interested in other people and what they’re up to. She’ll enjoy watching and trying to copy, especially actions in waiata-a-ringa (fingerplay), poi, and haka.’
- Page 15 — ‘What’s happening’:
‘I have my favourite pukapuka and recognise and respond to the pictures.’
- Page 16 — ‘Pēpi says’:
‘My whānau know that playing and lots of love is exactly what my brain and wairua need.’
Encouraging children’s need to learn
In the Tips for under 5s booklet (page 6) it reminds parents to include their children in everyday activities: ‘Involve them in what you’re doing. Ask them to hand you the pegs, or get the mail.’
Similar messages are found in the Thinking about parenting booklet (page 7) encouraging parents to let children explore:
‘When a child touches, shakes, bangs or puts things in their mouth they aren’t being naughty. This is how they learn about stuff.
‘They need to repeat things over and over again so their brain makes all the necessary connections it needs for life-long learning.’
Ask the whānau:
- How do these ideas match your child’s behaviour at the moment?
- What have you noticed as they’ve become more mobile?
- Why do you think that’s happening?
- How has this affected you and your whānau?
- Who are they copying and learning from?
- What times with your child have been exciting, fun or made you celebrate?
- Have you had challenges with your child?
- How else might we encourage their curiosity?
- What would you like to talk about?
- What more would you like to find out about?
How does this relate to the SKIP resources?
Baby wall frieze - Homai ngā mea hei tākaro māku - Give me things to play with
Six things children need - Te mahi pono — ngā hua me ngā hapa - Consistency and consequences