Between the ages of 1 and 3, toddlers are expected to depart babyhood to look for new adventures. They will learn to talk, walk and run as well as declare their independence. As a parent, you are focused on keeping your toddler safe. Safety precautions and supervision are necessary.
However, you will also wish to provide your toddler some chances to explore. This means supervising him closely while allowing him opportunities to enjoy various environments. From a trip to a park to a walk in the woods, parents can offer children the freedom and space to investigate and explore which can help them grow.
Reasons to Explore
With supervision, exploring the world is essential for the emotional, physical and social development of toddlers. They learn more about how the world works. Seeing an apple is one thing; however, holding it in the hand is another. Your child will get to feel that the fruit has a smooth surface and smell its fragrance or taste it. Such development is more enhanced if you ask your child the color of the apple and whether it is big or small.
Additionally, exploring provides toddlers the opportunity to work on significant motor skills. Whether it is climbing stairs or kicking a ball, they can persist until getting it right. Apart from adding skills, this can boost their sense of competence and confidence. Allowing your child to explore lets you see that toddlers get enough everyday physical activity.
Toddler Indoor Exploration
There are endless potentials for indoor amusement. Here are some of them.
- Kid-Friendly Shelves.
You can come up with exploration shelves by using low-lying cabinets stacked with things your toddlers can pull out, shake around and bang together. Baby Steps Daycare / Preschool, a day care and preschool provider in Metropolitan Avenue Forest Hills, New York, wants to emphasize that you must be there to supervise the activity.
- Face Exploration.
Toddlers are expected to learn to recognize themselves in mirrors or photos. Set up a mirror at eye level securely and allow your toddler to explore his face. Ask him to locate parts of his face or request him to do things like to open his mouth or to blink. Have a photo album filled with photos of friends and relatives and let your kid look at them on his own or with you. Also, at this stage, toddlers will enjoy imitating other people’s behaviors. Consider playing verbal or physical imitation games.
- Tangible toys.
Toddlers love to make use of their sense of touch. Set up your toddler with some finger paint or other materials appropriate for his age that he can safely pat, squeeze, prod or poke. Younger toddlers tend to love to wrap paper, textured toys or wax paper they can enjoy touching and crinkling.
- Toy box.
In order to encourage your child’s imagination, make a toy box with safe housekeeping items such as brushes or clean sponges, toy telephones with no risky cords and dress-up clothes. Plastic containers that have plastic cups, lids and plates and whatever you can stack, fill, pile and empty also make excellent toys for your toddler.
- Staircase mounting.
A lot of toddlers like to climb stairs. On carpeted stairs, go up and down together; however, ensure you replace gates if you are done. Depending upon the age and abilities of your child, you can practice walking with him on tiptoes or backwards on the flat ground.
- Water exploration.
Water and sand in your backyard can become excellent tangible explorations for toddlers. Use a small bucket or basin or make a water table to float boats and other water toys. Take your child to a beach to allow him to feel the sand on his fingers and toes or you can make a sandbox. Ensure you supervise your child around water and dump out water from containers if you are done.
- Nature examination.
Encourage your toddler to pick up rocks and leaves, collect bugs and feel the tree bark.
- Ball play.
Have many balls around for your toddler to play with. At your child’s age, he learns to kick, catch and throw balls.