Busy body, busy brain

Use your tod­dler’s seem­ingly end­less en­ergy re­serves to play games that de­velop his brain

Your Baby & Toddler - - The Dossier -

TO PLAY SMART you not only need to keep your tod­dler’s body busy, but his brain hap­pily stim­u­lated too. His brain is de­vel­op­ing at an amaz­ing rate – up un­til two years old, your baby’s brain de­vel­ops lan­guage and mo­tor skills faster than at any other point in his life. Be­tween the ages of three and five his brain is busy mak­ing con­nec­tions be­tween its dif­fer­ent re­gions, im­prov­ing logic, prob­lem­solv­ing skills and more. You can help this de­vel­op­ment along by spend­ing time with your child, talk­ing and ex­press­ing thoughts and feel­ings. Also en­cour­age pre­tend play and keep it mind that a high IQ is not the only build­ing block of your child’s brain. He also needs to learn self­con­trol, shar­ing and other re­la­tion­ship skills. Here are some ac­tiv­i­ties we’ve hand-picked to get you go­ing:

UP UN­TIL TWO YEARS OLD, YOUR BABY’S BRAIN DE­VEL­OPS LAN­GUAGE AND MO­TOR SKILLS FASTER THAN AT ANY OTHER POINT IN HIS LIFE

12 – 18 months PLACE THE HAT You will need:

Fa­mil­iar peo­ple or fluffy toys A va­ri­ety of hats Place the dolls in dif­fer­ent ar­eas and at dif­fer­ent heights in the room. Let them as­sume dif­fer­ent po­si­tions, for ex­am­ple sit­ting back to back, on all fours, or sit­ting on the floor with knees bent.

En­cour­age your tot to choose a hat to place on a doll or per­son’s head. He will have to col­lect the hat and then move be­tween the toys seated around the room to reach the tar­get. Cheer when he places the hat on the as­signed head. .

TREA­SURE SEEKER You will need:

A bucket A muf­fin tray

TENT FUN You will need:

A blan­ket EEKER Take a walk to­gether gether around the house or gar­den and let your child seek a col­lec­tion of in­ter­est­ing ter­est­ing trea­sures to place in his bucket. cket. Pour them out and let him sort them m into dif­fer­ent sec­tions of the muf­fin tray, ay, ac­cord­ing to colour.

For some vari­a­tion, ri­a­tion, change hunt­ing grounds or sort t based on dif­fer­ent con­cepts such as size or shape. Place a large blan­ket over your­selves, like a tent, in the he gar­den. If your child needs light use a torch. Be quiet and lis­ten for dif­fer­ent sounds around you. Ask sk him to call out what he thinks he is hear­ing. You could also place ob­jects in n his hand, such as a crisp leaf or a smooth stone. He must iden­tify it by touch, ouch, with­out look­ing. g.

24 – 36 months STORY PLAY You will need: Chil­dren’s books

En­cour­age your child to select a page from his favourite book. Act it out. Select char­ac­ters and per­form the roles of the var­i­ous an­i­mals, ma­chines or what­ever it is. When you get tired of one story, try an­other. Let your child think up dif­fer­ent end­ings. Use props for added fun.

DANC­ING ARTIST You wil need:

Baby sham­poo Non-toxic, wash­able, pow­dered tem­pera paint Large bal­loon Un­cooked rice Mix the paint and sham­poo to­gether and al­low your child to paint him­self with his body paint mix, out­side on a sunny day on the lawn. Blow up a bal­loon bal­loo with a few grains of rice in­side. in­side Let your child hit the bal­loon in the th air and count how long it takes take for her to catch it. Throw the bal­loon and see if she can bat it back. Shake the th bal­loon and dance to the rhythm. En­joy Enjo a lovely shower af­ter­wards afte to wash off of all the paint.

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