Busy body, busy brain
Use your toddler’s seemingly endless energy reserves to play games that develop his brain
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.