Scribbling and Other Art Projects
One way to engage your toddler while you cook dinner is to provide an interesting activity for him, such as using big crayons on paper. Holding a crayon or marker and figuring out how to use it on paper is also a great way to hone fine motor skills. Some children scribble back and forth and up and down with wild, exaggerated arm motions; others have more control and keep their movements smaller. Either way, these pictures look perfect when displayed on the family fridge (or one of these clever display methods).
For real (but messy) fun, introduce your toddler to finger paints. Or let her paint with brushes on an easel or even pudding on a paper plate. Obviously, prepare your environment: There will be paint on the floor, on your child, and on you.
(Curious about where your budding artist might next take his talents? Check out these art milestones for kids.)
The Move to a Big Bed
Active toddlers surprise their parents with their amazing abilities to climb, including climbing out of their cribs. Some toddlers are ready about now for a bigger bed, while others are still quite content in their cribs.
Transitioning to a big bed is a big step for your toddler and you, though some make the transition very easily. Many toddlers are tickled by the prospect of having a big bed, like the one used by Mommy and Daddy or an older sibling. The transition nicely complements their developmental desires to emulate the older people in their life and feel grown-up. On the other hand, their cribs have been a safe, comfy haven for them for the last 20-some months. Giving up the crib requires letting go; the ability to let go varies for each child.
There are two important factors when considering the transition to a big bed:
- Timing: Don't attempt this change if the toddler's routine has already been altered. For example, obvious times to avoid making further changes include if another sibling is being introduced to the family, the toddler is starting a new childcare or preschool, Mommy or Daddy are away on a trip, or if the family has just moved to a new home.
- Safety: If your toddler is attempting already to climb out of the crib and you have concerns about his landing on the floor, you may have to act more swiftly in initiating the transition. And when your child is in the big boy bed, you still have to consider his safety.
Also, he will get himself out of bed either to find you or explore his room. Prepare the environment so that his wandering will not lead him to trouble. Dust off the monitor that you may have retired so you can keep an ear alert for sounds of exploration coming from his room. /p>