Wednesday, July 17, 2013
5 Games You Should Play with Your Toddler
I've listed 4 games below that you should definitely put in the line up this summer for your toddler.
1) Tea Party for Stuffed Animals
Outdoor tea parties aren't just for children! Grab a blanket and serve up a spread for your little ones and their stuffed animals. It can help spur the imagination, increase fine motor skills required for cutting small snacks and gripping small cups, and its a great way to learn social etiquette. I personally always thing of Gru and the girls from Despicable Me "clinking" whenever I think of a tea party :)
2) Go for a Nature Hike
Grab the kiddos and a bag to collect scavenger hunt items such as twigs, leaves, and rocks. Make sure to point out hidden things such as mushrooms growing from beneath moist leaves or moss growing on a tree and encourage them to feel the different textures of nature with their fingers to improve their tactile sensation.
3) Chalk It Up
A bucket of sidewalk chalk is a small investment for the amount of time your children can use it to play. I'd recommend building a couple of hopscotch trails for them to hop along and drawing some animals for them to guess what they are. Show them how to trace their hands or feet and they'll be set in finding new things to trace. This can encourage motor and language development as they identify animals or numbers while hopping around on one foot.
4) Have a Ball
It might take awhile for toddlers to get the hang of catching or throwing a ball but its important to teach them to aim early (unless of course you like the breeze from a broken window!). Catching is usually easier for them to grasp but you'll need to assist by throwing the ball directly into their outstretched arms until they understand that their feet must move towards where the ball will land. To practice throwing try having them toss wadded up paper, bean bags, or Wiffle balls into a trash can or laundry basket. To step it up a notch use streamers and a hula hoop to make a "ring of fire" for them to toss into. (The ring of fire also works as a great attraction at parties)
5) Parachute Games
Hold a sheet or blanket by the corners to toss items such as socks or Wiffle balls high into the air. According to Dr. Lisa Chiarello, a pediatric physical therapist and associate professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia, reports that "while your child's bouncing the object with his arms, he's learning the concept of up and down. And because you're both moving your feet a little too, he's practicing stepping sideways, in and out.".
Still concerned about your child's development or want some more personal advice for your family's situation? Call AlignLife at 689-6200 to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Andrea Schnowske.