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Toddler 101:- Exploratory Actions for Toddlers

This time the chat is more likely for my own notes in order for me to refer as the phase progressing since baby Hambali soon would stepping in the toddler phase. I reckon few of my fellow chit-chatters is having toddler as well & I love to share it in my Chatterbox. Notes are from various resources compilations & summarised. Treat it as a guideline only in assisting you in parenting your own toddler.I’m just laying out few play / activity with props but to carry out the activity, it is back to your creativity. Another chat all about toddler would be up from time to time. Have fun!

What is a toddler?

Toddlers age is about from 1 year old to 2 years old.

They are transitioning from one type of lifestyle to another, toddlers can be thought of as the “adolescents” of early childhood.They are in the transitional state between babyhood and childhood.Toddlers are no longer dependent babies, and yet they do not have the personalities or the thought processes of a school age child. They are beginning to seek independence, yet they require caregiver security.They are the rebellious, curious and information gatherers.

They learn by exploring the environment and manipulating objects. They rarely play with other toddlers. They play with objects. They love exploring and experimenting.

The learning environment toddlers must contain carefully selected toys, props, and play structures.

List of suggested play areas & props to encourage toddler actions :

1. Ball Handling
This introduces the child to balls of all sizes, shapes, and textures which encourage adaptations and adjustments. Ball handling “trials and errors” provide a substantial amount of new information for the toddlers to catalog. Toddlers should be encouraged to collect, handle, toss, kick, explore, and manipulate various sizes and textures of balls.

Suggested Equipment, Toys & Props:
Ball of all sizes, shapes & textures
Laundry basket or any other contaners
Ramp or slide
Hoop or net (for tossing or kicking the ball toward)
Plastic bottles (for rolling the ball towards)
Traffic Cone (for hitting the ball off the top)
Sponge bat

2. Balance
Balance activities challenge the toddler’s posture control, stability, and travel abilities as he negotiates different widths, angels, and heights of walking surfaces. To practice postural control and stability, toddlers should be given various opportunities for stepping up, turning corners, changing directions, and walking on an incline or decline. This is a must requiring close supervision and mats or carpet to provide a padded surface on the floor.

Suggested Equipment, Toys & Props:
Ramps & beams of various widths & surfaces
Mats or carpets
Objects for stepping over
Stair steps (wooden or mats)
Ladder (flat on the floor)

3. Manipulation
Fine motor abilities involve the coordinated movement of the hands & fingers. Toddlers need ample opportunity to explore & manipulative a wide variety of objects.They need to practice stacking, stringing, twisting, turning & pounding various sizes of objects. They also need to practice placing shape blocks in appropriate holes & to work basic puzzles. Object handling like “fill & empty”, messy play with water, sand & other textures allows practice of fine motor skills & eye-hand coordination.

Suggested Equipment, Toys & Props:
Plastic or wooden nuts & bolts
Boxes to stack
Empty plastic tennis ball cans to stack
Shape sorting toys
Pounding toys
Stringing toys
Sand box
Small shovels & spoons
Pop up toys
Sturdy books

4. Space
Space awareness is an important aspect of a child’s knowledge development.To be able to go through spaces without touching means that children know how much space their bodies consume & that they can control their movements.

Suggested Equipment, Toys & Props:
Hoop holders
Barrels & tunnels
Jungle gym
Boxes (open or closed)
Plastic pool
Nylon tent
Floor mat or carpet

5. Obstacles
Obstacles & inclines allow practice of spatial relationships as the toddler manages her body in relation to the play structures & gravity. Climbing includes shifting body weight, managing body weight, gripping & many varied possibilities & combination of movements. Obstacles which have more than one entry or exit will encourage curiosity, yet allow children to feel safe. Obstacles which have options for going under, over, up, down or through encourage not only physical competence, but language development as well.

Suggested Equipment, Toys & Props:
Jungle gym
Ladder Soft structures (mats of all shapes)
Barrels & tunnels
Sliding board

6. Wheeled Toys
This encourage pushing & pulling. Pull toys are challenging since, by design, they do not assist with balance & can offer substantial stability challenges if the toddler is walking forward but looking back at the toy, or walking backward in order to watch the toy. Riding toys require the child to make coordinated movements, sometimes combining foot work with steering using the hands.

Suggested Equipment, Toys & Props:
Push Toys or Pull Toys
Riding Toys

7. Pretense
Imitating adult behaviour helps toddler learn social roles, improves imagination & enhances language development. Fantasy play & pretending encourages creative & adaptive behaviours.

Suggested Equipment, Toys & Props:
Plastic phones
Dress up clothes
Stuffed animals
Cars & trucks
Kitchen props

8. Rhythm
Singing, chanting & reciting words with music promote language development, body movement, listening skills & rhythmic reactions in toddlers. Mirrors allow toddlers to watch themselves dance, sway & bounce to the music.

Suggested Equipments, Toys & Props:
Rhythm instruments
Noise makers
Music tapes or CDs

May 13, 2009 Posted by | Child's Play, Early Childhood Education, Hanz's Notes, Just Toddler | Leave a comment