Monday, April 9, 2012

how to help with child development

Parents often ask at the two year old visit what they can do to help with their toddler’s development. My top 5 responses are:
1. Go to the park everyday – Outdoor play is great for gross and fine motor development. The social environment of the playground is also helpful for developing social skills. Toddlers learn to take turns on the slide, or wait until the swing is free. Safe climbing structures are excellent resources for physical development.
2. Get your toddler a library card – Circle and story times at your local public library are excellent resources to help your toddler develop a love for books. Toddlers also learn how to listen to the different speech intonations and tones of other adults. It is also a friendly place to learn how to sit at circle time. This becomes important when your toddler graduates to a preschool or kindergarten environment.
3. Puzzles – puzzles help with the development of problem solving and spatial skills. Research out of the University of Chicago recently revealed that toddlers who played with puzzles had better spatial skills when evaluated at age 4 1/2 . Early puzzle play may help with the development of science, technology, engineering and mathematic skills.
4. Nutrition – We are what we eat. Encourage your toddler to try new foods. Stay away from the easy pre-packaged foods that are marketed directly to parents of young children. Incorporate fish, nuts, legumes, whole grains, vegetables and fruits into your family meals. Make a game of it, and try to include a super food into every meal.
5. Rest – children (and adults) need sleep. Work on your bedtime routine so that your toddler gets the rest he needs to have a good day

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