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Toddler - Week #72

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Week 72: Hello, Is It You?

By Jodi L. Kelley, edHelperBaby

           Evan loves to talk on the phone this week. He will flip my phone open and chat away like he's a teenager! I am flashing forward to the future and seeing my little guy all grown up! He is cute about it, though. His favorite word these days is "hi," and he will say it to anyone who will give him a second glance. We can be in the market or walking around the neighborhood, and he is waving to all and saying "hi" while he waves.


Creating Good Readers:
           Once your child begins to have her own interests, it is nice to find books that explore those interests. For instance, my son likes vehicles and dogs, so we have a lot of books that depict these ideas. My older son is not a big fan of reading. Reading is difficult for him. We have to find magazines and books that appeal to his interest so he will find some reading to be enjoyable. Not everyone is going to like to read the same sort of materials. The important part is finding print that attracts your child and keeps her interested.


Book Of The Week:
           Phones were Evan's focus this week, and I found this one to try to interest him in a new book:

        Clifford the Big Red Dog Telephone Book   by Brooke Hessel and Christopher Moroney.

       This is a really fun book for a busy toddler. It comes with an interactive phone panel attached. Your toddler can ring up different number combinations to reach Clifford himself or some of his other friends. Sometimes you even get a busy signal! There is an answering machine for your child to receive messages from the friends as well. This is a very sturdy book that is perfect for the curious toddler.


           Besides pretending to talk on the phone all week, we made some actual calls to grandparents, aunts and uncles, and daddy. This was such a simple but fun use of time. I would dial a number and tell my relative that Evan wanted to talk to him or her. He would then hold the phone and say "hi" but not much more. He did enjoy hearing familiar voices, though, and smiled when they spoke with him. I also was inspired this week to call a few friends and family members who live far away and let them talk to Evan. He doesn't recognize their voices, but he still liked saying hello.       

       We also took a lot of walks this week since our weather is beginning to get very cool. We won't be able to walk outside for much longer! It is nice right now, so all of our neighbors have been outside. I encouraged Evan to say hello to all of them as we passed by each house.


Rhyme Time:
           It's never too early to start teaching basic concepts to children through song. Rhymes and songs can really solidify a concept. Things like the alphabet and counting can become second nature to a child through song. Start early and your little one may learn quickly or at least the tune will be familiar when he enters school. Besides the alphabet and counting songs, I have been singing our telephone number song to Evan. I know he's not going to learn his phone number anytime soon, but Alice learned it pretty young from hearing it in a jingle, so I figure it's never too early to try! We sing our phone number to that tune from the 80's, "867-5309/Jenny" with our own number, of course!


Evan's Opinion:
           The funny thing about Evan and the phones this week is that it's got to be my real phone, or it's not as much fun! I bought him a toy one like Alice has, and he just wasn't as satisfied with that as he was with mine! But I have to be careful that he doesn't break mine, so we've had a few meltdowns over this. He didn't want me to hold the phone while he talked, and I didn't want him to wander around the house and end up throwing it like he does with most toys. It was a fine balance of cooperation between the two of us!       

       Evan loves the book, though! It really is a neat book, and it is one I feel confident allowing him to have independently since it is so sturdy. I like that it became a fun toy to him, yet he still is turning the pages like he's reading it.


You're Probably Wondering.....
           "How can I keep my child connected to family that lives far away?"       

       Do you have family that don't live nearby and wonder how to keep your child connected and knowing them? Evan has a grandmother that lives far away. My husband's mom comes to visit us once a year and we go to visit her once a year as well. But two occasions is not enough for a toddler to recognize and feel connected to someone. Likewise, it is important to keep far away relatives feeling involved. After all, they are no less important than relatives who get to live close and are lucky enough to see your precious one every week!       

       So what can you do? Obviously, now that your toddler is getting older, you can use the phone. If he is like Evan, he might not say more than "hi," and he may not listen for long either. But maybe Grandma can sing him a lullaby once a week at bedtime or maybe she knows a good rhyme. In any case, keep in touch once every week or so and ask the relative to make the call fun so your little one's attention span can grow.       

       Perhaps you have kept your relative up-to-date with photos either sent in the mail or through email. This is a great way to show your loved ones how quickly your toddler is growing. But there are other photo formats you can use as well. I signed up for a movie making program that allows me to upload my photos and set them to music. I can then send a link to the website instead of clogging up my mother-in-law's email with the actual photos. Plus, to music, the photos are extremely touching!       

       Try using photos in the reverse way, too. Be sure to have photos from any visits with your toddler and your loved one so that you can show these to your child and repeatedly tell him or her to see Grandma or Aunt Debbie or whomever. Bring the pictures out frequently and the child will recognize the relative and remember the last fun visit instead of feeling shy and unsure of this person.       

       Last but not least, have you tried blogging? There are plenty of sites now that are free and can help keep you in touch with family and friends. You can blog daily or weekly and share the site with your loved ones. You can write about fun stories and events in your child's life, add a photo or two, and everyone can check in to keep themselves up-to-date. Be sure to set your settings to the privacy level so that your child's pictures are only available to folks you invite and not to the whole world wide web! I know our children are adorable to us, but they wouldn't be too happy with us years from now if their bathtub photos are being published in their high school yearbook because someone was able to dig them up off the internet! Keep those tucked away in a secret drawer for blackmailing at a later date!


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