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Toddler - Week #80

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Month 19: A New Scene

By Jodi L. Kelley, edHelperBaby

           Evan began his transition into the toddler room in daycare this week. He has been in the "Yearling" room for awhile now. He's needed a change of scenery. He wasn't talking in the younger room. He was biting every once in awhile. He was crying at drop off time, and when I picked him up in the afternoon, he'd be crying again. Overall, it wasn't going that well. His first visit into the new room seemed to be a great success. Within minutes of being there, he talked to the teacher. He asked her for more at lunch using his words, said night-night at nap time, and bye when he left. To me, this isn't much and at the same time, is so much. At home he talks so much more than this, so it seems like such a small amount of words (and simple ones, too, that he has said at home for quite some time). But at the same time, it is a lot since he was saying nothing there. At home this week, I got a new phrase. It took me a little while to figure it out. Evan now says, "Up we go" while reaching his arms up to be picked up. I could hear up when he first said it, but couldn't figure out the rest. Now that I figured it out, it is so very cute!


Creating Good Readers:
           Evan's willingness to talk more with a new teacher led me to thinking about how all children respond differently to different people. In my classroom, I know different people can read the same book aloud and elicit a different response from my students. I think it is important for parents to find ways for our children to hear stories read by different people, not just mom. I have a hard time getting my husband to read to my kids. He's not a big fan of reading. My middle son looks up to his dad a great deal, and he's not thrilled to read either. I never pushed my husband to read to him back then because I knew he didn't like to, and I loved to; so I just did it myself. But now, I do push him to read with Alice and Evan because I think they need to see everyone enjoy reading. So, not only is it important to select books you know the child will enjoy, but also select books that the reader will enjoy as well. We have books about tractors and trucks so my husband can have something he likes to read to the kids. Maybe they will not be as averse to reading as Justin.


Book Of The Week:
            First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg.       

       This is a cute book with a twist. It is about a character named Sarah who is nervous about her first day of school. Her dad can't convince her to get out of bed. She does a few funny things to stay hidden in bed. There's a comical fight between her pets that adds to the chaos. Finally she is convinced to get up and get moving. In the end, the reader finds out she is really the teacher starting her first day of teaching! It shows the kids that even teachers can be nervous about starting something new. It is a book more for a child starting kindergarten, though I think it can speak to anyone starting something new. It lets the reader know everyone is anxious when entering new circumstances.


           There are a few things we did this week to try to help Evan get excited about this new transition. The daycare is very good at making transitions go smoothly. They schedule visits increasing in time slowly working up to a full day. I found some other good ideas to help your child get excited about a move like this.       

       One thing we did is go shopping for new school things. We got a new lunch box, blanket, and sleeping toy for his new room. I let Evan pick these items out for himself. I think he was excited to get new things.       

       We also made a magnetic papers holder. Evan's hands were painted and pressed onto poster board with the palms touching and the fingers spread apart. Then they were cut out together as one piece. I wrote along the palms: "Look what I made with my own two hands" and laminated them. I then glued two clothes pins behind the two hands, and placed a magnet on the back of each. It came out cute and will be very useful for holding all the papers Evan will make in his new classroom.


Rhyme Time:
           To sing this song, we had to learn the names of all of Evan's new friends at school.

       (Sung to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb        


       Evan's going to school today, school today, school today.

       Evan's going to school today-

       With Peter he will play.       

       Evan's going to school today, school today, school today.

       Evan's going to school today-

       With Julie he will play.


       I continued each verse with a new friend's name. The last verse is the teacher's name.


Evan's Opinion:
           Evan really seemed to like the new classroom, even after just a short visit. I think he was simply ready for a change of scenery. I think Evan really enjoyed shopping for new stuff, but I am not exactly sure he realizes it was for his transition. I don't know if he will associate getting new school things with moving into a new room, but maybe he will as he uses the new stuff in the new classroom. The art project really came out adorable. Evan loves having his hands painted. They have been doing that at daycare since he was a little baby and he loves it. It seems like it is quite a relaxing activity.


You're Probably Wondering.....
           "When should I be concerned about a language delay?"       

       I know this worries me. It worries me so much that I've already talked about it before in another article when Evan was much younger. I still am concerned about his language development.       

       There are a few ways you see toddlers of this age described. Some websites will say a toddler around this age can be speaking 11-20 words, while another will say a toddler of this age will have almost 50 words. It can be very confusing and overwhelming. This is always going to be an area for moms to be anxious about. Physical growth, social growth, and language development are probably our top three worries.       

       I question myself as to whether I really hear Evan say a word when I think I hear it. Like his new phrase for getting picked up. I wondered if I really heard that or I just morphed it into that phrase. And then, why won't he talk to his teachers? Is he delayed or just being "stubborn" as they said? Sometimes, I think he is teasing them because he knows they want him to talk to them.       

       My strongest piece of advice to other moms worried about the same issue is to always listen to that inner voice if it nags you, and speak with professionals- either your pediatrician or a speech pathologist. There are some typical questions they may ask you. They may ask if your child can point to pictures in a book when named. For Evan this is a yes. He can point to simple pictures in a book if I ask. However, he will do this only if he is interested. If he is playing or otherwise busy, he won't give me the time of day. Also, he will really only be interested in this if I am asking him to point out things he likes like a ball or a truck. They will also ask if he can point to body parts. Evan can do that too, pretty much. He can point to his belly or nose if you ask. He also understands a simple command which is very important. If I tell Evan to go to the living room to get his shoes, he can do that easily. However, at this stage in his growth, he is also supposed to be using 2 word questions and phrases, which he is not doing much of. He has his new phrase, and he also does say "What's that", but that is the extent of it. This makes me worry, of course!       

       So, I keep in touch with my pediatrician. He hasn't had many ear infections which can often be the cause of a delay. And as I mentioned, he really seems to understand language at this point. So it seems, he has a command of language, he just isn't talking too much to too many of us. Maybe he just hasn't found anyone worth talking to yet!


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