'); } var S; S=topJS(); SLoad(S); //-->
|Toddler - Week #91|
Get Weekly Updates on your Child E-Mailed to You
|Curiosity Leads To Experimentation|
This is the month when you can expect your toddler's curiosity to reach new levels. As you witness his coordination vastly improving, he is now able to stoop down on the ground to really check things out. He has recently gained the ability to get hold of things he was interested in a few months ago, while only an observer from the far reaches of his stroller. Watch now as he plays around in the dirt with his little fingers, picks up whatever grabs his attention at the moment, and proudly stands back up again to show you his treasures. At 21 months, he is intrigued by tiny objects like little bugs, plants, rocks and the lovely garbage that he finds on the ground. Your reaction time will now be tested regularly as he will likely try to sample these tasty treats, furthering his exploration with all of his senses.|
Your toddler is now and forever more, endlessly curious about the world around him, especially because he has more hours in the day for poking around and exploring when he's sleeping a little less. It is inevitable that your precious little one will do things you wish he didn't, but he doesn't mean to make you nuts. He just has an insatiable thirst for learning now, and is trying to make sense of the world around him and how it works. This month, your toddler is also becoming increasingly aware of his five senses, and his ability to focus on how things look, smell, taste, feel and sound has vastly improved as well.
Children this age will range from the wildly curious adventurer to the exceptionally cautious observer. Remember that almost everything is new to your toddler right now, and while some children may embrace this, some may become increasingly anxious. Even tiny changes that you make around the house will now intrigue your curious toddler (my twin boys are fascinated by the new throw pillow on our couch, to which no one else has given a second glance) so be prepared for an extra set of eyes watching your every move.
Right now, your toddler cannot have too much time to explore nor can he have too many things to explore. Watch closely this month as his general curiosity gradually evolves into actual experimentation with the objects he finds. Your toddler's thirst for knowledge extends beyond wanting to learn the ABC's, and he now wants to see what happens when he squishes, pokes, tears, or throws anything he can get his hands on.
Up until now, play has been an integral part of his learning experience, and now that he has added experimentation to this equation his knowledge will skyrocket. Your toddler is beginning to discover that many things in life are predictable, and although he doesn't understand the principles of logic behind why things do what they do, he is beginning to understand how they impact him and how they make him feel.
This month, try to let your toddler figure things out on his own, but be right there to step in when he looks to you for help. Remember that your little explorer's curiosity will get the best of him now and again and he will often find himself in a heap of trouble, but ultimately, that is why he has you to pick up the pieces.
|Up, Up And Away!|
As your boundless ball of energy (A.K.A. your toddler) cruises through her twenty first month, you may feel that you've finally met your match. She is now both dedicated and motivated to set challenging goals for herself, and challenges you to keep up with her.|
Although your toddler continues to become frustrated when she can't accomplish everything she tries to do, her physical prowess is slowly beginning to catch up with her desire to try new things. She is increasingly able to succeed at physical challenges independently, a definite little ego-boost for her growing self-esteem, but needs to be reminded to slow down and use caution.
Watch with bated breath as your toddler runs around like the older kids she so badly wants to be like, but doesn't have the experience or understanding to do so safely. Then get a good chuckle as your little clown walks round and round in circles laughing at herself, and then tries her hand at walking backwards until she crashes to the floor. This month she loves to run rings around you, although she may still trip over her own two feet in the process, and you will also notice that her steering and braking skills remain a bit rusty, so prepare for a few more bumps and bruises than you may be used to (remember, it usually looks a lot worse than it actually is...).
This month your toddler is most likely a proficient walker and wants to challenge herself to try more daring feats. Unfortunately for her, she doesn't know or understand her limits, so she'll climb higher and higher, then have no recollection of what she is doing, how she got up there, or what to do next. Toddlers this age have a "natural inclination" to climb and it makes her feel tall and important. Prepare to be beckoned by your little mountaineer quite often, as she will continuously get stuck while precariously positioned on window ledges, countertops, and bookshelves.
If you are concerned about falls, which you will be now if you haven't been up to this point, seek out safe places for her to practice her climbing skills. She will love pint-sized playgrounds that have steps and ladders with slides, and you may want to look into toddler tumbling classes, or create one yourself out of pillows right in your own living room.
By now your toddler has likely inevitably tried out a few stairs and is able to go up quite efficiently. Well, there is no time like the present to teach her how to get down the stairs safely, and in fact this will also aid her in getting off of couches, high beds, dressers, bookcases, and anything else she manages to scale and then finds herself stuck. At this age it is important to teach her how to come down the steps feet first and backwards on her stomach, as well as how to hold your hand in order to go down upright one step at a time. Your toddler cannot be trusted to tackle stairs alone until around the age of three, but if she manages to sneak by you and try it her own at least she knows (but may not remember) how to do so safely.
On another note, at 21 months toddlers also love to show-off their newfound strength. Don't be surprised to find your toddler rearranging the dining room chairs, or carrying large toys from one room to the next, kindly spreading her wealth around your entire house. Try your best to allow her to physically challenge and test herself, and don't stifle her natural ability to re-decorate.
|Look What I Can Do (And Destroy)!|
This month your toddler will love to build and knock down everything and anything that he or his playmates create. This lovely new behavior never gets old, and despite being frustrating to his peers, is a great way to learn about cause-and-effect.|
Your toddler will also get a kick out of emptying any container he can wrap his hands around and then filling it back up with something new and more interesting. Toddlers tend to be tactual learners at this age, that is, they learn best by touching, exploring, and dissecting everything. Your toddler has an instinctual need to fully examine things with all of his senses in order to understand how they work. The wider variety of "things" that your child is exposed to, the more satiated his little mind will become with new experiences.
At 21 months your toddler's instincts to explore kick in full swing, and he will home-in on objects that he can pull apart, dissect, squish, stomp on, eat, and then try to put it back to the way it was before he "experimented." He likes to figure out how things piece back together, and may continuously try to make things fit when they don't slide in with ease. It's good to keep in mind that any arguments had between your toddler and "non-compliant" toys are often educational, and in fact he is learning what things will and won't do. Frustrations of this type actually help to keep your toddler interested in how the world works, despite many tantrums they may cause along the way.
After your toddler has thoroughly examined the contents from underneath your couch, in the corners of your closet, and between his toes, you will be pleased to know that it is also the perfect time for him to learn how to wash and dry his own hands. Definitely stick around to ensure a thorough job, but it's never to early to get him into good habits, particularly when the messes will only get bigger with time.
What's better than an activity that combines rolling balls and knocking things over? Bowling will give your toddler the opportunity to do two of her favorite things simultaneously. Although they do make "toddler-size" bowling games that can be purchased, it is just as easy to make one yourself and recycle a few of your household items.
First, gather together six empty 1-liter water or soda bottles, and fill them 1/3 of the way up with water, sand or uncooked rice. This extra weight will make your "pins" stand up longer, making this activity slightly more challenging for your toddler. After the bottles are filled and tops are screwed back on tightly, stand the "pins" up in three rows placing three in the back row, two in the center row, and one in the front row forming a triangle, and be sure that the pins are relatively close together.
Next, pick out a few different balls from your toddler's growing collection (larger ones, like soccer or basketballs seem to work best), and place your toddler, ball in hand, a few feet in front of the pins.
The final step in this fun activity is to show your toddler how to roll the ball between his legs toward the "pins," and try to knock them all over. It may take a few times of doing it hand-over-hand before he grasps the concept, but with a few practice shots he's sure be a pro in no time.
|Andrew and Devin's Opinion|
Throwing things at one another, as well as at various unsuspecting family members has become a favorite pastime for my 21-month-old twin boys, Andrew and Devin. With this activity I was hopeful that by providing them with a specific task and a specific target, I might be able to direct their destructive energy into something more "socially acceptable." Wishful thinking.|
Prior to bringing Andrew and Devin into our homemade "bowling alley," I set up the pins and carefully selected the balls, making sure I had two of each in order to avoid turning our activity into a wrestling match. I then brought the boys into the "alley" and they immediately ran over to the pins and kicked them over (at least I knew they worked). After setting our activity up again (and bribing my boys to sit on the side-lines with a few raisins) I proceeded to show them hand-over-hand how to play.
Although it did take a few times for them to understand that I wanted them to roll the ball at the pins, not run over and kick the pins over after throwing the balls at one another, they did eventually catch on. They were entertained for quite a while with this activity, although they did inevitably revert back to their own rules eventually. All in all, this was really a fun activity for all of us to play together, and the best part was that it's so simple that it can be thrown together in seconds.
|Have you begun to wonder...|
Why is my 21-month-old toddler so interested in his "private parts"? |
Have you recently found your toddler "exploring" the more private areas of his body in a not so discreet manner? Well, you're not alone. It is very natural and to be expected that your child will begin to explore areas of his body that he normally doesn't have access to. Children this age absolutely love to be naked, and now that your toddler is getting a bit older and bit more curious about things, particularly about those which are usually covered up with a diaper and are attached to him, he wants to "explore."
Despite possibly being slightly embarrassing for you to see, it will do your little one no harm whatsoever, now or later on in life. Try your best not to be shocked when it happens (and it will)...it's completely and totally normal. In fact, overreacting to it when your child is this age is the only thing that could do a bit of damage.
At this young age, it's unnecessary to intervene, however when he gets a little older and has the ability to understand more, you will have to lay down some ground rules about where and when it is appropriate. Just be careful that when the issue is approached in the future, you do your best not to make your toddler feel that what he is doing is bad or wrong, but that it's just the wrong time and the wrong place.
|Ask Your Own Question|
Ask a Question
|Give a Suggestion Contact edHelperBaby|
|Note: All information on edHelperBaby is of a general nature for educational purposes only.|
For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.