We all know that a child’s upbringing plays a crucial role in their future attitude towards life and contributes to their future successes. But how can we, as parents, ensure that we create the best environment for them to grow up in? Here are some life skills you can teach your toddler to boost his/her cognitive development!
Toddlers should start to learn basic life skills like brushing their teeth and dressing up, with assistance, between the ages of two and three years old. Here are some ways you can guide your little ones!
- Teach the little ones to brush their teeth by placing your hand over theirs on the toothbrush and gently guide them to follow the up, down, back and forth brushing motions. When they get the hang of it, invite them to brush their teeth with you.
- Teach your kids how to dress themselves by encouraging them to dress their dolls.
- Buy clothing with bigger buttons so that little ones can easily dress and undress themselves.
- Encourage them to zip up their jackets and get them to practice their zipping skills whenever you put on a jacket too.
- Get them velcro shoes to start with so that they can easily put on and take off their shoes.
Identifying Common Objects and Flavours
At this age, your little tots are curious about the world around them. Entertain their questions and help them fill in the gaps to improve their cognitive skills!
- You will often notice your toddler pointing to items he/she recognises. Help your child identify these objects by getting them to repeat the names after you.
- You may also want your child to read books and play with toys that encourage him/her to identify different shapes, patterns, animals, materials, objects and more.
- Alternatively, create your own activities. For example, you may draw some animals, make cards with the names of those animals and get your child to match the different drawings of animals to their respective names. Or get some trail mix and get your toddler to sort the different items into separate piles.
- Train their taste buds by giving them small amounts of salt water, Ribena, lemon water and a small slice of cooked bitter gourd and get them to identify if it is “salty”, “sweet”, “sour” or “bitter”. You may start out by letting them try each one individually and telling them which of the four they are before letting them try on their own.
ABCs and 123s
Kids usually start forming their first words anywhere from nine to twelve months old. A real spurt in vocabulary will occur when your toddler hits eighteen months so be prepared for some adorable moments! It’s also important to note that girls tend to start speaking earlier, in general, as they tend to mature faster than boys. So if your baby boy is not talking at the same age his older sister did, don’t worry. However, if your child has not spoken a single word by sixteen months, you may want to seek help from your pediatrician.
While you’re eagerly waiting for your child’s first words, you can start conversing with them in longer, more complicated discourse. A study by Stanford University showed that toddlers who are exposed to more words have a larger vocabulary and better language proficiency when they get older.
On top of that, familiarise them with numbers by showing them hand gestures as you verbalise the corresponding numbers.
The little ones aren’t too young to be helping out around the house. Here are some ways that you can inculcate responsibility in them while having fun!
- Train your toddler to put his/her toys away after play time and bring his/her plate to the sink after meals. Cultivating these good habits at a young age will help you keep your home neat and tidy as he/she grows up.
- As your little tot is still young and curious, getting him/her to do small chores like assisting you to water the plants will help build their interest in science and fascination for the wonders of nature.
- The little one could also be your sous chef! Get your child to whisk some eggs and let him/her watch as you turn their work into delicious fried eggs or yummy steamed eggs for breakfast!