Stimulating Play

For toddlers, play time is learning time. It helps them develop both emotionally and socially. So spend some quality time with your toddler and play!

For the New Toddler

  • Hide-N-Go-Seek: Your toddler will not only have fun playing with you and testing out their new found walking legs, but they will also learn that, just because they can't see you, it doesn't mean you're not coming back for them.

  • Point and Name: Help your toddler's eventual verbal skills as well as their exploration of the world around them by pointing to objects and then naming them. Eventually, your toddler will be able to point to the object when you name it.
For the Older Toddler
  • Toy tool kits, kitchen sets and grocery carts: Your toddler can feel all grown-up with their very own miniature versions of adult items. The toys can also serve as emotional outlets of expression. Is your toddler prone to temper tantrums? Then encourage her to bang out her frustrations on her tool set with her toy hammer. Instead of getting upset when he can't help you in the kitchen, your toddler can create his own masterpiece in his own pint-sized kitchen.

  • Sharing games: Anything that involves taking turns will help your toddler learn about sharing. Waiting until it is her turn to go down the slide at the park. Taking turns turning the pages of a book you're reading together. If your toddler has the patience for it, even simple board games, like Snakes and Ladders, can help your toddler learn about sharing.
For All Toddlers
  • Playground: Taking your toddler to the playground regularly will help them meet many other toddlers and work on their social skills.

  • Playgroups: A regular playgroup will help your toddler develop their social skills through regular interaction (or at least observation) of other toddlers. You may want to involve your toddler in a playgroup with mixed ages so that they can see the older children sharing and co-operating. However, keep the play dates short, 30 to 60 minutes is more than enough. Your toddler can only take so much stimulation before she gets cranky.

  • Organize regular outings: Having a weekly adventure to a petting zoo, children's museum, park or some other kid-friendly environment will expose your child to many different people. Seeing many different faces can help ease stranger anxiety. Organizing the trips with other parents and toddlers can help your toddler socialize with others his age.