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How To Make Your
Toddler Smart

How to make your toddler smart by Lisa Knauf

Make Your Toddler Smart

...As a toddler, your child, or the child you care for, will continue to learn best through play.

To make the most of your child’s playtime and encourage healthy development, here are three simple play ideas that parents, caregivers and child care providers can get excited about!

1. Symbolic Play: Why Does Jimmy Keep Calling Himself Spiderman?

From twelve to thirty months of age children begin to engage in what psychologists call symbolic play, as parents we call it make-believe or pretend play.

To encourage this kind of play pull out the dress-up box, art supplies, dolls, and random household items. As you support Jimmy in his super hero efforts you will be pleased to see how his imagination can turn an empty Q-tip box into a speedy Bat mobile.

2. Solitary Play: Is my Toddler a Loner?

Did you know that while toddlers appear to play together in a group, their play is actually solitary and not generally interconnected?

As you introduce your child to a new playmate therefore, be prepared to spend some time dispelling conflict and encouraging the basic social skills of cooperation and sharing.

Who knows? In time, when he’s ready to give up his loner status, he may actually know a thing or two about playtime etiquette.

3. Imitation Play: Child Labour is Good for Development

Toddlers will begin to imitate those around them so you may want to pay particular attention to the words and actions your child is absorbing.

As your child "shadows" you digging in the garden for example, he will learn to be helpful and, as he inspects bugs and weeds, he will begin to understand his environment.

On the other hand however, as your toddler plays with a child who hits or uses inappropriate words his learning will become somewhat limited.

To facilitate positive imitation therefore, praise his good deeds no matter how small and encourage him to take part in activities that are fun and constructive- let him help fold the laundry or sweep the floor. Remember, what looks like child labour to you is actually fun for him.

By understanding what your toddler is capable of, you will enhance healthy development and your child will look forward to the fun, silly, and exciting time that you spend together!

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