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Category: Child Care

Top indoor activities away from the screens for kids ages 1-3

While we all love getting fresh air and sunshine, sometimes, you get stuck inside. When rainy, cold weather, a hot summer afternoon—or a pandemic—keeps you and your kids inside. Outdoor winter activities and summer activities can be hard to do when the weather’s not cooperating. While it can be tempting to let your toddlers spend the day in front of the TV, there are plenty of creative, non-screen time activities to help your kids learn, grow, and play well in the comfort of your own home. 

Do they like cooking activities? do you know how beneficial is cooking activities for your toddler? https://otpark.com/cooking-with-kids/

Here we listed several cooking activities with their benefits for you that your toddler may participate in.

Making Slime with kids

Let’s just say that kids really love the fantastic sensory experience slime gives. Squishy and stretchy things like homemade Slime simply beg to be touched!

Tactile activities such as Slime making are a treat for the senses. Toddlers engage their sense of touch! For so many kids, Slime can be such a, calming relaxing, regulating activity. That’s exactly why they gravitate toward playing it!

Toddler’s often like to keep their hands busy, helping them to focus. Also, Slime is an awesome stress-relieving tool, and it makes a beautiful brain break! Kids who need extra help with sensory processing work will love Slime too! Slime is for everyone.

Aren’t you always looking for ideas to further strengthen your connection with your kids?

What about doing it by engaging them in something they love to do. Show them that you’re interested in what they love. And, of course, enrolling in your child’s activities as a parent would give them a sense of trust in you!

Immediate connection/ The kid(s) will know you’re going to get them and want to be part of their world. Who knows they might even come and talk to you earlier when having other problems.

Making Slime is not just something that needs to be achieved. It’s a great path to fun and safe interactions with your children, but it’s all about how you see slime making. If you think it’s dumb and pointless, you ‘re missing the chance of a connection. When you run with it and know how to make awesome homemade slime right alongside them.

Is Slime Safe to Play with?

In a nutshell, yes, Slime is perfectly safe for most kids.

It’s important to:

-Understand how much of each ingredient you need, and stick more or less to that ratio. Although slimming will often require fine-tuning and more activator or glue, a clear understanding of each ingredient’s approximate quantities is necessary.

-Track your children as they’re making the Slime. As with any activity, keep an eye on your children to work with the materials safely.

Drawing coloring and painting

The freedom to explore and express creativity through art is one of the best gifts you can give your growing toddler. From coloring and finger paints to playdough and sidewalk chalk, artistic play is the perfect way to foster creativity in your little one—and develop lots of other important skills along the way.

Art is not only fun for little ones, but it teaches too. Creative play helps babies and toddlers develop crucial early childhood skills like sensory and fine motor skills, problem-solving, cognitive development, self-confidence, and even early math skills like recognizing shapes, sizes, and patterns.

When you’re sitting down to make art with your kiddo, keep in mind that it’s the process, not the final product. (Although all those masterpieces will definitely liven up the front of your refrigerator!) Working on an art project together is a great time to work on language skills by talking to your toddler about what they’re making or asking them open-ended questions about their work. It can also be super empowering; there’s nothing quite like watching a 2-year-old rock their independence by dipping that paintbrush in every.single.color.

Before you and your little Picasso get to work, you might want to keep a few things in mind:

  • Dedicate a workspace for creative, artistic play. It can be anything from a small desk in the corner of a playroom to a larger space with a craft table or easel; just make sure there’s enough room for your little one to spread out.
  • Prep for mess. If cleaning finger paints out of your carpet doesn’t sound like your idea of a good time, be sure to invest in the right dress and a drop cloth for the floor. You can thank us later.
  • Supplies are key. Give your little one free reign to make art whenever the inspiration strikes. (While you keep an eye on them, of course!) This means you’ll need to stock your art space with safe, kid-friendly supplies like child-safe scissors, glue sticks, and easy-grip crayons and markers. We also love lining tables with rolls of craft paper for maximum creativity!
  • Keep your activities age-appropriate. For younger toddlers from 12-18 months or so, this often means lots of supervised sensory play (shaving cream canvas, sand play or finger paints) and simpler projects (sponge paints or large chalk), while kids closer to 2 may start to enjoy more traditional art projects like coloring, painting, collages or modeling clay.
  • Don’t forget to have fun! Toddlers love to express themselves, and art is a great way to empower them to do just that. Let them explore, create, and play.

Telling stories

“If you want your children to be smart, tell them stories. If you want them to be brilliant, tell them more stories.”- Albert Einstein

How often do you sit down with your children and tell them stories? Is your answer no, or rarely? You’re missing out on a key part of their growth – the amazing benefits of storytelling that affect their mental functions and developments in more ways than you expect.

When you tell your kid a story, there’s a magical moment when he sits enthralled, his mouth open, his eyes wide. The stories that the child hears shape their universe. When they listen to stories, something really important is being triggered – their imagination. They learn to go beyond their environment, their walls,  into faraway places, and explore the minds of extraordinary people.

You can increase children’s memory capacity by asking them to remember the stories you’ve already read or asking them to remember where you stopped the day before. Try to let your child share his emotions, opinions about the characters, and the expression of hatred for evil in the stories.

If you want your toddler to listen actively and deeply understand the story, you have to read the stories emotionally. Adapt the pitch of your voice to the feelings and emotions conveyed in the tale. Using active body language to express ideas in a meaningful way. Storytelling parents are found to have a more emotional bond with their children. 

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The Importance of Developmental Milestones for Every Child 0 to 6 Years of Age

Developmental milestones are barometers for skills that each child should be able to do by a set age. They are the primary standard that kids are measured by to make sure they are developing appropriately. Each skill builds upon one another. When a milestone goes unmet or is delayed, several problems can ensue. Developmental milestones are skills that you should always consider as a parent of kids 0 to about 6 years old. 

Typical milestones categories include Social-emotional, Movement, Language/Communication, and Cognition/Problem Solving. Here at OT Park, we have compiled a list of milestones for children ages 0-6 years old in the areas of:

  • Gross motor
  • Grasp patterns
  • Scissor skills
  • Toilet skills
  • Home chores
  • Dressing skills
  • Scissor skills
  • Pencil grip development

So, how do you know if your child is developing appropriately and meeting age-appropriate milestones? After downloading your OT Park Milestone checklist, based on your child’s age, try skills in the category younger age-level and then the older age-level to see what your child can do. If you realize that your child is having difficulty completing age-level activities or younger, reach out to your pediatrician for next steps to better help your child. OT Park is gearing up to launch telehealth services and will be available and honored to help your child in any way that we can. If you find that your child is meeting the age-appropriate milestone, this is great. Keep working on the next skill. 

Either way, providing your child with what we OTs like to call the “just right challenge,” or a challenge that isn’t over or underwhelming, can help your child build confidence, strength, and endurance without making them feel as though they are incapable! 

Keeping an eye on your child’s development is vital for their future success and well-being! 

Also, feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. 

IMPORTANCE OF A SCHEDULE AMONG INFANTS AND TODDLERS

Our lives as adults are filled with everyday routines that help keep us on schedule. Children also need to have predictable routines that have room for flexibility, especially infants and toddlers. 

Reasons why routines and schedules are important

  • Gives them a sense of security and stability.
  • Influences their social, emotional, and cognitive development.
  • Everyday routines can be used as teachable moments.
  • Know what is happening now and what comes next.
  • Know how to do an activity or task.
  • Engage in learning.

Young children gain an understanding of everyday events and procedures and learn what is expected of them. They can also help the child become more trusting of you as a caretaker. Children that have effective routines are more engaged with their environment and the people around them. You can use their everyday routines as opportunities to talk with your child and help them develop their communication skills.

Schedule – is the big picture and includes main activities that happen throughout the day.

Routines – the steps needed to complete each part of the schedule.

All families need some type of routine to establish normalcy. Children often fear the unknown, and change can be stressful for them. When you include meaningful and important elements into your family life, you are letting your child know what’s important.

Schedule and Routine Tips:

  • Keep it simple.
  • Break down one of your scheduled tasks into steps to create the routine.
  • Let your children help.
  • Review the schedule every morning and throughout the day.
  • Keep each day’s routine and schedule as similar as possible.
  • Be flexible.
  • Offer a choice in activities whenever possible. 

Example of Daily Routines:

 

The time to get ready in the morning.

– Mealtimes, bath times, nap times, and bedtimes.

– Housework, cooking, and cleaning schedules.

– Playtime, family time, and outdoor play.

Other Ways Your Child Will Benefit from A Schedule and Routine:

  1. Helps your child get on a schedule – Consistent routines will help your child and their’ body clocks’ with many day-to-day basics such as the ability to take naps and sleep well at night, ability to eat healthy and full meals, have regular bowel movements, have a healthy play and outdoor time, and a calm, relaxed behavior at ‘down times’ during the day.
  2. Bonds the family together – When your child knows what to expect and notices regular family activities, they begin to understand that family time is important.
  3. Establishes Expectations – When your child knows what is expected, they begin to complete tasks without issues.
  4. Creates a calmer household – The child will know what comes next; therefore, stress and anxiety are reduced.
  5. Gives your child confidence and independence – Rather than always having to tell your child what needs to happen, they will feel confident to go ahead and be in charge of themselves.
  6. Establishes healthy, constructive habits – Children who practice these skills will be able to manage their time better.
  7. Helps you remember important things – A routine helps you stay on track.
  8. Provides an opportunity for special’ daily routines’ – When you add something in like snuggling and reading, you are instilling special moments.

While there are many benefits to maintaining a routine, it is also important to remain flexible. Spontaneity and creativity are important factors in a child’s life. Every child is different, and you need to stay sensitive and adaptable to each child’s needs.

As time goes on, you will start to see what’s working and not working for the family. Remember, a routine is meant to help the family, not hinder it. Make sure it is healthy and positive for your child and other family members.

Routines and Parental Happiness

Routines help ease adults into parenthood. The early stages of becoming a parent can be overwhelming and sometimes put a strain on your marriage. Make sure to continue with your routine of a date night once a week or a special vacation spot. You can also incorporate a special ritual from your own childhood to bridge the transition from a couple to a family.

Routines provide the two key ingredients for learning: relationships and repetition. Make sure to enjoy these ‘ordinary’ moments with your child. If your child is having fun with you, they are learning too!

Do you love these ideas/activities and want more of them? You can have a box with age-appropriate activities that are developmentally correct and pediatric designed, shipped right to your door!

Or You can Book your Free Consultation with Dr Khatri.

Click the link below to get your box now!