As your child grows, your toddler will make large strides emotionally, intellectually and physically. Your toddler’s development can be tracked through milestones at different times as they grow. Physical developmental milestones include throwing and kicking a ball, pushing and pulling, squatting, climbing, potty training and jumping. Psychological and emotional milestones include prereading, gaining confidence and independence, using simple sentences and learning empathy. As a parent, you can aid in your child’s growth with activities that encourage cognitive and language development.

Textures

Because toddlers are sensory learners that are discovering the world through touch, taste and smell, use activities that play with textures. Using a dark marker, trace letters of the alphabet or numbers onto a poster board. Then have your toddler “decorate” the letters with textured items like dry noodles, cotton balls, pipe cleaners, beans, etc. By touching the letters, your child has the opportunity to feel how a later is formed.

Counting and Measuring

Using household items you can teach your child to count and measure other things around the house, or themselves. Have your child lie down on the carpet and measure how many “oranges tall” they are by lining them up next to them. Determine how many “lego blocks tall” the couch is or how many “race cars wide” the bed is. As you lay the objects down, count out loud to encourage the recognition of the number with the quantity.

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Regression

Toddlers are developing so many skills, that it can become overwhelming. It is totally normal for your child to experience regression. For example, your chatterbox may suddenly point and cry rather than using their words. When your toddler regresses, acknowledge their feelings. If they can’t tell you what is bothering them, see if they can show you. Instead of seeing things as good or bad, see the regression as a signal. Usually when a child regresses, it is their way of telling you that they need comfort. Snuggle up with your munchkin or read them a book, and they will likely return to their normal self soon.

With your loving support, your toddler will be learning so many new things and growing right before your eyes. Some children are simply late bloomers, and that is no reason to panic. Your toddler will be mastering skills in no time!