Parenting Technique 61 – As exploration for your baby continues, it now has two separate parts–gross motor and fine motor. As you continue to support your toddler in his or her new love for walking, add as many opportunities as you can for your baby to touch and manipulate smaller objects.
In this age of computer touching, do all you can right now to exercise those little fingers and make sure that they have an opportunity to grow and thrive in normal ways. Indulge your baby in his or her love of movement in every way.
One Year to Two
With basic walking mastered, or almost, this is your child’s time for exploring. Gross motor development continues, and fine motor development emerges. No longer restricted to crawling to places, your toddler can easily go to where he or she wants and “touch” all different kinds of objects. Pushing, pulling, and manipulating items are all part of fine motor development. This is a winning combination for your little one. The more your toddler gets around, the more he or she continues to advance.
– adapted from Constructive Parenting by Sally Goldberg, p. 60
Here are a few suggested ways to bring movement opportunities into you child’s life.
- Collect two household items of the same kind and take turns building towers of two with them. Toddlers often like to do this with familiar objects like mini cereal boxes, plastic cups, and bars of soap. You may have other ideas for this kind of play.
- Once you notice your baby can hold a thick crayon, have some fun with that. A popular idea is to set up a large piece of construction paper on a table with a small selection of toddler crayons. Then encourage your little one to scribble freely on the paper. Tape the paper down if that will make you feel even better. Let the creativity roll!
- Being “on-the-go” is still very important now. Therefore make time to take your little one on hand-in-hand walks. Those will be great fun for you both. No rushing to get anywhere, just time to enjoy your new-found fun of being able to walk together.
A Bouquet of Positive Feelings!
An important part of a happy “action-packed” day is that wonderful “sleep-through-the-night” sleep. Being tired from appropriate activities is everything.
Here is a beautiful way Nancy Tillman says it in her book Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You.
My love is so high, and so wide and
so deep, it’s always right there, even
when you’re asleep.