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Toddlers

 

The Toddler years
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The toddler years are an amazing time of development and discovery for your child. She will go from being a baby to a walking, talking person with a mind of her own and the vocabulary to express it!
Tumbling Toddlers
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The very term 'toddler' means you can expect your child to be walking. This can happen any time around her first birthday. If your child isn't showing any signs of walking on her own by 18 months, speak to your GP or health visitor. There may be an underlying medical reason they can help with, or it may be she's just content to make do with crawling!

Along with walking, comes growing physical co-ordination and confidence. From around 18 months, your toddler should be able to stack three or four bricks in a tower, fit shapes into a sorter and open and close containers.

 This manual dexterity will gradually improve until she is not only able to take off her clothes, but put them on as well, and - from the age of about three - do up buttons and zips.As she learns about balance and movement, she is likely to get new opportunities for zooming about as she masters the art of pedalling. She may also show an interest in gymnastics by practising sommersaults and learning to skip and hop (from around 30 months). You may want to explore activity classes for your youngster (such as Tumble Tots) to help her get the most out of her new-found skills.
It's Good To Talk
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Just as she is getting more physically confident, so her language skills will come on in leaps and bounds. By 18 months most children can say a few words and follow simple commands. By two years most children master simple sentences, while by three years they can carry on a conversation of two or three sentences.

While the first "I love you" will moisten your eye, this new ability to communicate may move you to tears for other reasons! Part and parcel of the power of speech is theneed to question. You may get sick and tired of the plaintive "Why?", but try and maintain your enthusiasm, even if you are explaining something for the hundredth time. After all, this is how your child finds out about her world. You will probably also find that your child uses her new-found vocabulary to assert her independence. Her first obstinate "No!" soon develops into "I don't want to". Developing a sense of her own identity is an important element of being a toddler. As a young baby she thought of herself as an extension of you, but she's now beginning to understand that she is a unique and separate person. So it's not surprising that she combines this understanding with her new language skills to oppose and contradict you. Again, it may take the patience of a saint, but try and reason with her calmly, while laying down clear ground rules about acceptable behaviour.


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