UPDATE: There is specific advice on parenting during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Toddlers are great fun but none the less can be challenging as they gain new ways to communicate and find their feet. Here are some great ways to build your toddlers brain:
Talk: Reading to your toddler is a great way to encourage speech, at this stage they will be able to understand instructions and communicate with speech more clearly. Your local library sessions such as rhyme time are perfect to improve speech. There are some excellent links for helping your toddler with speech and language and home learning here along with daily reading activities which can be found here.
Play: As a toddler they will be able to walk and run, along with better problem solving skills therefore play can now be expanded to solving easy tasks such as jigsaws, and spot the difference. More energetic activities can also be played like dance or hide and seek. Groups such as stay and play are ideal.
Relax: Relaxing with your toddler helps form a strong bond, there are many ways to help you and your child relax including reading a book, cuddling and activities specifically designed to help your child relax like baby yoga.
Cuddle: Cuddling your child helps create a secure attachment and promotes bonding and positive interactions. There are times you can build cuddling in to your child’s daily routine such a as hug before bedtime or before they go into nursery or to another care giver. The most important thing to remember is the act of cuddling brings you closer together.
Respond: Accessing and responding to your child’s needs is an essential part of everyday parenting. When your child’s talks to you or points to something you can respond by talking back and assessing what they need (sometimes called ‘serve and return’). If you child cries they may be hungry or just want your attention- the important thing is you respond in a positive manner which will promote a secure parent/care giver- child attachment. This will then lead to healthy development throughout the life course.