At this age, toddlers are big on sensory play and love experimenting with various textures. Are you stuck at home with no idea of what to do with your bored toddler? Here’s a list of simple activities you can do with your child which will help to develop his thinking skills.
Make a pretend telescope from the inner cardboard tube of a kitchen paper towel roll! Children love peeking through the tube. Jig your child’s imagination by asking him what he sees – is it a plane, stars in the sky or a bird?
#2 Walk on bubbles
Bubble wrap, that is. Lay bubble wrap along a corridor and let your toddler step on it to pique his curiosity and be intrigued by the popping sounds made. Other than walking, encourage your toddler to jump, lie down or crawl on the bubble wrap. This helps them to fully experience a different textured surface. Oh, and those little fingers would delight in popping the bubble wrap too! Hello, independent play!
#3 Ball Play
Get a lightweight ball and pass it to-and- fro with your tot. Make the game more interesting by getting him to roll or bounce the ball. This activity strengthens their hand-eye coordination and engages them in physical activity.
#4 Water doodle books
Water doodle books contain images that magically appear when in contact with water. The books usually come with a water pen. Watch the fascination on your child’s face as he sees the white images come to life when he scribbles on it!
#5 Build sandcastles
If it is your toddler’s first time to the beach, he may be cautious and afraid of having soft sand under his feet. Once he is relaxed, let him shovel sand into a bucket and build a sandcastle together!
#6 Stack paper cups
Have some unused paper cups lying around the house? Your toddler can try stacking and unstacking the cups or build a pyramid with the cups. Lots of concentration and focus is needed for this activity. His hand-eye coordination, ambidexterity and visual processing skills will be strengthened through the stacking and unstacking of cups. Best of all, it won’t hurt if it topples!
#7 Play with scarves
Scarf play facilitates your child’s physical and emotional development. Teach your child the various actions that can be done with scarves – crumpling, swishing, floating. When your child swishes the scarf around, it’s not just play. Your child is also learning about patterns and directions whilst developing their sensory skills. Turn on the music, and who knows! You might discover a little dancer in the making too.
#8 Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
At this stage, toddlers are learning about their bodies. This classic children’s song is a great way to teach body parts and develop coordination as they move to touch their head, shoulders, knees and toes. Try changing the tempo of the song slower or faster to maintain interest.
#9 Wooden Puzzles
Even the simplest puzzles aid your child in building problem solving skills which are essential for their future school and adult life. Start off with wooden puzzles which have hollows in the shape of the puzzle pieces. Move on to easy, two-piece puzzles with easily recognizable objects or animals when your child is ready to attempt more complex pieces.
Sit facing your toddler and do something for her to mimic, like waving your hands or clapping. Wait for your toddler to recognise the action and mimic it. Babies and toddlers are social creatures and enjoy uninterrupted face time with their caregivers.
#11 Ice Fishing
Place ice cubes in a clear tub with a few plastic figurines (preferably sea animals) and get your toddler to fish the figurines out with a mesh sieve. Allow him to use his hands to touch the ice and observe how ice melts and turns into water. That’s a simple Science experiment for your little one too!
#12 Doodle Box
Get a clean cardboard box large enough for your baby to sit inside, hand over a child-friendly crayon and let your baby unleash his inner Picasso! This activity aids in developing your child’s fine motor skills when he grasps and controls the crayon. It also confines any mess to the insides of the box. Let us raise world-ready children, one purposeful activity at a time.
What are some of your favourite activities for your 12- 18-month- old toddler? Do share them too!
How do you know if it’s time to start your child on solids apart from drinking breastmilk or formula? For first-time parents, feeding your child is only as hard as you imagine it to be. It can be as easy as A-B- C with the right knowledge.
First, a little checklist:
Signs that your child is ready to eat solid food:
They are at least six months old.
They start noticing and looking at you eat your own food.
They smack their lips and tongue when looking at solid food.
They reach for actual food.
They can sit upright unsupported.
They have lost their tongue-thrust reflex.
Some parents and doctors allow kids as early as four months old to consume solid food, but this is recommended on a case-to- case basis. At the end of the day, the best person to determine if your baby should start eating solid food earlier would be your child’s paediatrician.
What you should remember about feeding your child their first solid food
Their feeding habits and how you introduce food to them in the early years build the foundation for their eating habits and preferences.
Luckily, it’s easy to get them interested in food and textures if you know how. Here are some things to
1. It’s going to get messy.
Expecting clean mealtimes are not part of the equation. Your child is going to grab, dunk, mix, mash and spit up food. It’s normal and part of them learning how to eat and exploring the new journey.
2. Keep everything clean.
Whether you choose to have your kid eat from a plate, with utensils or on the surface of their high chair or the table, everything should be sterilised and cleaned before offering your little one.
3. Follow your child’s lead and comfort level.
Like adults, baby’s moods may differ from day-to- day, or even within the same day. If he’s not in the mood to eat, clean up and try again later.
4. Always ensure adult supervision
The transition to solid food can be smooth like a baby’s bottom.
An adult should always be with your child during mealtimes. Some parents prefer feeding their child while others may wish to embark on Baby-led Weaning, so baby eats independently. Do what works for your child and family, and remember safety first!
5. Have fun.
A happy disposition and lively time during meals can help your child identify the dining table and meals as a great experience.
So, what can you feed your little one?
Besides instant cereal, make it a point to use fresh ingredients. For the sake of your baby’s intestinal health, ensure food safety during meal preparation and offer fully cooked food to your child to prevent the risk of contamination.
You can puree the following vegetables in a blender or boil them in water before mashing them:
6. Sweet potatoes
You can also shred or cut them into small bite-sized pieces and have your baby pick them up from a plate:
1. Soft, white bread
7. Boiled chicken
8. Boiled soft fish
Babies under one-year- old are not ready for intense flavours or spices as these may tax their digestive
What if my child doesn’t want to eat?
Naturally, there would be concerns about picky eating. While we suggest holding off the ‘picky eater’ label until your baby is a bit older, here are some things to do if your child doesn’t like to eat the food you’ve served:
1. Don’t force them to eat if they refuse.
2. If they don’t like a particular food, try feeding it the next day, or even the following week. Your baby’s taste buds could be developing and what didn’t work last week could work the next.
3. Keep the meals frequent but small. Ration approximately a tablespoon or two of food each time.
4. Offer cooled boiled water to drink after each meal.
5. Don’t hold off on the milk—this is where they still get the most nutrients.
6. Be mindful of allergies or conditions (such as G6PD deficiency) that would require a special diet.
7. Do not put your child on a special diet unless your paediatrician says so.
8. Watch for signs of allergic reaction such as hives, breathing difficulties, itching and extreme irritability when introducing new food. Go to the emergency room immediately if you think your child is having a first allergic reaction.
Have fun nourishing your children with a good balance of essential nutrients. After all, eating well is one step towards raising world-ready children!
How was your experience when you first introduced solids to your child? Do share them below!
New parents would agree that they would never expect to be engrossed in a discussion about poop.
Besides monitoring for a change in colour, consistency and frequency, parents need to know what to do when your baby or toddler has a diarrhoea.
First, what sort of symptoms should you observe before addressing the case of diarrhoea?
How do you know if your baby has diarrhoea
Babies poop in a myriad of colours and consistency, you can identify an onset of diarrhoea if they exhibit the following:
Watery poop with every new diaper change in the last one or two hours.
Watery poop for the past few days.
You can also use the WebMD Bristol Tool Chart above for examining your baby’s poop. Anything that hovers around 5, 6 and 7 is close to diarrhoea territory, so monitor your baby for consistent stools as
But if these symptoms flare up, go to a doctor right away:
Consistent sunken fontanel despite feedings
Blood in stool
High fever in very young babies (above 38°C for babies younger than 3 months; above 38.8°C for ages 3 months to 12 months)
Mucus in the stool
Infrequent urination (less diaper changes)
Fussiness and irritability
Lack of tears when crying
Skin doesn’t spring back when you depress it
The above are signs that your child is dehydrated (or on their way there) and there may be an underlying condition to the diarrhoea.
What causes diarrhoea?
Now that you understand how to detect diarrhoea care for your baby, it is time to take a better look at
the causes. As the saying goes, prevention is the best remedy.
When your child is fighting off a virus or bacteria, their immune and digestive systems act up. That might lead to loose stools. Your child may even have rotavirus, but there is a vaccine for this and is included in the required vaccine schedule for babies in Singapore. Do check with your child’s paediatrician or the polyclinics on the vaccination schedule.
2. Antibiotic use
According to Iona Munjal, M.D., director of the Pediatric Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York, antibiotics kill bad and good bacteria. The good ones being killed off in the tummy would compromise on digestive process.
Kids who put things in their mouths are more susceptible to this as parasites can live on their toys and objects found in playgrounds, daycare centers or homes.
Allergies could also be a trigger to diarrhoea. The kind of allergy developed comes in many forms besides food; your baby may have gotten it from an insect bite, plant pollens or medication. In some cases, it may even be hereditary, and your child’s body reacts to the stimuli.
What do you do when your baby has diarrhoea?
If you’ve successfully determined that your child has loose stools and need diarrhoea treatment, how do you deal with it at home?
Here are some methods that experts suggest. Keep in mind that you should consult your doctor before administering any drug or new substance on your baby:
1. Do not give medicine unless your doctor says so
Only physicians are licensed to medicate your baby, so it’s always best to check with the experts.
2. Offer lots of fluids
If your paediatrician allows an oral rehydration drink, you may give that. Otherwise, offer the breast or bottle more often. Never give fruit juice, sugary drinks or off-the- counter medicine as these may aggravate the condition.
3. Continue with solid diet with some modification
You shouldn’t stop feeding your child solid food while they have loose stools, says experts. What you can do is add more whole wheat bread, lean meat like shredded chicken, oatmeal and crackers. You can also give them banana and applesauce, but do not forget protein sources. Should your child’s appetite be poor, considering offering liquid-based diets such as porridge, bee hoon soup or a simply bowl of fish soup to ensure he gets optimal fluids.
4. Keep baby’s bottom clean with gentle methods
Since your little one is pooping more often, his butt can become irritated and prone to diaper rash. The frequent cleaning can also lead to skin abrasions and that can be painful for the little one. Wash with lukewarm water instead of wipes, air dry his bottom and change diapers often to reduce the growth of bacteria. Use a diaper rash cream pre-emptively to soothe baby’s delicate skin too.
Birthdays call for a celebration and an invitation to fun times together! Let’s bring cheer to Albert by drawing and decorating his birthday cake, specially “baked” and designed by your child! Parents can take this activity further by browsing photographs of your child’s birthday and kickstart a wealth of linguistic opportunities including vocabulary and conversational exposure!
Let your child draw, doodle and decorate Albert’s birthday cake using pencils, crayons, markers, colour pencils or even paints! Explore mix mediums of materials and get creative by pasting crepe paper, mesh paper, glitter glue, stickers, buttons and more. This helps develop gross motor skills and fine motor skills too.
As you work on creating that deliciously yummy birthday cake, ask your child questions such as:
How old is Albert?
Shall we add some candles on the cake?
Do you think he might like some flowers, stickers, hearts, or (insert an object your child is familiar with) on his birthday cake?
What flavour do you think the cake is? Chocolate, strawberry, ice cream cake?
Asking questions helps guide young children through a series of thoughts which enriches their cognitive development. It also encourages them to proactively ask questions too, so that learning is a 2-way active affair. Inquisitiveness is a positive sign that your child wants to explore and discover, so do take heart in patiently answering them to feed their minds especially during the early years!
Match the pictures to their respective colours! Point out the various fruit to your child when you bring them to the market! Alternatively, print out two copies, cut out the squares and play “Snap” with your child! Have fun!
This matching game activity promotes memory, observation skills, basic sorting and encourages young learners to learn about colours. Your little one picks up new vocabulary and learns how to identify items of the same colour by grouping.
Start by introducing the individual fruit and its colour. After that, spell out the colours. Finally, let them match the fruit to their colours. When you are on a grocery run, jolt your child’s memory by asking them to tell you the colour of various fruits.
You can also print out two copies, cut out the squares, shuffle the cards, distribute it between your child and yourself and play “Snap”. This childhood game is certainly bound to bring on laughter between the both of you!
These engaging activities help to encourage new perspectives of looking at things around them, as they explore classification skills and reinforces identification skills. Make time for some indoor and outdoor fun with your kids this weekend!