In the first two years of life we grow more than at any other time in life, we learn more and we are in a constant state of exploration and learning new skills, daily. Lifting our heads, grasping at toys, sitting up, walking, and talking. Children in this age range require plenty of encouragement to practise these skills. As infants, simply giving them plenty of floor time with bright interesting objects/toys nearby will stimulate their curiosity and ensure they get the exercise their body needs. As your little one grows older though s/he will acquire the skills needed to enable them to roam and investigate the new world around them. Activities for this age range encourage safe exploration of both body and surroundings.
Here’s a few great ideas you can use to stimulate your child’s gross and fine motor skill development.
- Allow your child time on a play mat and provide bright colorful toys that will spark their attention.
- Encourage your child to walk at every opportunity even if this means you have to slow down a little. Children who can walk enjoy games like, ring a ring a rosies and ‘catch me if you can’. For the latter add an element of fun by pretending to be a big teddy bear or any other animal and cover the child in kisses and tickles when you catch him or her.
- Pretending your child’s favorite teddy or doll is real, make her walk, go to bed, talk. Include her in everyday activities. Talking to your child about what the doll is doing will assisting your child’s language development. You can also use this methodology to teach your child about emotions and feelings, as well as developing his or her imagination.
- Play, pat-a-cake, pat-a cake. This is a fun game and will help develop the child’s hand-eye co ordination. you may need to help your child clap until he or she can do this independently. This game will also assist in boosting language skills.
- Building games are a fantastic way to teach problem solving and imagination. Play with your child. Using building blocks, make simple patterns, ask the child to copy you using their own blocks. for example three up and two down. Then let the child build the pattern which you have to copy.
- For building muscle and hand-eye co ordination try rolling balls around. Bouncy balls for outside play, and soft foam balls for inside. sit on the ground facing each other, legs apart toes touching, roll a ball back and forth between each other.
- singing songs and dancing together is fun, develops imagination, and rhythm. Play music which has a good beat so your child can jump along and pretend to be a kangaroo or elephant, and quiet music so you can pretend to be mice trying not to be seen by the cat.
Got any other good games or activities for children aged from zero to 2 years old? Share them with our readers, below.
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