Toddlers, for example, are trying to learn to walk, talk, build attachments to their peers and their caregivers and parallel play alongside their peers. How can we help? We can provide:

Physical

– large, open spaces to crawl, walk, run, climb and jump

– stairs with a handrail for balancing

– chunky crayons, paintbrushes, chalk and large sheets of paper

– manipulative toys like wooden puzzles, small and large foam or plastic blocks, string and large beads

– sensory items like play dough, water play or finger paints

Cognitive/Intellectual

– naming objects and repeating words with the children

– time for exploring and playing without being interrupted

– finger plays or short songs

– active and expressive storytelling

Emotional

– face to face and on-on-one interactions

– reassuring, gentle and comforting reactions to children in distress

– meeting children’s needs in a timely manner

– allowing for the chance to make simple choices and having a sense of control

Social

– having multiple toys of same kind as children this age can’t share or learn to take turns yet

– reading books aloud and encouraging engaging in and talking about the story

– teaching self-care skills and encouraging independence

– naming and identifying feelings and how to express them

Creative

– having simple dress-up clothes or costumes for role-playing

– chunky crayons, paintbrushes, chalk & large sheets of paper

– simple finer plays, actions songs and musical instruments

– freedom to choose activities without adult interference

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