The Magic of Everyday Moment – From 24 to 36 months
01:56 | 26/03/2014
The Magic of Everyday Moment
Loving and Learning Through Daily Activities
 
 
If you are like most parents today, your greatest challenge is probably caring for your baby while also taking care of yourself and your responsibilities. The competing demands on your time and energy make finding the time to connect with your baby no small challenge. But daily activities, such as feeding, bathing and grocery shopping, don’t need to take time away from bonding with and enjoying your baby. In fact, these everyday moments are rich opportunities to encourage your child’s development by building her self-confidence, curiousity, social skills, self-control, communication skills and social skills.
 
Most of all you build her desire to learn about her world. The articles in this series are not intended to be general guides to everything that is happening at each specific age. Instead, they focus on how, through interactions with your baby during everyday moments, you can support your baby’s social, emotional and intellectual development. It’s the special interplay between parent and child that makes everyday moments so meaningful. The potential is limitless. The starting point is you.
 
 
Toddler play with friends
 

Remember, everyday moments are rich bonding and learning opportunities. Enjoy the magic of these moments with your child.

 

What It’s Like for You

  

Your “baby” isn’t a baby anymore! He has ideas and opinions of his own. He can also do so much for himself—dress (or at least help), eat, and talk, talk, talk. While these accomplishments may delight you and make you feel proud, you may also feel a sense of sadness or loss, wondering where the time has gone.

 

This third year is a magical time as imagination is blossoming. Two-year-olds often spend a lot of time in the world of pretend. When you watch your child and join in (while letting him be the director) you will learn a lot about what he is thinking and feeling. He may make up stories where he is the dad who goes to work and you are the child left at home or in child care. He may be the king who gets everything he wants!

  

Toddler play music with mommy

 

There may be some big adjustments ahead for both of you, as well. You might be considering pre-school. Learning to use the potty may be on the horizon. Perhaps there is a new baby coming into the picture. You may be concerned about how your toddler will adjust…or how you will handle two! These are all opportunities to help your child learn to cope with life’s changes.

  

Reading Your Toddler's Cues

 

What follows is a chart that describes what children are learning at this stage and what you can do to support the development of these new skills. As you go through the chart, it’s important to remember that every baby is an individual person, and grows and develops in her own way, at her own pace. Building a strong and close relationship with you is the foundation of her learning and her healthy growth and development. 

Any concern about your baby’s behavior or development deserves attention. Always discuss your concerns with your child’s pediatrician or other trusted professional.

 

From 2 to 3 years old

 

Toddler pretend play

 

 

What to expect

What you can do

 

Oh Brother!

Or Sister! If your toddler was an only child, a new sibling might be on the way or already in the pic­ture. This is a wonderful gift, but can also bring some challenges.

  • Prepare your child with books about a new baby and having siblings.
  • Let her help you care for the baby.
  • Make special time for each of your children.

 

I’m Scared!

Your toddler’s imagination is blossoming, but he is often not sure about the difference between reality and fantasy. This may lead to new fears.

  • Help him talk about his fears. Putting feelings into words can help him understand and feel in control of them. Knowing how he feels will also help you provide the reassurance he needs.
  • Never belittle your child or his fears. This may lead to increased fearfulness.

 

Let me try

Your toddler is becoming capable of doing more and more things by himself.

  • Provide opportunities for him to do some things on his own--get dressed, brush his teeth, even use the potty and wash his hands.
  • Have him use his skills to help around the house—putting away clothes, setting the table, or picking up leaves in the yard. This will help him feel important.

 

I’m unique

Your child is beginning to no­tice similarities and differences among people.

  • Help your child understand and appreciate his own culture and background, as well as those of others. Talk respectfully about others who are different from you.
  • Expect some embarrassing moments when your child comments on a difference he notices. Use them as opportunities to explain, without judgment, that people are different in many ways – size, skin color, style of dress, etc.

 

Batteries not included (or necessary!)

You may be tempted to buy specialized toys, games, or videos, especially those that claim to make your baby smarter.

  • Resist the urge to buy based on product claims.
  • Choose toys that encourage imagination and that will “grow” with your child like books, play food, dolls, toy ani­mals, and crayons.
  • Remember—you are her favorite toy!

 

Catch Me If You Can

Your child can do a lot with his body: run, jump, climb, spin, and now even play on riding toys and tricycles.

  • Limit TV time and head outside. Take hikes, walk to the play­ground, or throw the ball.
  • Talk about up, down, over, under, high, and low as you play. Go up and down the slide, climb over and run under the jungle gym.

 

Now You’re Talkin’

After waiting all this time for your child to talk, you may wonder when your 2-year-old will ever stop. She now uses longer sentences and talks anytime, anywhere.

  • Keep the conversation going. Talk about what you are doing together. Ask her about her thoughts and ideas. “What part did you like in the book?” “Why do you think the bear was sad?”
  • Read books, sing songs, and play rhyming games with real and nonsense words. This helps develop language skills.

 

Why?

 

“Why” may become one of her favorite new words because your curious toddler is learning about the logical connections between things. She begins to understand, “If I write with crayon on the walls, mommy take the crayon away!”

  • When your child asks, “Why?” ask her for her ideas before you answer. This builds her thinking skills. It also helps you know how much information she needs. A simple response might be all that is necessary.
  • Be patient with the many questions that come. Understanding the “why” of things is a big leap in your child’s thinking.

Source: Zero to Three (www.zerotothree.com)

 

Read more:

 

The Magic of Everyday Moment – Baby from newborn to 6 months

 

The Magic of Everyday Moment – Baby from 6 to 12 months

 

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