It’s a Small World

February 4, 2010

It’s a world of laughter, a world of tears
Its a world of hopes, it’s a world of fear
There’s so much that we share
That it’s time we’re aware
It’s a small world after all

CHORUS:
It’s a small world after all
It’s a small world after all
It’s a small world after all
It’s a small, small world

There is just one moon and one golden sun
And a smile means friendship to everyone.
Though the mountains divide
And the oceans are wide
It’s a small small world

(chorus)

Ten Little Indians

February 3, 2010

One little, two little, three little Indians
Four little, five little, six little Indians
Seven little, eight little, nine little Indians
Ten little Indian boys.

Ten little, nine little, eight little Indians
Seven little, six little, five little Indians
Four little, three little, two little Indians
One little Indian boy.


Mary Had a Little Lamb

December 7, 2009

Mary had a little lamb,
Little lamb, little lamb,
Mary had a little lamb,
Its fleece was white as snow

Everywhere that Mary went,
Mary went, Mary went,
Everywhere that Mary went
The lamb was sure to go

It followed her to school one day
School one day, school one day
It followed her to school one day
Which was against the rules.

It made the children laugh and play,
Laugh and play, laugh and play,
It made the children laugh and play
To see a lamb at school

And so the teacher turned it out,
Turned it out, turned it out,
And so the teacher turned it out,
But still it lingered near

And waited patiently about,
Patiently about, patiently about,
And waited patiently about
Till Mary did appear

“Why does the lamb love Mary so?”
Love Mary so? Love Mary so?
“Why does the lamb love Mary so?”
The eager children cry

“Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know.”
Loves the lamb, you know, loves the lamb, you know
“Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know.”
The teacher did reply

Are You Sleeping

December 6, 2009

Are you sleeping?
Are you sleeping?
Brother John?
Brother John?
Morning bells are ringing,
Morning bells are ringing,
Ding ding dong,
Ding ding dong.

Alphabet Song

December 5, 2009

A simple song helping your children to learn alphabet

Games to Play with Your Two-years-old

December 1, 2009
You and your two-year-old will have hours of fun with these simple games, and they’ll encourage his development, too.

If you don’t find you and your child’s favourite game here, why not scroll down to the parents’ comments box, below, to share it with us.

24-30 months

• One for you, one for me
You can use anything you like for this game — buttons, crayons, raisins. Give your toddler a small pile and ask him to share them out — ‘one for you, one for me’ — into some small containers or plates. Invite your partner, a little friend or his favourite teddy to join in, too, so he can practise sharing things out three ways. Your toddler will love being in charge — and this game will help introduce him to numbers as well.

• Indoor basketball
Use sheets of newspaper to make lots of balls by scrunching them up small. Clear any nearby breakable objects before starting play. Practise by having a competition to see who can throw the balls furthest. Then play basketball — place a wastepaper bin a metre or so away and see who can land a ball in it. Besides being lots of fun, this game will help improve your toddler’s hand-eye skills.

• Odd man out
Practice this game using your fruit bowl or a plate of biscuits to begin with. Put a couple of apples and a banana, for example, or two plain biscuits and one chocolate one, in front of your toddler and ask him which is the odd one out. Gradually you can make the game more difficult with card shapes or pictures — two squares and one triangle, for example, or two flowers and one tree — and seeing if he can spot which one is different. A great game for helping your toddler understand the concepts of ‘same’ and ‘different’.

• Going on a picnic
Make an ordinary day more fun by having a picnic for lunch. You don’t need to go out — just spread a blanket on the sitting-room floor and eat from paper plates. Prepare some finger food with your toddler — mini sandwiches, vegetables sticks, hardboiled eggs, for example, and encourage him to pretend that you’re somewhere more exciting, like up a mountain or by a stream. Your toddler will love using his imagination and it will also give you lots to talk about.

• Where does this go?
Using old magazines cut out pictures of pieces of furniture — chairs, TV, cooker, bed — as well as other things you have around the house like a kettle, towels and books. Then cut out pictures of rooms — a sitting room, dining room, garage, garden. Lay the pictures out on the floor and ask you toddler to help put all the pictures of the furniture and objects in the right room. Don’t worry too much if he doesn’t know or gets it wrong — just see the game as a great chance to have a chat and encourage your toddlers conversational skills.

• Don’t fall in the sea!
Pretend the carpet is the sea and your toddler has to reach the other side of the room without getting his feet wet. Place cushions, magazines or paper plates across the floor as stepping stones. A fun game that will help your toddler’s sense of balance and spatial awareness.

30-36 months

• Red letter day
Make one day of the week a red day. Choose something to wear that’s red. Have strawberry jam on toast for breakfast. Do a red painting, pick some red flowers, have a pizza for lunch, count red cars on the way to the shops and stop for a strawberry milkshake on the way home. A fun game to help teach your toddler about colours!

• Lotto
An easy shop-bought game your toddler will love. The idea is to fill up spaces on a board by placing matching cards over the pictures on the board. Choose a version with big bold pictures your toddler will recognise. Matching games like this are great for developing number skills.

• Scribble away
Invest in a box of jumbo crayons, spread some large sheets of plain paper over the floor and join your toddler in a scribbling game. Don’t worry about making pictures — just marking the paper with different colours and shapes will be fun as well as helping your toddler develop his hand movements.

• ‘Simon says’
Although this is usually a game for a group, it’s also fun played one to one. You are the leader — begin by calling out simple commands like ‘Simon says, put your hands on your head’ and demonstrating the command yourself. Your toddler has to obey you. Carry on with other commands, such as ‘Simon says put your hands on your knees’, ‘Simon says cross your arms’. Do some funny ones, too, like ‘Simon says stick your tongue out’. For older two-year-olds you could try to catch your toddler out by saying ‘Touch your toes’ omitting ‘Simon says’. Without the magic words your toddler mustn’t follow the command! A great game for learning body parts and practising observation skills.

• Hot and cold
Hide a small treat in a room and then ask your toddler to come and find it. When he gets nearer the treat he’s warm, when he’s really close he’s hot! But if he’s too far away he’s cold. If he gets frustrated, hold his hand and try to find the treasure together. Keep up a running commentary until he discovers where it is. A fun game that reinforces the idea of object permanence — in other words, just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

• All fall down
Make a set of skittles using plastic bottles or cardboard tubes from kitchen roll. You can decorate them with paint or stickers. To begin with just set up three or four about one metre from the throwing line. Use a large soft ball or a pair of rolled-up socks. Encourage your toddler to roll the ball, or throw it if he finds rolling difficult. The more practised he becomes, the further away he can stand. When he knocks one down tell him how many he has left to help him with counting.

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Games to Play with Your One-year-old

December 1, 2009
You and your one-year-old will have lots of fun playing these simple games, and they’ll help her development, too. If you don’t see your favourite toddler game below, why not scroll down to the parents’ comments box, below, to share it with us.

12 to 16 months

• Coming to life
Pretend your baby’s favourite teddy or doll is real — make her walk, go to bed, jump across the room. Include her in everyday activities — sitting her at the table for tea, for example, and putting a bib on her. Talking about what you are doing will help her understand language. Act out happy and sad times, too, so she can learn about feelings and emotions as well as developing her imagination.

• Push me, pull you
If your baby is pulling herself on to two feet and trying to walk, help her practise with a pushing and pulling game. Use a moveable object such as a child-size chair or plastic stacking box filled with soft toys. While she holds the edges for support you can hold the other side and keep it steady. Then slowly pull the box towards you side to encourage her to step forward. Soon she’ll start to push while you gently pull. This will build her confidence ready for when she starts walking on her own.

• Clap happy
By now your baby will be able to hold her hands open, but it may be a while before she claps independently. For now, clap them together with her, or let her hold your hands and pat them together. Sit her facing you on the floor, or on your lap, and sing clapping songs together like ‘Pat-a-cake, pat-a cake’. These will boost her language skills as well as her hand-eye co-ordination.

• Who’s hiding here?
Just as she loved peek-a-boo as a baby, your toddler will love to play simple games of hide and seek. First thing in the morning take it in turns to hide under the bed sheets; at bath time, use a big towel to hide under, instead. For extra fun and giggles you can gently prod her as she hides, ‘Is this a leg? Or is it an arm?’ and so on. Games like this help teach your toddler that, just because she can’t see something, it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. For a change, while she’s wrapped up in the towel, carry her into another room. She’ll be delighted when she’s unveiled to discover she’s moved location!

16 to 20 months

• Tea party
On a sunny day take a child-sized plastic tea set outdoors and fill a large plastic bowl with water. Pretend you’ve ‘come to tea’ and encourage your toddler to fill the teapot and pour out the tea. This fun game will challenge your baby’s co-ordination skills and help her learn about the properties of water — for example, that it always flows down, not up.

• Brick patterns
This requires a bit of concentration so is best played when your toddler’s feeling refreshed. Use her building blocks to make simple patterns, such as three in a row or ‘two up, two down’ to make a square. Encourage her to use other blocks so she can copy your pattern. Then let her have a go at making her own pattern, which you have to copy. Sorting objects like this into shapes will help encourage your toddler’s problem-solving skills.

• Roll it to me
Balls are popular toys for one-year-olds. Bouncy balls are best kept outside, but soft, foam balls make great indoor toys. The best ball game to start playing with your toddler is this easy version of ‘catch’. Both of you sit on the ground facing each other with your legs apart and toes touching. You can now roll the ball backwards and forwards to each other without it going out of bounds. Fun for building arm muscles and hand-eye co-ordination.

• Young collector
Go for a walk together and take a bucket with you. Collect small objects that interest your toddler — stones, leaves, pine cones. Your toddler will want to carry the bucket, but don’t be surprised if she also dumps its contents and starts again. Toddlers at this age love to fill containers just so then can empty them again! Meanwhile, she’s practising her hand movements and developing dexterity.

20-24 months

• Let’s dance!
Play favourite bits of music that lend themselves to particular actions — something with a big, loud beat so your child can stamp like an elephant or that’s quiet so she can pretend that she’s tiptoeing past a sleeping lion, trying not to wake it up. Marching to music is also great fun and easy enough for most toddlers to manage. These games will stretch her imagination and develop her sense of rhythm.

• Balloon fun
Balloons are great for indoor play. They move slowly enough to be chased and are relatively easy to catch. Blow one up — watching this is half the fun — and pat it up into the air. Count how long it takes to float down to the ground or let your toddler try to catch it. A good game for counting skills and hand-eye co-ordination.

• What can you hear?
Take a big towel or blanket out into the garden and lie down on it together. Ask your toddler to close her eyes and listen carefully. After a minute or so ask her what she could hear, and tell her what you heard: the wind in the trees, bird song, a car going past. This is a great game for helping your toddler develop her listening skills.

• Catch me if you can
Toddlers love to be chased — and parents usually love chasing their toddlers! The object of this game is to be caught — especially if your child knows he gets a big bear hug and slobbery kiss every time you manage to catch him. For variety, pretend to be different types of animals — a roaring lion or a scuttling mouse. When your toddler catches you let him have a go, too. A great game for building up your toddler’s stamina — and yours, too!

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Encouraging Your Child’s Imagination

December 1, 2009

Why it’s important to encourage imagination

Your baby was born with about 100 billion brain cells. That’s amazing enough — but what’s happening now that he’s a toddler is almost more so. Each of his brain cells is sending out and receiving electrical impulses called signals, which (with the help of brain chemicals like serotonin) create connections. Repetition turns these connections into the networks that allow him to think and learn. By his third birthday your toddler’s brain will have formed about 1,000 trillion connections — about twice as many as you have!

Right now, your toddler’s brain is much denser than it will be later, and it’s forging the pathways that it will follow for the rest of his life. A connection that’s used repeatedly becomes permanent, whereas one that’s not used (or is used infrequently) may not survive. That’s why experts are now putting so much emphasis on the first three years: Everything you do with your toddler, from reading, singing, and playing to eating and walking, helps jump-start his brain. As you expose him to new sights, sounds and sensations, you open his mind to a bigger, more exciting world. And when you use your imagination and encourage him to use his — “Look, I’m a tiger in the jungle!”, “Let’s pretend we’re going on a long trip” — you spark his brain to forge “imagination pathways” of his own.

Offer examples

Your toddler’s naturally imaginative — all children are. But he may not know how to begin.

Reading stories together about unfamiliar lands and people is a good way to spark his fantasy life, and picture books that enlarge his vocabulary of words and images will help, too. (How can you imagine being a turtle if you’ve never seen one?) Choose books with lots of big, colourful pictures, and enjoy the fact that right now, before your child learns to read and insists on strict adherence to the text, you can make up anything you want. What his brain wants now is input. Show him pictures of everything from beetles to pterodactyls, make sounds for the animals and vehicles, adopt special voices for the different characters and talk about what happened or might happen to the characters. Try to limit videos and television, which “visualise” for him, to allow your toddler’s mind more scope to create pictures on its own.

Hearing you tell your own made-up stories is just as good and maybe even better — not only will your tales provide scope for his imagination, they’ll demonstrate the basics of creating characters and plots. And using your child as the main character in the stories is a great way to expand his sense of himself.

Soon enough, your toddler will start coming up with his own stories and adventures. Don’t worry if he copies you at first; that’s how children learn. As his imagination expands, the inventiveness of his scenarios will astound you.

Provide props

Almost anything can be a prop for imaginative play. Towels become turbans, plastic beads become precious jewels, old bathroom rugs transmogrify into magic carpets, and your toddler’s mound of stuffed animals transforms itself into a rainforest, animal hospital or farm.

Believe it or not, the best props for imaginative play are often simple ones. Since most of the action takes place inside your child’s head, detailed costumes — such as those specific to particular movie characters, for instance — aren’t really that helpful. A Batman suit can only be a Batman suit. But with a plain hat and towel, a child can be a lot of different characters. Exposing your child to as many real people, places and events as possible is the best way to ensure he’ll have lots of ideas to draw on when pretending time comes.

Providing a special box or basket to hold pretending paraphernalia can make imaginative games even more of an adventure, especially if you occasionally restock when your toddler’s not looking (“Let’s see what’s in the box today!”). And providing doubles of favourites so that friends can join in can help, too.

Encourage pretend play

Children learn a lot from dramatising events from their daily — and fantasy — lives. When your toddler invents a scenario and plot line and peoples it with characters (“I’m the daddy and you’re the baby and you’re sick”), he develops social and verbal skills. He’ll work out emotional issues as he re-plays scenarios that involve feeling sad, happy, frightened or safe. Imagining himself as a superhero, a horse or a wizard makes him feel powerful and teaches him that he’s in charge — he can be anyone he wants. He’s also practising self-discipline he’ll be making the rules up himself or with a friend (the intricate rules children work out between them always astounds adults). He also develops his understanding of cause and effect as he imagines how a frog or a dog would behave in a particular situation.

Perhaps most important, creating imaginary situations and following them through to a conclusion teaches your child to think creatively and solve problems. In one study, not only did children who were imaginative when they were young tend to keep this quality as they got older, but they became better problem-solvers as well. Tested later in life, early “imaginators” had more resources to draw on when it came to coping with challenges and difficult situations, such as what to do if they found they’d forgotten a book they needed for school that day.

Tolerate mess

Imagination is a messy business, there’s no doubt about it. Pretending to be Hansel and Gretel means a trail of crumbs through the living room; pretending to be witches and wizards means someone, eventually, is going to get whacked over the head with a broomstick.

Stockpiling an arsenal of “containment” strategies can help a lot: old shirts worn backwards with sleeves cut off make great smocks; plastic sheeting under the Play-Doh construction site will save the table top; large sheets of lining paper covering the table (or the floor or the walls) can prevent multicoloured walls.

Setting limits (no using the “swords” for hitting, no throwing snowballs at heads and faces, no eating those enormously inventive kitchen chemistry concoctions) and enforcing them is also crucial — to your child’s ultimate happiness as well as yours. And psychologists agree that whileimaginary friends are fine, if your child starts blaming the friend for something she did, it’s time for a reality check.

But if and when you can, let your toddler live for a bit with the reminders of her flight of fancy. The fact that the dining-room table isn’t available for dinner because it’s currently serving as an igloo gives you the perfect excuse to have a pretend picnic on the living room floor.

Enjoy the offbeat

When your toddler begs to wear his spaceman outfit (or her fairy wings) to nursery for the third day in a row, you may find yourself in a quandary. Adults are used to drawing strict lines between “public” and “private” behaviour — your smelly old tracksuit bottoms and dog-eared rabbit slippers are fine for around the house, but not for the supermarket — and it’s hard to believe that toddlers don’t think this way. But when you find yourself forcing a confrontation (“You have to take off your fairy wings NOW”) — remember that your toddler doesn’t have these boundaries yet, and that’s nothing to worry about. It’s not that he’s lost in some fantasy world, he’s just not finished playing.

As adults, we think in terms of objectives — getting the maximum number of errands done in the minimum amount of time. And we worry about what others think, therefore we feel emotions such as embarrassment. All of these habits are positive — we learn them because they help us get along in society and succeed at work. But they do tend to work against a free-floating imaginative life. In other words, you may not realise it, but imagination-wise you’re carrying a lot of baggage. Toddlers are a wacky bunch, because they haven’t yet learned to worry about not being productive or looking silly. Lucky them!

Listen and appreciate

Alice may have started out in Lewis Carroll’s mind, but if he hadn’t written down her adventures we’d all be poorer. Part of developing an imagination is learning to share it.

The best way to help your toddler move to this next step is by being a good listener. Toddlers’ verbal skills aren’t great, of course, but they get better with practice. Trade off lines of a story: While you’re driving, say, “Once upon a time there was a dog. He lived with a little girl named Molly and they liked to go to the park. One day …” Then give your toddler a turn. If she’s not up to a whole line, she can still participate: invite her to name the little girl and the dog.

When your toddler draws a picture, invite her to interpret it for you. Instead of saying “What a beautiful house!” (unless your child’s a budding Leonardo there’s a good chance you’d guess wrong anyway), say “What lovely colours you’ve used!”

Pretending allows your toddler to be anyone she wants, to practise what she’s learned, and to make things come out the way she wants them to. It may look like mess and sound like noise, but why not give her the benefit of the doubt and assume it’s an artistic or literary masterpiece in the making? Listening to her will help you keep up with what she’s thinking and, who knows, you might revitalise your own imagination in the process.

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Buying Puzzles for Toddlers

December 1, 2009

How puzzles can help your toddler develop

Puzzles do more than entice with their bright colours and interesting shapes. Finding the right place for each piece exercises your toddler’s hand-eye coordination, improves his motor skills and develops his shape recognition — a necessary pre-reading skill.

Children also learn as they work. What better way to familiarise a child with the alphabet or British geography than to let her feel and examine every letter, or each county? Puzzles designed for very young children can teach about animals, motor vehicles or even the human body. As children grow, their puzzles become more complex, so a dinosaur fan can learn about specific meat-eaters and butterfly lovers can see how species vary by piecing together the big picture.

And puzzles can be a family activity. You can start out as a helper, then step back and share in your child’s pride and accomplishment as she learns to master it on her own. Even better, siblings who normally battle over every toy will often work together peacefully on a puzzle.

Which one to choose

Most puzzles clearly state an appropriate age. In general, look at the number of pieces when choosing puzzles. A child’s first puzzle will probably have six to 10 pieces that slip into separate shapes on the puzzle board: these are usually made of wood or cloth. Some are tactile so children can feel fun fur or smooth plastic while they work. With the help of an adult, children three years and up can graduate to puzzles with 24 to 36 pieces that slot together into a single frame.

At first you will have to stay nearby when your child works on a puzzle. A little adult interference can mean a world of difference when trying to figure out a new puzzle. If your child seems more frustrated than engaged, pull out a puzzle that she’s worked on before and put away the new puzzle for a month or two.

Each puzzle you buy will probably get at least a year’s worth of playtime. Keep in mind that small cardboard puzzle pieces are not appropriate for children under three years old.

Tip: Set up a special spot in a cupboard or on a shelf and keep puzzles together in one place. Letting your child choose a puzzle can be the first step to a happily spent rainy afternoon.

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Physical Play for Toddlers

December 1, 2009
Written by childcare expert and author Penelope Leach

Opportunities for play

  • Your toddler must run, climb, jump, swing, push, pull, roll and generally leap about. It is only by using their whole bodies to their physical limits that children can learn to control and manage them. The more practice your child gets at this stage, the more agile, well coordinated and safe she or he will be as a preschool child. Furthermore, using energy in physical play is relaxation from the stress of new thinking and careful hand-control. Your child will find plenty of opportunities for physical play in ordinary daily life, but furniture is not really made for daily gymnastics. Your child and your possessions will be damaged less if there are some special facilities and equipment for your child.

Acrobatics

  • Toddlers fall down all the time and it usually hurts. A situation where falls are fun instead of being painful is bliss.
  • A double divanbed is a fabulous playground. Toddlers learn to turn head-over-heels, to look between their legs, to roll over and over and to bite their toes… It may not sound grand and educational, but it all helps to give knowledge of and confidence in her body as well as to relax and get rid of tensions. If you are one of the fathers who has the knack of throwing your child around without anyone getting hurt, this kind of play will probably become one of your child’s very favorite games.
  • If you cannot stand the idea of your child on your bed, even without shoes and its cover, a couple of bean bags or giant floor cushions are almost as good. When opportunity offers, don’t forget the bliss of throwing oneself into a giant pile of leaves or even a haystack…

Climbing

  • A friendly apple tree is the best thing for climbing, but it is easier to magic a frame into your garden than to produce a tree where there is not one already. Climbing frames give most children a great deal of pleasure and valuable varied play over many years. A fold-away version making a 1.2m (4ft) cube can be used indoors and out. Larger models need permanent installation in the garden. Tubular metal has a long life, but tends to get rusty when the paint chips and to feel unfriendly on wet cold days. Wooden frames need occasional weatherproofing. Both need an annual safety inspection.
  • Once you decide to invest this much money, it is sensible to think ahead to your child as an eleven year old. Buy the biggest frame possible. You will be able to add all kinds of swinging gear, slides and scrambling nets when she is older. You can transform it into a tent or a house now by throwing an old sheet over it.
  • Unless she is teased or pushed, your toddler will probably be safe on a climbing frame, but play safe by positioning it on grass or earth, not concrete.
  • A bought or home-made set of double-sided steps, three to four high and with a small platform at the top, makes a surprisingly adaptable plaything if you have the space. You can use it to support a slide, a see-saw plank or a balancing bar and it serves well as a ship’s bridge, too.

Balancing

  • Putting one foot directly in front of the other instead of in-front-but-to-the-side is difficult for a toddler. He or she can have fun practicing trying to walk along the lines of your floor tiles or the paving stones.
  • A board about 20cm (8in) wide and 2m (6ft) long, put flat on the floor, is fun to walk along and can be made more exciting later if it is put across two piles of magazines. It is worth getting hold of such a board as it will stay in use for years. By the time your child is two, he or she will walk up it with one end planted on a chair, and across it with both ends on chairs and your hand to hold. Children can learn to jump off it, too.
  • Once children have got the idea of balancing along things, they sometimes want to walk every wall they meet. For safety’s sake, don’t help much. Staggering along, clutching your hand, the child uses your balance instead of finding her own. Walking it with only your fingertips to lend confidence, the child finds personal balance.

Swinging

  • Swinging gives children a glorious sense of power and freedom as well as appealing to their innate desire for rhythm. While loving it, they learn a lot about weight, balance and gravity.
  • An ordinary garden swing is a passive toy which toddlers can only use when you push. Later on, it is hazardous when more than one child is in the garden: flying feet are the cause of many bashed-in milk teeth. Outdoors, a convenient tree branch or the central rung of a climbing frame will take much easily-available swinging equipment. An old car tyre on a rope is among the most popular; a bought “monkey swing” is more elegant. Indoors, a couple of stout hooks in the rafters above your child’s usual play-space give a vast potential for physical play which can grow up with the child. Such hooks can take a baby bouncer to start with. Later there can be a thick, soft rope with a big knot on the end to hold on to and try to straddle. Later still, there are rope ladders, a monkey swing, or a climbing rope.

Running for fun

  • For an urban child (even one with good access to gardens or parks) enough safe space to run freely, as far as she wants, without anyone calling cautions after her, is intoxicating. An older child or adult to run with will make her braver; she’ll even begin to get the point of games like “tag”.

Push/pull toys

  • Large-scale toys to push or pull are a “must”. That toddle truck is still a good buy — usable indoors or out, for dolls, sand or a friend. Don’t buy dolls’ prams, lawnmowers or other free-wheeling and lightweight toys until your child walks absolutely steadily. Tipping and running away are both vices in toddler equipment.

Ride-on toys

  • In your toddler’s second year, the best buy is a low stable toy on swivel castors which she can sit on and push along with her feet. This is preparation for the tricycle, for which many children are ready by the time they are two and a half. Do watch out, though, if your toddler tries to push herself along on a toy with ordinary wheels. It will easily tip over as she pushes sideways on corners.

Throwing and catching

  • Few toddlers can manage a game of catching ball, but all enjoy and need big, light, inflatable balls to chuck around, practice catching, and kick. Bean bags, easily made at home and filled with rice or lentils, make an interesting change because they neither roll nor float.

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