Keep your little ones entertained and make that bond even stronger with these activities.
WORDS SAMANTHA TAN
Let your 10-month-old play with stackable nesting cups or fill up a pouch or container with varied child-safe items and allow your baby to open and explore the contents. You can take it a step further by labelling the items your baby holds in their hands to help them learn the names of the objects.
As they become more mobile and get better at crawling, you can build an obstacle course
using chairs, pillows or a tunnel and get them to crawl through to retrieve items.
This will help to train their problem-solving skills as well as
develop their muscles and gross motor skills.
Dr Penny Tok, charted psychologist at Dr Penny Tok Psychology Practice suggests, “You can do more action songs, interactive reading such as with soft books that they can manipulate, and let them play with soft blocks. Additionally, you can involve your child in everyday activities as you go about your day.”
Start to pretend play with your child by offering toys that represent objects in your toddler’s world, such as a play kitchen with plastic food, a mini-grocery cart or a toy telephone. Join in his play and help him develop his own stories by letting him be the director. You can also make use of materials used in daily life such as plastic utensils, plastic containers and more. Charmaine Ooi, senior occupational therapist, Child Development Unit at National University Hospital adds, “Cognitive and language games are important too. Play games that include instructions and see how many he can follow. Read with your toddler. It helps him learn new words and concepts. It also helps him develop a love of books and reading.” “You can introduce various mediums of materials for your toddler to explore, play dough, paints and sticking bits and pieces of colourful paper together and continue to play basic throw and catch of objects with your toddler to help them further develop their gross motor and coordination skills,” says Vyda S. Chai, clinical psychologist at Think Psychological Services.
Dr Tok says, “Repurpose recycled materials by giving your toddler egg cartons to tear apart or to put things in and out of, recycled paper and some crayons for scribbling. Participate in activities that engage the various senses such as playing with sand on the beach, finger painting, helping out in the kitchen cooking, homemade play dough, and being out in nature or simply running around in the park.”
You can also include your child in family sports, like swimming together or kickball
or visit a neighbourhood park where there are other children to play with.
He will learn about the pleasure of making friends.
And the more opportunity he has to interact with peers, the more he will learn about how to get along well with others and develop his social and emotional skills.
Besides developing their gross motor skills, you can also play games to develop their fine motor skills. Ooi says, “Involve your child in daily activities such as buttoning and unbuttoning. Art and craft activity such as finger painting is also good for fine motor skills development. Get your child to trace straight lines and curves, try to make it fun!”
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