Your child’s early years are the most formative years in brain development. Therefore, before any formal learning, it’s crucial to focus on brain development as this has a lasting influence on their health, wellbeing, relationships, and life.
A child’s brain development covers four main areas -- physical, language, cognitive, and social-emotional. You can develop these in a variety of ways, such as by reading to them, encouraging them during play time, and also by the way you handle your child’s tantrums and behaviour.
Read closely as we deep dive into ways you can help your toddler’s brain development to give them a head start in life.
At 12-36 months, a child’s language skills start to develop rapidly enabling them to understand what is being said to them. Hence, it’s important to be attentive and interactive with them.
For example, when talking to them, it’s important to get down to eye level and make eye contact. It also helps to say what they’re doing out loud, or even describe what others are doing.
This is also the stage where they’re learning through repetition, so don’t be surprised if they keep asking for you to repeat the same songs, rhymes, or stories to them. It’ll also help them with learning new words.
Most importantly, implement reading as a habit from young. Jellycat carries books that are suitable from birth to help your child pick up the habit of reading while keeping it fun and enjoyable.
Self-control is a process that develops over time. At 12-36 months, they will start to have minds of their own and may be doing things on impulse.
This is the reason why they may do things that are unacceptable, such as biting, throwing tantrums, or hitting. It’s important that you know how to stop these behaviours, and teach them how to express it in better ways.
You can do this by creating age-appropriate consequences, by explaining to them what they did wrong while teaching them how to manage their emotions. If your child does something undesirable, such as throwing their food on the floor, give them another chance to take the food nicely from you after a few minutes. This will enable them to correct their behaviour after explaining why it was not acceptable previously.
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t overreact. Stay calm while disciplining them, so as to separate limits from love. This will enable your child to understand that just because they acted undesirably, it doesn’t mean that your love for them diminishes.
At about 12 months, your toddler begins to be able to think in more complex ways. You’ll notice that they might like to explore and experiment with practically anything that they get their hands on -- let them. Allow your child to take the lead during play time.
You can begin with providing them with toys that they can explore and interact with. Think sensory play. Toys such as stackable blocks help them learn cause-and-effect and “if-then” reasoning.
For example, if your toddler stacks too many blocks without straightening them, they collapse and fall down. This process helps them to develop both their cognitive and motor skills. Let the process be the goal, instead of focusing on the end product of a perfectly built tower.
Walking is one of the biggest achievements for a baby. However, there’s still some stiffness and clumsiness to their movements, so you should provide toys that support this type of play, such as shopping carts, or even doll strollers.
You can also take them out on a walk at a nearby park or even to a play gym that is age-appropriate (when it’s safe to do so). At home, it’s best if you have a low and safe space where your child can climb and move around freely.
To ensure your toddler’s safety, consider getting playmats. Little Wiwa carries playmats that are simple and stylish to ensure that it fits any home interior. For your younger tots, Kinderkraft has a baby play gym that comes with toys to further develop motor skills and senses.
Never too young to learn
Toddlers are incredible in the sense that they can learn so much at such a young age, so don’t underestimate them. It’s important that while guiding them, you remain patient, loving, and kind. They grow up pretty quickly, so treasure these moments and give them the best care while they’re young.
You can do this by providing them with safe and high-quality nursery and baby products which you can view on our website. You can also visit our showroom to have a look at baby nursery furniture and essentials!