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Those first couple of years fly by! It seems like just yesterday he was gumming his first taste of sweet potatoes . . . fast forward to the present and now he loves ONLY chicken nuggets, dancing to Yo Gabba Gabba songs and exploring the backyard looking for new insects. Yes – the two of you have come a long way together since you first brought him home from the hospital!
While the first year is about up all night and milk feedings, this second year will bring you an adventure that’s completely new. Your toddler will begin to become more independent. Sleeping through the night will become the norm for most toddlers (yay!) and learning to play with other kids will be among his favorite things to do unless he’s a shy guy at heart.
During the second year your toddler’s development is at an all-time high. Right now his main job is to explore the world around him. Figuring out how things work is pretty much his favorite thing to do. Will Daddy’s cell phone float if I put it in the bathtub with my ducks? What does dirt taste like? What does a worm feel like? Can you pick a kitty cat up by her tail? Am I fast enough to outrun mommy and make a break for that thing I’m not supposed to play with? All of these questions and more run through the mind of your toddler many times a day. Naturally curious creatures, toddlers need to find out the answer to their many questions.
Right now your child is developing the ability to play pretend. His imagination is growing big and strong although he’s still a small fry. You may notice him mimicking his favorite cartoon characters, pretending to cook with your pots and pans or just playing a game that’s all his very own. This milestone in toddler development can be one of the most exciting because it’s during imaginative play time that their personalities really start to shine. You catch a glimpse of what they like, what they think and what they love to do. It’s truly an exciting thing!
Your toddler has also gained some new found artistic ability through the art of scribbling. Though he may not always color on paper his budding love of art is shining through. Many toddlers will also love to draw on the wall, the fridge, themselves and other people. At this age it’s really not about defiance but instead the simple excitement for their ability to create something where there’s nothing. It can take some kids quite some time to learn that drawing is for paper only so stick to washable markers (though keep in mind that just because they are washable doesn’t always mean they come out of everything). For crayon marks try the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser which can take crayon marks off walls and other surfaces.
As the year passes your child will begin to develop more and more independence. But rest assured that though they are trying out their new wings, they aren’t ready to “fly” just yet. They still need their mother bird near for comfort and support as they explore the bright new world ahead.
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