Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Toddler Play - Encouraging Social Development
Encouraging social development starts early. Those toddler years are a great place to start and here are a few pointers in making it a great experience for everyone.
Mixed Age Interaction
Toddlers and young preschoolers are a bundle of emotions. Labeling emotions can help children identify what they are feeling and communicate with others. As the adults, it's up to us to label the feelings and explain that everyone has these same feelings. Talking about ways to deal with feelings is also part of the package. While not every toddler can verbalize, they do understand what you are saying and are taking in large quantities of information. They are filing away everything so that they can use this information later. Be patient, consistent and clear.
Time for Self
All children need time to play on their own. Even siblings need some time for themselves. This is the time they don't need to share or try to get along, they can just be. As always an adult being available to them in close proximity is important for them, but we don't need to hover or direct this personal play time.