Playing With Your Toddler

You should spend some time each day playing with your toddler. Learn how to do this so its fun and a educational experience at the same time.

Playtime for a two or three year old is a valuable parent-child fun time. Your main goal when doing just about any activity with your child is to have fun. Be silly when you're changing a diaper or even when eating. You need to be fun and keep her attention. You should be less concerned with how much your child is learning. Don't worry. Your child will learn with every activity whether you think she will or not.

Children learn during a bath play time that water is wet and that soap makes people clean. Children learn during eating that you use a spoon to eat food. Your job should be to make the experience as fun as possible--and you should enjoy the experience.

When you're playing with your child--having fun and joking around is also the best thing you can do. Let her climb on you, ride you horsey-back or play peek-a-boo with you. Not every playtime activity needs to be a learning experience.

When you're playing with your child, it's important that you remember to let your child's curiosity lead the way. If your child is trying to figure out how a toy works, just go ahead and let her figure it out on her own. Even if it takes her 10 minutes for a simple function, let her work on it. If you would take the toy from her and show her the proper way to do it, she won't learn as much.

It's important during play time that you act as a playmate not so much of a parent. You're still your child's favorite play partner when your child is two or three years old. Your job is crucial during these play times. You act as a cheerleader when she figures something out and does a good job, you act as an expert whenever your child has a question, and talk out any problems that your child is having with playing or with other things, offering comfort and support as needed.

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