Monthly Archives: January 2012

Cotton Ball Art

Cotton balls are a common household item; one that really comes in handy for toddlar arts and craft activities with your little one.  All you need is glue, cotton balls and some paper (even paper plates will do!) to make cotton ball art.  For example, you can use the cotton balls to make a rain cloud, and maybe tape or glue ribbon to the cloud to make a rainbow or a rain shower.  You can paste cotton balls on three round circles to create a snow man, or use the cotton has a character’s hair or beard like a Santa head during the holiday season.

Winter Fun

‘Tis the season for winter fun across most of the country.  If you’re lucky enough to get a decent amount of snowfall during the winter months, get your kids and toddlers out there to play!   Parents can partner with their kids to build snowmen that kids usually only read about in books or folklore.  Sledding is an exciting activity however if your child is very young and very small, it would be wise to choose bunny hills, or sled with your child in your lap.  Try to avoid sledding too close to trees, fences or walls. We’ve all seen multiple sledding accidents on America’s Funniest Videos to know the hazards involved.  Nonetheless, playing in the snow is a special time of year.  Start new traditions by treating your child to a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows after an hour or two of playtime in the snow!

A Trip to the Zoo

Young children naturally identify with animals.   As we read stories to them, and show programs to them with animal characters, they learn how to empathize for animals.   Households with family pets often support teaching children how to be compassionate toward animals.  PETA encourages parents to teach their children how to be compassionate toward animals.  There is nothing more exciting or more educational than a trip to your local zoo where young children can learn about animals.   Seeing a variety up close ignites children’s imaginations and expands the possibilities to the world they are learning about around them.  The Association of Zoos & Aquariums has a national directory on its website so that you can locate a zoo in your city.

Toddler Tooth Care

Around age 2, you can introduce tooth care to your toddler.  You need a small children’s tooth brush with soft bristles and a children’s toothpaste.  Childrens’ toothpastes are sold in many flavors and colorful packages.   When you start, you might want to demonstrate how you brush your teeth first.

Then, show your toddler now to show their teeth. Use a pea-size speck of toothpaste on your toddler’s brush and begin to brush your toddler’s front teeth yourself.

It is best to keep your toddler’s tooth brush and toothpaste out of reach unless in supervised situations.  At first, your toddler will assume toothpaste is food and immediately try to eat it.  Swallowing a trace amount of fluoride is fine, however too much at once or over time is not a good thing.  If your toddler swallows a large amount at one time, you will need to contact Poison Control immediately.  If your toddler is nibbling away at toothpaste over time it can lead to a minor condition called fluorosis.

Stamp Pads

Around age 2 or 3 toddlers’ coordination is still evolving.  Easy-grip stamps and non-toxic ink pads make an excellent, creative and, more importantly, an accessible tool for toddlers.   While many tots will struggle to control a crayon or pencil, toddlers can easily manage their grip on a stamp.

Your toddler simply presses the stamp on the ink pad, then presses the stamp on paper.

The activity requires less coordination than coloring between the lines or even writing alphabet letters with a pencil.  Ink is sold in numerous, non-toxic, washable colors.  Ink pads are also sold in jumbo-size cases making them even more accessible for toddlers to find with a stamp.

The jumbo-sized ink pads and easy-grip stamps support your toddler’s capability to complete the activity independently.