Activities: 14-16 Months to 3 Years
Now that your child is walking they will use their hands to touch, hold and carry...almost everything within reach! They are now highly mobile and active. Providing opportunities for your child to move and explore independently, but within a safe space will support their healthy development.
A low bed is simply a shallow (11cms) single mattress or futon placed on the floor. It provides a place where your baby can see the world without the obstruction created by the bars of a cot. Using a low bed means that your child can move freely and get up and put themselves to sleep when their natural rhythm tells them to do so.
Guidelines for safe sleeping on a low bed:
- place the low bed well away from walls – do not push the low bed up against the wall as this can cause entrapment hazards
- keep the low bed away from all hazards e.g. no finger traps (holes or spaces 5-12 mm wide); no arm or leg traps (holes or spaces 30-50 mm wide); head traps (gaps wider than 85 mm); no protrusions, sharp points or edges; cords and cables
- ensure that electrical sockets are covered
- provide stable shelving and furniture that cannot be pulled over.
All toys have a developmental purpose. If you watch your child for information about the areas of development they are working on, this will give you information about which toys might engage them. Toys that isolate a single area of development e.g. eye-to-hand coordination, tend to hold a child's focus for longer. Then once your child has made that developmental acquisition they will want to move onto something else! Sometimes the toy your child needs, is not that attractive to us as an adult. This can work the other way around as well. Something that we think looks incredible, may simply be sensorially overwhelming and fail to engage them.
Placing a few of your child's toys and books on a low shelf near their Low Bed, will mean that they can begin play as soon as they wake up. Restricting the number of items on each shelf to 2 or 3 will reduce confusion or distraction and make it easier for your child to maintain order.
Fine motor development
At this stage of your child's development, toys play the following roles:
- aid in the development of your child's eye-to-hand coordination
- offer possibilities for your child to use their two hands together
- challenge your child's grasp
- support your child's growing independence
Toys made from natural materials will provide your child with a more rich sensory experience than plastic items.
- Shape sorter
- Slot box or mailbox
- Peg box
- Bead Stringing
- Sorting objects
- 1 - 3 piece puzzles - 14 months +
- Gradation of size puzzles - 18 months +
- 10 pieces - 18 months +
- Simple composite puzzles - 2.5 years +
Musical boxes are also wonderful toys at this stage of your chid's development. If you are able to find one which can be started by your child, they will be able to give themselves the experience.
Gross Motor Development
Once your child has started walking, they will continue to need lots of opportunity to refine this skill. Your child will love having the opportunity for:
- jumping off and jumping over things
- sliding and swinging
- climbing both natural structures and play equipment;
- hanging from Monkey Bars
- pushing and pulling carts and wheelbarrows
- crawling through tunnels
- navigating stepping stones and balance beams
- exploring places to hide e.g. cubby house
- water play (2 inches deep)