Sunday, August 29, 2010

Baby Development (12th to 16th Months)

By now, your toddler is walking. As she becomes more energetic and develops wonderful gross motor skills, you will observe a change in her body -- she gains weight at a slower pace and no longer looks chubby. Her language has developed and she is able to express herself. Her fine and gross motor skills are developing. She is able to follow basic instructions and can feed herself using her fingers. She recognizes herself and her family members by their names.

How can you help?
  • Help her build her vocabulary. Often, her first words (apart from mama and papa) are connected to her interests and surroundings. E.g. dog, car, book, bird, kite, etc. You may want to help her know these by names.
  • You can help her develop her motor skills. When she is involved in eating, try offering her a spoon. If she wants you to read her a book, ask her to pick it up for you. She will have a huge sense of achievement when she sees you smile and say ‘thank you’.
  • While reading, be selective, persistent, creative, interactive and most important expressive. She will enjoy looking at colorful pictures in the books you read to her.
  • Photographs are a great way to help her recognize her family, friends, and herself as an individual. Children love looking at pictures in a photo album. Try doing this activity weekly, and ask questions about the people in the pictures.
  • She may be a picky eater. Help her build up a taste for natural foods, rather than for artificial flavors.
  • This may be a "NO-NO" age. She may say "no" to almost every question that you ask her. Try and give her choices "What do you want to drink - milk or juice?" Let her feel in control, though in reality, whatever option that she may select, would be favorable to you. Be clear and don't offer choices when there really aren't any.
  • A beautiful way to control her unlimited energy is to turn up the volume of the music system and ask her to dance.
  • Engage her in household tasks. She'll be happy to imitate your behavior, help you around the house, and she may start acting responsible. Pick up simple tasks like folding clothes, sweeping, or setting the table and let her help you out.
It is normal for toddlers to be naughty. There's no need to punish but it's important for you to be strict in your responses.

And in the end, love her unconditionally.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Vowel 'i'

After learning the combination with vowel 'e', the next step is to learn the vowel 'i' combination.

Vowel i can be combined with consonants as b, d, g , m, n, p, r, s, and t.

Make small flash cards and write these combination on them.

i + b = ib (as in bib)
i + d = id (as in bid)
i + g = ig (as in big)
i + m = im (as in dim)
i + n = in (as in bin)
i + p = ip (as in dip)
i + t = it (as in bit)

After writing each of these combination on separate flash cards, sit with your child and explain him how to blend these two different letter sounds to make one single sound. Start with putting your finger on 'i' and then say the /i/ sound and then slowly slide it to 'd' and say the /d/ sound and then finally slide it to 'id' and say the /id/ sound. Do this exercise several times and then encourage your child to do the same. Go slow. After your child is thorough with these alphabet combination, you may jumble the cards and ask him to read them aloud.

As mentioned in the previous post, this exercise should be done at a pace that is comfortable to your child. It's very important that you do this every day, even if it's for just 5 minutes. Do not hurry. Only when you feel that he has understood how to blend a particular combination well, move to another one.

Next week, we shall talk about vowels 'o' and 'u'.

Have a nice weekend.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Baby development (8 to 12 months)

This stage is a new beginning for your child. She has gained leg strength and can walk by her own. Her vocal skills have improved and she is able to say "mama" or "papa". She communicates with her surroundings in her own language. She enjoys holding as well as throwing things away. She is aware of herself and has become possessive of her toys. She recognizes the mother and can now differentiate between family and strangers, and no longer smiles by chance. She has developed an emotional bond with her mother, and has separation anxiety. She has reached a stage where she has demands, but cannot express them, and hence this results into frustrations, and these frustrations ultimately manifest themselves into "tantrums".

How can you help?
  • Crawl besides her, imitate her movements and encourage her to do the same.
  • Encourage her to hold furniture as support to get around, and then place it slightly apart for her to bridge the gap. Always be around to help.
  • Remove all the unsafe and electric objects out of her reach.
  • Keep small objects away from her as she might have a tendency to put things in her mouth. She might swallow them or choke on them.
  • Introduce her to other children and encourage her to share.
  • Her fingers have become agile. She may be able to pick up small objects with her thumb and fingers without having to rest her wrist on a solid surface. Encourage her to put toys into and out of a basket.
  • She might enjoy music and rhymes, accompanied by actions. Play a lot of action and sound rhymes, like “Clap your hands”, “Old Mac Donald”, “Pat a cake, pat a cake", “Wheels on the bus” etc.
  • She may be able to follow simple directions and instructions, such as "Please bring me the ball”, "Pick up the spoon," “no” and “yes”. Help her learn by separating commands into easy-to-follow steps.

Next week, we shall talk about baby development between the age of 12 and 16 months.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Vowel 'e'

Last week, we talked about the vowel-consonant combination with the vowel 'a'. The next step is to learn the combination with the vowel 'e'.

The vowel e can be combined with consonants such as  d, g, n, r, and t.

Make flash cards using these combination.
  • e + d = ed (as in bed)
  • e + g = eg (as in beg)
  • e + n = en (as in ben)
  • e + r = er (as in her)
  • e + t = et (as in bet)

Put your finger on 'e' and say the /e/ sound aloud and then slide it on 'd' and say the /d/ sound and finally sliding it on 'ed' and saying /ed/ aloud.

Once your child is thorough with one combination, move on to another one. After teaching all the above combination of vowel 'e', ask your child to read them aloud at random.

Do this exercise daily, for almost one week, till your little one is thorough with all the combination.

Next week, we shall discuss the combination with vowel 'i'.

Have a nice weekend.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Baby Development (4 to 8 months)

When your baby is between 4 to 8 months, your baby learns new skills by imitation. She learns by studying your face, your eyes, and your expressions. She has almost gained head-control. She can bear her weight on her tummy. She understands her surroundings better and communicates through her own sweet language of smiles, bubbles, and laughter. She has started knowing more about herself, can recognize her name, her family, her body and has better control over her body movements.

You can help your child develop better during this period by engaging her in a few of such activities.

  • Call her by her name all the time.
  • Introduce her to people in the neighborhood so that she gets used strangers, make friends and does not suffer stranger anxiety.
  • Play rocking games by placing her on your lap.
  • Blow raspberries on her tummy while playing and encourage her making the similar sound.
  • Get a soft ball, roll it around and encourage her to crawl and catch it.
  • Imitate all the sounds that she makes, and make use of those toys which make different types of sounds.
  • Play a lot of water games in the bath tub. Tickle her, move fingers on her feet, and splash some water to make it fun.
  • Read aloud. Start with board books, which are short and sturdy.

Next week, we will talk about the development between the age of 8 to 12 months.

Take care.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Vowel 'a'

After learning the sounds of consonant-vowel combination, the next step is to learn the vowel-consonant combination. We shall begin with vowel 'a'.

'a' can be combined with several consonants as d, g, m, n, p, r, s, t, and y.

To start with, make small flash cards and write these combination on them.

  • a + d = ad (as in bad)
  • a + g = ag (as in bag)
  • a + m = am (as in dam)
  • a + n = an (as in ban)
  • a + p = ap (as in cap)
  • a + s = as (as in has)
  • a + t = at (as in bat)
  • a + y = ay (as in bay)

After writing each of these combination on separate flash cards, sit with your child and explain him how to blend these two different letter sounds to make one single sound. Start with putting your finger on 'a' and then say the /a/ sound and then slowly slide it to 'd' and say the /d/ sound and then finally slide it to 'ad' and say the /ad/ sound. Repeat this several times and encourage your child to do the same.

After you feel your child is through with these alphabet combination, jumble the cards and ask your child to read them.

Next week, we shall learn combination with vowel 'e'.

Have a nice weekend.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Initial Months (0 - 4 months)

Between 0 and 4 months, your baby is growing day by day. She is able to see clearly, responds to your voice by moving her head, is interested in her surroundings, can recognise you and other people around and is getting familiar with her body. This is the age where you can help her develop her "Social and Handling Skills".
  • Sing songs, lullabies to her, holding her at a distance from where she can see you clearly.
  • Encourage her to hold a toy/rattle in her hand. Feel her palms and foot. Touch, tickle and massage her at times.
  • Try using the baby gym to make her reach out toys, and place toys at near by distance where she can reach out.
  • Always maintain an eye contact with her while feeding, playing or talking.
  • Mirror is one wonderful object to make your baby recognise her own body and facial expressions. Placing a mirror in front of your baby (at a safe distance) and letting her observe herself, can be an interesting activity for her.
  • Babies are attracted to bright colours. You may use bright coloured toys and objects to grab her attention and let her play with them.
  • Play peek a boo. This game can be a good learning experience of the fact that an object can be around even if it is hiding temporarily This games is very popular with babies and parents, and can be fun till the age of 2 and even later.
  • Try having a special walk with your baby everyday. Take her to the open and communicate with her while you are strolling around with her. Always remember to hug and kiss your little one often.
These activities help increasing your child awareness of her surroundings a while strengthening the parent-child bond.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Consonant Vowel Combination

After learning the letter sounds, next step is to learn the sounds of consonant-vowel combinations.

When consonants are combined with vowels, their sounds combine to make one single sound as:
  • b + a sounds ba as in bat
  • b + e sounds be as in bet
  • b + i sounds bi as in bit
  • b + o sounds bo as in bob
  • b + u sounds bu as in but

Use this technique to teach other consonant-vowel combinations beginning with d, f, h, j, k, l, m, n, p, r, s, t, v, w, y, and z. For a thorough understanding, you may write them down on flash cards and ask the child to read these two letter combinations by flashing these cards at random.

Avoid teaching the combinations involving consonants c, g, q, x at this stage because different set of rules apply to these consonants. For example, when consonant c is followed by vowel a, it sounds ca as in cat, but when followed by vowel i, it sounds ci, as in cite. The sound of letter c changes from the sharp sound of /k/ to the soft sound of /s/. This can confuse a young mind and hence it's best to keep it simple in the beginning.

Next week, we will learn about vowel-consonant combinations. Have a nice weekend.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Toddler Trails

One of the most rewarding aspects of parenthood is watching your baby grow and develop into an individual. A baby starts to develop and learn from the very moment she is born. We, as parents play the most significant role in a baby’s development. We are their first friends, who help them explore and discover the wonderful world around.

The 7 golden qualities of parenthood which help little ones develop to their full potential are:
  1. Love
  2. Support
  3. Understanding
  4. Great deal of patience
  5. Time sharing
  6. Respect
  7. Trust
There are different stages of a child's development where these qualities come into play. Being aware of your child's development stages and encouraging her accordingly can develop her mental and physical abilities to the fullest.

We will be sharing with you a set of interesting activities which you can do with your little ones and help them blossem into healthy and secure individuals.