Like all moms, I found once my son started walking, playtime got a lot more active. I spent a lot of time running around after my son. Sometimes it would seem like we were just playing the same thing over and over again. But that's OK, because little ones like and need repetition in order to develop new skills.
Play is so important at every stage for their mental and physical development. And once babies are walking and running, it changes again. Their ability to interact with others, their ability to make believe and solve problems, makes playtime more interactive and fun for both of you. Here are a few favorites that kept short attention spans and active bodies entertained.
As children develop new mental skills, puzzles become a great tool, as well as a toy. Puzzles are a favorite in our house. And they are an excellent way to help brain development.
They help teach shapes and colors, and they help with eye coordination and fine motor skills. And of course, they are fun too. We kept them simple at first with large pieces that couldn't be eaten or swallowed. A four-piece puzzle is a great way to start, working your way up to more complex puzzles.
At first it felt like he was just being a rascal. But at this stage, my little one really did love running away from me and being chased. He loved the movement and the anticipation. And that's good for babies. They're putting together multiple skills they've learned in order to play with you.
I'd make a big deal out of it when I caught him. Then I'd let him chase me. Running around was a great way to burn off a little extra energy, especially for active babies.
Babies' fine motor skills begin to develop around this age. Finger painting and drawing help this right along. My little one loved the feel of the paint on his fingers and making marks on paper. And believe it or not, that messy paint stimulates the senses and let's toddlers experience a variety of textures.
I know it looks like a mess, but it is a learning experience for them. At home, we'd spread out some butcher paper and turn the floor into a toddler art studio. We also learned the hard way to make sure we were on a surface that could handle a few stray marks.
An important milestone happens around this age, the ability to make believe. We'd hear our son talking to his toys alone, or watch him imagining adventures in the living room. We'd turn our couch cushions into a cave or a fort to play inside. Or we'd use sheets to make a tent. There are pop-up tents on the market, but I always thought that the homemade kind helped my son imagine possibilities. It was fun to create play spaces with items I already had around the house.
Throwing or kicking a ball sounds easy enough, but there are a lot of different skills coming together in that simple game. Toddlers learn to coordinate many different movements in their body while they watch an object. It's amazing when you think about it.
And my son loved it. Something as simple as tossing a ball back and forth was endless entertainment. Plus, watching his little face when he kicked the ball across the room was a lot of fun.
As my little one became more active, it was almost a gold medal event when it came to changing him. I found that using high quality big boy pants made changing a breeze so we could keep the play time going.
Play times during this stage are some of my favorite memories with my son. Whatever games you play, I'm sure you're enjoying this time together. Each child is unique and your love and play are just what they need at every stage.
On behalf of Pampers, this is Kathleen Fisher with Howdini. Visit Pampers' YouTube channel for more parenting tips.