15 Months 1 Week – Making the Most out of Screen Time

Roman watching TV.Some of our friends have decided no screen time before age 2 (more power to them!), but in many households televisions are unavoidable! We feel that as long as you limit the amount of television that is watched – let’s say 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes at night – it is fine.  Besides us parents also need a few minutes to write back to emails and make some phone calls! And at this age, your child is able to sit for a short period of time and attend to an educational show.  

First off, we recommend television shows such as Sesame Street, Sid the Science Kid, and Super Why!  There are tons of other quality shows and most of it depends on your child’s interests.

Also, watching a show does not have to be a sedentary experience.  If the characters are telling your child to clap, show your child how to clap along.  If there is an exciting song and the characters are dancing, have a dance party!  Soon your child will even start pointing to favorite scenes and vocalizing (or may even hand over the remote control so you can change the channel!).

And last but not least, the language models that come with TV are great.  Most likely your child will have the top 3 or so shows he likes.  With this repetition will come familiarity to character names, theme songs, phrases, etc.  This will lead to imitation.  Don’t be afraid to talk to them about what they see on the screen, actions that are occurring, and what they think will happen next.  They may not answer, but at least you are making it an interactive experience and making them think! It is also worth mentioning that the American Academy of Pediatrics is gradually changing their stance on screen time. Here is a link to an interesting article! AAP report ignores health impacts of screen time

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14 Months 1 Week – Sensory Activities for Toddlers

Roman playing and being messy This summer has been full of sun, fun, and exploration!  Don’t let the exploration stop in the fall!  There are many sensory activities that we did outside that we can easily bring inside.  Here are some great ideas – now let’s get messy!

*Water Play – put a tub in your bathtub or fill up your sink and let your kids splash all day long

*Shaving Cream – get a tray or baking pan and squeeze the shaving cream on it… have your child make handprints and use their index finger to make designs

*Sand Box – using a tub or portable sandbox allow your children to bring the sand into your home – you can build, sift, dig, and pour for hours

*Pillow Stuffing – take the stuffing out of a doll or pillow and have your child throw it in the air, pull/separate it, and pretend it’s fluffy cloud

*Bubble Wrap – if you take it to the ground and have them step on it you can’t beat this indoor activity POP POP POP!

*Ice Cubes – freeze ice cubes with food coloring and use them to “color” on paper… the result is beautiful

*Sensory Box – find a variety of items in the house (eg – bumpy, rough, soft, fluffy, etc.) and put them in one box; you can even have them close their eyes and have them guess the texture by feeling it… water beads are also a great idea!

9 Months – Obstacle Course

Roman riding horse. Chances are your child is crawling and cruising at this point!  It may even be difficult to take a picture of them sitting anymore because they want to be on the go!  While this is an amazing milestone – it could also be exhausting for parents chasing around their little ones.  One thing we always recommend to parents is to create an obstacle course to make it fun for all and improve gross motor skills.  Here are some ideas below:

Roman with pillows Pillows – line them up in a row and have them practice crawling, standing, and cruise on the bumpy, uneven ground; for cruising you can put it near a couch so they can hold on Tunnel – put it out in the living room and allow your children to crawl through; stand on the other side and work on direction “come here”, prepositions “in”/”out”, etc.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Roman with bouncy ball Bouncy balls – work on stability and their core by having them sit on a ball… you can bounce up and down, sway side to side, and slide front and back.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Roman sitting in pit of balls Ball pit – sit your child in the middle of a mini self-made ball pit and have them maneuver within the ball pit; talk about colors, action words such as “throw”/”catch”, and preposition “under”.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Roman with trampoline Once they are older and can walk, try adding things such as a trampoline, oversized building blocks, and other items to their obstacle courses to expose them to more difficult movements!  Have fun!

Receptive language, which is understanding language, is discussed in this video.  Receptive language can include reponse to name, following commands, answering questions, etc.

Here is a short description of the Rossetti Infant Toddler Language Scale. This test is used by speech therapist for early intervention. It is broken into categories: interaction-attachment, pragmatics, gesture, play, language comprehension, and language expression.

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Shout out to all the #OTs and #PTs out there! We #love #collaborating with you! In yesterday’s blog we talk about #speech #language #milestones as well as some tips for #bodyalignment and how to avoid #flathead in #newborns – here’s the link http://bit.ly/8thWkMilestone