23 Months – Using Phrases to Give Compliments

Roman and Mom  Your toddler is becoming very aware of his surroundings and people around him.  You can use it as a chance to really connect with people and things by giving compliments.  For instance, Roman has started complimenting our hair saying “hair nice”.  

You can target things such as artwork and verbally model phrases such as “pretty picture”.  If a girl is wearing a pretty dress you can model “cute dress”.  If a friend is playing with a fun new toy you can say “cool new truck”.  This now only will make others feel happy, but will also make your toddler start thinking about the power of their words.  

And it doesn’t necessarily have to be someone or something that someone has made or has.  It could be things that you see in nature.  Let’s say you’re taking a walk you can talk about a tree by saying “Wow that’s a beautiful tall tree!”.  There are tons of possibilities, so go ahead and make someone’s day!

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22 Months 3 Weeks – What to Expect During Mealtime with a 2 Year Old

Roman and berries Can you believe it?  You’re child is almost two!  We decided to concentrate on mealtime milestones this week since a lot more is expected of your child at this point.  In terms of texture, they should now be able to eat all textures including: purees, soft chewables, ground lump purees, and more chewable foods. Tougher solids are expected after 24 months.  

As for oral-motor skills, your child should now exhibit rotary chewing instead of diagonal chewing.  Lateral tongue action should be visible.  They should have also mastered straw drinking.  Overall, you should observe a decrease in food intake by 24 months.

When it comes to motor skills, their pincer grasp should be refined and they should be past finger feeding.  You now want them to grasp the spoon with their whole hand and independently feed themselves by scooping food and brining it to their mouth.  All in all, you should see increased control of utensils.  As you can see, mealtime and fine motor skills are highly intertwined.

And of course to limit pickiness, have your child eat meals with the whole family and most importantly have them eat what you’re eating.  If they are hesitant, have them explore the food with their senses (e.g. – touching it with their fingers).  The more they are exposed to different foods the better!  So if salmon and cabbage salad is on the menu, it’s also what’s for dinner for your child!  

22 Months 1 Week – Combining Chores with Following Directions

Roman dancing. It’s never too early to start learning about chores and how to help out in the house!Now that your child is getting better at following directions feel free to intertwine basic “chores” into the daily routine.  

It could be as simple as cleaning up. From an early age we started the clean up song even when he did not speak just so he got used to the melody and words. At this point you can sing it along with them and see if they hum along or imitate any of the words. Just hearing the song will trigger cleaning up after playtime or even mealtime.  Once they get used to the routine they will begin cleaning up on their own, sometimes even singing the song all by themselves!

Specific directions you can give is “Give me your cup/plate/fork and let’s put it in the sink” (they most likely cannot reach yet even with a step stool, but it’s good to practice), “Put your ____ in the dishwasher”, “Throw it in the garbage”, “Go get me a paper towel”, “Put your socks away” (or any clothing), “Walk the dog”, etc.  We even found working on colors while doing laundry is an excellent receptive language task (e.g. – dark vs. light or putting all the red socks together).

21 Months 1 Week – Using Size Descriptor Words

Roman Happy A great way to achieve 2-3 word phrases is to learn words other than nouns. This can include prepositions, adjectives, etc. This week we will talk specifically about using size descriptor words to expand phrases.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Roman big and heavyThe first step as always is modeling what you want your child to say. In terms of size, “big” always seems to stand out. Try to find huge items in the home or outside such as big chair, big slide, etc. to comment on.  A tip is to also make a big deal about it in order to emphasize it – “Wow look that’s a big moon!”. They may initially imitate the word “big”, so keep adding onto that word by verbally modeling such as “Yes it’s a big step”, “You’re right that’s a big orange”, etc.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Roman loves targetOnce they get the hang of that you can target the opposite “small”.  We like to target this by starting with a big piece of fruit and cutting it up into smaller pieces to show them the difference. It’s a great activity to do with play dough as well! And feel free to use synonyms such as “tiny” when you’re teaching size. Other size concepts later on could be short vs. tall, wide vs. narrow, etc.

21 Months – Helping your Toddler Create Phrases with Possessive Words

roman with his lightsWe recently did a post about building phrases with “me” and “mine” such as “my shoes”.  Your child is very observant and he or she is beginning to know what specific items belong to certain people.  Often many of us are (unfortunately) attached to our phone these days so a common phrase you may hear is “Mommy phone”.  The more they see us with an item the more they will associate it with us.                                                                                         

We like to start off with clothing since a jacket, for example, is something we wear every day in the fall/winter.  They may be imitating or spontaneously saying “jacket” or “coat”, but you can now begin modeling possession such as “mommy coat”.  Other things to target could be toys or other personal items.  For instance, you could choose something that belongs to them such as “Roman’s dinosaur”.  They may not say the ‘s part quite yet, but just to get them thinking about WHO it belongs to is a big step.  

These techniques have also been helpful with behavior.  Let’s say your child is trying to rip the papers of a magazine that you are reading.  To put an end to this behavior, you can say “This is Mommy’s magazine and this is Roman’s book… we read magazines and books”.  The more you use the same language, the more likely they will catch on, listen, and say it back!

21 Months 1 Week – Using Size Descriptor Words

Roman Happy A great way to achieve 2-3 word phrases is to learn words other than nouns. This can include prepositions, adjectives, etc. This week we will talk specifically about using size descriptor words to expand phrases.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

Roman big and heavyThe first step as always is modeling what you want your child to say. In terms of size, “big” always seems to stand out. Try to find huge items in the home or outside such as big chair, big slide, etc. to comment on.  A tip is to also make a big deal about it in order to emphasize it – “Wow look that’s a big moon!”. They may initially imitate the word “big”, so keep adding onto that word by verbally modeling such as “Yes it’s a big step”, “You’re right that’s a big orange”, etc.                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Roman loves targetOnce they get the hang of that you can target the opposite “small”.  We like to target this by starting with a big piece of fruit and cutting it up into smaller pieces to show them the difference. It’s a great activity to do with play dough as well! And feel free to use synonyms such as “tiny” when you’re teaching size. Other size concepts later on could be short vs. tall, wide vs. narrow, etc.