Tuesday, September 11, 2012

20 Toddler tips in 20 days 14.TV and Toddlers

Toddler Survival Tip #14

14. TV and Toddlers

Research has proven again and again that violence on TV affects our little ones, even into the teenage years. Whether it's Coyote blowing up Road Runner, or Sponge Bob bopping Patrick on the head, this behaviour is teaching children how to communicate with each other. Monkey see, monkey do is all about being a toddler. Children learn about themselves and their environment by watching and observing.

Am I all one for allowing the TV to entertain my child or educate my child within reason. I personally limit my son's viewing to once a day at around 4pm while I am making dinner. Or during work time if he's tired out. But am I even doing him a disservice at age 3 by allowing some television? It's hard to shelter our children from so much screen time, cell phones, laptops, Ipads, computers, projectors, TV and more.

But there are lots of options out there. Many parents just don't have any more ideas on what to do to keep their busy little guys busy.

Television has also been proven to have a passivity effect on audiences. It stifles creativity, language and imagination. During those first 2 years of development, Health Units, Nurses, Doctors, Child Psychologists and other child professionals have been promoting no TV or other screen time at all for the first two years of life.

It has also been said that too much TV will weaken language and comprehension skills. There just isn't enough "talk time" between adults and their children these days. 

There are many studies and researchers out there that are doing ongoing studies of screen time and children.

Here are the results of one such study:

TIPS on how to entertain the little ones?

Baby Center is a great place to start. They have all kinds of activities and games listed for different ages to help with development.
Their link is:

Here are some of my favourite games with my boys:

1. Parachute play
 (gross motor skills, listening and waiting
Sing songs, say UNDER UNDER UNDER when it's time to go under. Say UP UP UP when the parachute goes up. Tell them to SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE then STOP! For little ones, have them sit on the parachute and shake the shoot slowly and fast teaching them about slow and fast. They love to crawl and pop the bubbling sheets. (you can use a fitted sheet in your living room as alternative to a parachute)

2. Sing songs Find rhymes at your local library or community center or online. They all have booklets to give out for FREE. Hokey Pokey is a fun song or any body movement song. Here is a link to kids songs. (Raffi is our favourite kids music)

3. Cupboard fun Fill a drawer and or cupboard full of safe kitchen stuff like empty containers, water bottles (you can fill with rice and put lid on and tape with duct tape for shakers) pans, wooden spoon and more. Let them play in them only when you need some work time or self time. Then it's always fresh and new. Keep a lock on it at other times. Make it special surprise. Change over new stuff all the time.

4. Hide n Seek My 14 month old favourite all time game is he goes and hides in the closet (same spot each day) and we go and find him. I don't really even have to go and find him, I just chant, "Where is Nashville? Where is Nashville?" and he comes out giggling every time. It's at least a 15 minute entertainer while I do dishes. It's proven helpful. Chasing and hiding quickly and chasing again is also fun.

5. Building Or should I say knocking down. A favourite for both my boys. 14m and 3 years old. You don't just need blocks for this game, card towers, boxes, popsicle stick cities, pillows, large leggo. They love it all.

6. Pretend play I can't say enough about pretend play and how enriching it is to babies lives. Even as young as 6 or 8 month old, pretend play can add language, bonding and laughter to your home. Some great ones are 'tea party, car race, baby doll feeding or sleeping or dressing, zoo animals, walk on the moon (living room), dinosaur time (pillows on the ground with lava around), anything your imagination will allow, they will play along with you. So get on all fours and become a kid again!

Maybe some of these ideas will get you started... Here are some more links to great play.

Indoor Games:

Under 12 month olds Games: 

12 months to 24 month olds Games

Outdoor games for toddlers:

Happy Playtime! 

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