Independent upright mobility is the next major milestone in your child's physical development. Between the age of 11 – 18 months, your toddler may be able to stand without support and take his first steps. At first, toddlers walk unsteadily, with their feet spread apart for balance. With practice, they will find their balance and increase their steadiness and speed. At around 15 to 19 months of age, they may experiment with walking backwards or throwing a ball. Later on at around 24 months, their balance may have progressed to the point where they can squat. Encourage this independent movement by letting him hang on to your fingers when necessary and providing lots of praise. When he’s ready, challenge him with ability-appropriate tasks, such as climbing over a stack of pillows or throwing a ball into a basket.

Activities to Stimulate Toddler Development

Your toddler's physical capacity is increasing at a rapid rate. Be sure to match his dietary needs with appropriate amounts of essential nutrients that fuel his milestone accomplishments. Here are some ideal activities to foster healthy motor development:

Gross Motor (Large Muscle) Activities

  • Diversify your toddler's terrain: start off on a smooth, level surface until he learns to walk, then take him into the yard or on the beach.
  • Investigate the stairs, but only when you can be there to ensure his safety. Otherwise, use a baby gate to block the way.
  • Explore the neighbourhood. Go for a walk with his pull toy.
  • Play outside. Draw with sidewalk chalk or play in the sandbox.
  • Chase bubbles or engage in a game of tag.

Fine Motor (Small Muscle) Activities

  • String large beads onto a string.
  • Run small cars on a track.
  • Fold clothes together.
  • Roll and pinch modelling clay.
  • Read together. Let him hold the book and turn the pages when you're ready.
  • Push buttons on toys like play phones, remotes and cash registers.
  • Play outside. Draw with sidewalk chalk or play in the sandbox.

Why is Nutrition Important?

A balanced diet helps to fuel your child's growing body and give your child the energy he needs for the day. Proper nutrition contributes to the growth and maintenance of strong bones and teeth and builds muscle. Furthermore, it creates healthy eating habits that your child will continue for the rest of his life.

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