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Physical Health & Growth

He might love going to the doctor, or he might dread it.

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But one thing is certain: When you take your toddler for a check-up, he’s learning all about the importance of good health and self-care. In fact, there are many experiences in his life that strengthen this knowledge — like bathing, eating and playing! He’s ready to explore feeding and washing himself. So, it’s good that his fine and gross motor skills are ready, too!

Your 2-Year-Old

Even playtime gives him a chance to learn more about his body and how it works. He’s learning all the time — from imaginary visits to doctors and dentists to figuring out how to use his expanded small and large motor skills to play games and solve puzzles.

  • Watch Me Brush My Teeth!

    Have you seen your toddler brush her baby doll’s teeth? Or has she “taken her to the doctor” for shots? That’s because she’s exploring and understanding what it means to be healthy and safe. And she’s also aware of the joy of food in her life! Offer her a grilled cheese or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and she’ll choose what she prefers. Her own health and well-being are becoming more important to her!

    Look for Signs of Learning at Your Child's Care

    Do the children wash their hands? Blow their noses? Throw their trash away? Do they do these things naturally, with just a few reminders? And are they free to express their physical needs in the classroom?

  • I Am Aware of Myself and My World

    Have you played a game of “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” with your toddler lately? If not, it might be time to try! He’ll love the idea of showing you how much he knows about his body parts. And when you’re outside together, be sure to stop and smell the roses…literally. He’s discovering the world through his senses, and he needs time to touch, smell, hear, taste and listen to things to understand how they fit into his ever-expanding world.

    Look for Signs of Learning at Your Child's Care

    Classroom materials and curriculum should engage all five of the senses. Look for dance parties, varied textures, and diverse music!

  • I Can Hop Like a Bunny!

    Give your toddler an age-appropriate puzzle and watch her shine! Her little fingers are getting better at grasping and placing small things. And her large motor skills are improving, too. Can she stand on one foot like a flamingo? Hop like a bunny? Encourage her to try!

    Look for Signs of Learning at Your Child's Care

    The classroom should have opportunities for both fine and gross motor skill development. Are there climbing areas and places to run? Do you see puzzle tables and art supplies? And does the schedule allow time for these activities?

  • Bath Time is Learning Time

    When your toddler takes a bath, let him take the reins. Give him a washcloth and a bar of soap, and teach him how to clean himself. He might miss some spots for now, but you’re there to take care of the rest. And he’s learning how to take care of himself!

    Look for Signs of Learning at Your Child's Care

    Is personal independence nurtured in a respectful way? Notice whether children are asked before they are touched or picked up. Inquire about bathroom responsibilities, too. Children should be active participants, whether using the toilet independently or helping in diaper changes.

Ideas to Learn and Play Together!

From bedtime to playtime your child is always learning. Check out these family-time ideas for building their skills -- and your family connections. All children learn and grow at their own pace and in their own way. For more information about the skills and milestones for your child's age check out our developmental milestones resource page. If you continue to have concerns or questions please give us a call at 1-800-299-1627.

  • We're Movin and Groovin!

    It may seem like your child never stops. Two-year-olds love constant movement! Finding ways to keep them busy and keep you sane can be challenging. Take a look at your space, bedroom, playroom or outdoors. How can you change it up to encourage healthy movements (and maybe some solid napping)?

    Move the toys to higher shelves so your child can still reach but has to stand while getting them out.

    Move chairs away from your kitchen or dining table and drape a sheet over it. Abracadabra — you have a magical play world.

  • Taste Test

    Explore new flavors by creating a family taste test at mealtime. Pick three food items that are the same color. Then, have the whole family use describing words to talk about them. Talk about how they are the same and different. One fun combination would be orange segments, baked sweet potato fries and cheese crackers!

  • Make It New Again!

    Running out of space for toys or are stepping over them all the time? Gather up seldom-used toys in a box. Pop them in a closet for two weeks or a month. Then, bring them back out—Ta-da! It’s like having brand new toys. Your child will probably play with them in a new way, because guess what? They have grown and developed while those toys waited in the closet.

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