I received product and compensation from Mead Johnson Nutrition to create this post written by me. All experiences and opinions expressed in this post are my own and not those of Mead Johnson Nutrition. You can contact Mead Johnson Nutrition with product related questions or comments toll free at 1-800-BABY-123 (1-800-222-9123).
Having a boy among three girls - I can only imagine what it’s like for my son. He’s got two older sisters and a younger one. There’s a little less than a 3-year difference between his next oldest sister and a little than 2-year difference between his baby sister.
Sometimes, I honestly feel like I’m not giving him the attention that he deserves because his older sisters are asking for their hair to be braided or his younger sister is crying to be held. So, when he sometimes gets out of his bed and crawls into ours in the middle of the night, I don’t mind one bit.
Having raised two girls now, I can honestly say that there is a night and day difference between raising a girl and a boy. My girls are highly emotional. My boy CAN be emotional, but he is more rambunctious. When I don’t hear him banging something into our walls, I can say without a doubt that he has probably has ravaged the pantry, stolen some mini donuts and has probably devoured them quietly in the comfort of the mini-wingback chair in the playroom.
I’ve been focusing on helping him learn through play. However, I want to make sure that Conrad is getting important DHA (an important building block of the growing brain) to help nourish his brain growth. Did you know that on average a toddler’s diet only provides 25% of the recommended amount of DHA - possibly creating a nutrition gap? The main source of DHA is fish. Enfagrow® Toddler Next Step™ helps bridge this gap by providing a milk-based toddler drink that complements their diet and has prebiotics designed to help support their little immune systems and other important nutrients. It’s a great alternative to sugary drinks.
Conrad, like most kids, won’t sit still while I teach him. So, I’ve been learning about activities from other parents and daycare centers on the best way to build his brain without him even realizing it. During the first three years, his brain grows at an explosive amount so during these years, so I’ve been cognizant of ensuring that I’m engaging him in some brain-boosting activities.
Hide and Seek. This is a great way to develop spatial and navigation skills. Your toddler must understand and map out the lay of the house, figure out who is hiding and where they are hiding.
Cooking. Cooking helps develop pre-literacy skills by increasing their ability to understand an abstract activity.
Matching Game. We have memory games that he loves to use. While it is hard to keep the cards all in a nice neat arrangement, try to resist the urge to straighten up the cards. And get excited when he finds a pair!
Coin Pattern. Have a mix of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. Create a combination of coins and show your child. Have them repeat the combination of coins from memory.
Magnetic Tiles. I love these magnetic tiles because he and his sisters love building and using their architectural know how to create amazing buildings!
Play with shaving cream. Fair warning, this will cause messes. Playing with shaving cream allows them to use their imagination and creativity.
Blowing Bubbles. Conrad loves bubbles and chases them down to pop them. This game provides him the ability to stimulate his senses and use his gross motor skills.
Large Building Blocks. These large building blocks stimulate his imagination. I’m always fascinated when he makes up imaginary cars going through the tunnels!
Animal Sounds. Show your kiddo pictures of animals and ask them what the animal says. We have a playroom that has animals on the wall, so I often pick him up and show him.
Train Set. I got this train set for my girls, and they absolutely loved them just as much as my little boy took to them! Building the train set is just as much fun as actually putting the trains on them.
Living Room Obstacle Course. This helps provide body awareness, balance and gross motor skills.
Simple Chores Around the House. I have him hold open the bigger trash bag when we’re collecting trash around the house. This teaches him responsibility.
I Spy. I Spy provides a fun game that makes your toddler think about the world around him and teaches them new words! Start off with colors, shapes and sizes.
I hope these ideas inspire you to come up with some of your own to enhance their learning and provide them with an emotional experience that they’ll remember. During these first three years, he’s laying a foundation of skills that all stem from activities that will jump-start his brain development!