Your child is learning to act by watching you and doing the things you do. This is a good time to help her solve problems by asking simple questions and letting your child think about ways to solve them. She learns best by playing. Play with her in ways that help her decide which is the best action to take.
Consider enrolling him in a pre-school program. There are private and public programs available. A pre-school program will allow him additional opportunities to socialize and to learn how to get along with other children outside the home. It will also help prepare him for school. Also find out if your child is eligible for Head Start, a federally funded preschool program for low income families.
Show him how to mix frozen orange juice. Give him the can of orange juice and a large pitcher and spoon. Encourage him to repeat the process after you.
Use simple pictures as instructions:
Give him a slice of any type of bread and show him how to cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Let him spread peanut butter or softened cheese spread on the shapes and put these on a plate for lunch or snack-time.
Talk about shapes and textures. Show him how to fold napkins into shapes - like triangles or rectangles.
Let him set the table and dish; use plastic forks and spoons for safety.
Encourage good table manners - elbows off the table, chewing with mouth closed, using a napkin to wipe his mouth, etc.
Make sewing cards using paper plates with holes punched along the edge. Show him how to sew or lace from one hole to another using string, yarn, twine, or a shoestring.
Show her how to lace her own shoes. Let her practice but do not expect her to tie them without your help!!
Give her large sheets of paper and large crayons to scribble and create drawings. Talk about the colors she selects.
Avoid coloring books. His hand muscles need to develop more fully before he can color inside the lines.
Read stories and nursery rhymes to him daily.
Encourage him to talk about the stories. Show him, by pointing, that reading moves from left to right and from top to bottom.
Take a picture from a photo album and ask her to make up a story for you to write down. Use her own words when you read the story back. You can also use pictures from magazines or newspapers. Paste the pictures on paper so that she can make his own books.
Listen to a story on tape. When it is over, ask him to retell the story.
Begin a story and let your child make up the ending.
Cut a square hole in a large cardboard box and let him use it as a TV or a puppet theater to make up and give his own shows.
Measure his height monthly. Fix a measuring tape on the back of his door and let him see and talk about his growth.
Using play dough (either bought or homemade), show him how two equal pieces of something look different. When one is flat like a pancake and one is shaped like a snake, he will think that one is larger than the other. Show him that the pieces are equal.
Measure 1 cup of water and pour it into a tall, narrow clear jar. Measure another cup and pour the water into a small wide jar. Ask your child which has more. He will think the tall one has more. Show him how they are the same. Talk about how size and shape of container can make one thing look bigger or smaller than another even when each contains the same amount.
Show him pictures illustrating different careers and ask him what he wants to be.
Well Baby Check-ups: 36 months (Do it Now!)
Help your child get lots of physical exercise. Take him to a park or go outside with him and play simple games with him.
Give your child a large piece of paper and a crayon and allow her to draw. Ask her to tell you about her picture. Put it up on the refrigerator for all to see.
Sing or say nursery rhymes with your child while in the car or in the tub.
Let your child help in the kitchen when you are cooking. Let her help you turn on the water and fill the pan or watch the oven as it bakes.
Make meal time a special time.
Read to your child every day. Let him pick his favorite book or story. Allow him to help you turn pages and tell what is happening as you look at the pictures.
Remember: Your child likes to explore his world. Make sure all harmful cleaning products, matches, lighters, knives and firearms are placed in an area that your child cannot open. It is very important to unload all guns before you lock them away.