Play is extremely important in the world of your toddler because it’s how he learns about the environment he lives in, and through play you can see and hear what your toddler thinks and understands. When your toddler plays it should be spontaneous and unstructured, in other words, as long as he has a safe space to play in, he should be left to his own devices. He is still too young to play with other children so don’t be too disappointed when he shuns a play date. This month he will love to scribble with crayons (watch those white walls) stack pots to make towers and complete simple puzzles like shape sorters. Toddlers love noise, so if your ears (and your neighbours) can stand it, give him a xylophone or book with sounds, or simply too objects which he can bash together. Try to encourage your child to play with toys that teach a variety of skills, but the main emphasis aside from learning should always be playing and fun. You will be surprised at what your toddler learns from just the simplest of games.
Pretend kitchen equipment, garden or DIY toys encourages your child to sample a bit of the ‘adult world’ through play. Dolls, dollhouses, trucks, pretend airports or petrol stations encourage your child to build a world around an object. Dressing up expands children’s imaginations as they create characters or get to dress in mum’s dresses or dads welly boots. Dressing up and playing with pretend phones or kitchens also teaches your child a little bit about how the adult world works, although this may result in your toddler answering the house phone and babbling to your friends once in a while. See our Lust List for helpful ideas for games and toys that will amuse your toddler. Also see our KIT area for new ideas and mums recommendations for toddler toys.
By month fifteen your toddler will need her MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccination if you decide she should have it. Many parents are in two minds about giving their child this particular injection because of bad press linking the vaccinations with autism and bowel disease. However, studies have shown no proven links to either of these diseases and the world health organisation still supports the use of this vaccination. For more help on deciding whether you want your child immunised have a chat to your GP or Health Advisor. Your child will also need a booster MMR vaccination when she reaches between three to five years before she starts school.