Did you know that using the five senses when playing with your toddler helps their brain develop? You don’t need fancy toys to try activities like finger-painting, dancing, singing, listening to music, and touching or smelling new things. In fact, you may find your child is the most interested in everyday objects like containers with lids, toilet paper tubes, and cardboard boxes.
Keep in mind that children at this age still don’t understand danger, so provide a safe space to play and supervise at all times.
Making games out of everyday routines helps to build brain connections too. Ask your toddler questions like “What colour is this?” and she might surprise you with her answer! By about two years of age your child may be joining two words together (“want cookie”, “car go”). It’s the foundation for many more conversations to come.
Your checklist for 19 to 24 months
✓ Complete the two year Nipissing developmental checklist
✓ Balance quiet brain-building activities like reading with plenty of active playtime – a minimum of 180 minutes (that’s three hours!) per day
✓ Whenever possible, eat meals together as a family
✓ Start to set clear and consistent rules and limits for your child (e.g., teeth must be brushed before bed, we hold hands when crossing the street) to avoid future tantrums
✓ Check for tooth decay once month. Lift the lips and look for dull white spots, lines, or dark areas on the teeth. If you see any, go to the dentist right away.
Your local Ontario Early Years Centre has early learning programs, parent education and community resources. Check out your local program calendars:
Connect with your community! Find parades, farmers markets, museums and shows near you:
Guides and resources
- For tips on Feeding Toddlers and a sample meal plan, visit How to Build a Healthy Toddler (PDF, 4 pages, 3 MB).
- Following the instructions on page 6 of the “Taking Care of Your Child’s Teeth” section of the Oral Health guide (PDF, 24 pages, 2 MB) will help prevent early childhood tooth decay.
Your local and Public Health supports
- If you can’t afford to pay for dental care, we have programs to help. To find out if you can use these services, call the Dental Line at 1-800-265-7293 ext. 2661.
- Wee Talk offers free speech and language programs in Wellington, Dufferin and Guelph.
- If you have questions about nutrition for your growing toddler, call an EatRight Ontario dietitian at 1-877-510-5102.
- Call Let’s Talk Parenting at 1-800-265-7293 ext. 3616. Our public health nurses are happy to answer your questions about children and parenting. Call Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Looking forward? Read ahead to 2 years >