From one to two years our toddler is refining his fine motor skills. He works hard at building his block tower even though at one year of age the tower might be just two blocks high--but what an accomplishment! He has integrated his vision and hand control in order to grasp the block. Then his whole body gets into the act, balancing himself in sitting position while he sets one block on top of another. When he accomplishes this feat he looks up at you with unabashed pride. “I did it!” is written all over his face. As I said, you’ve just got to love toddlers.
He will continue to practice his block building ability and probably be able to stack five blocks by the time he is two years old. He will also be working on other equally fascinating activities such as marking a piece of paper with a crayon and scribbling as if writing his own grocery list.
Between these two birthdays he will also start to turn pages of books one at a time. He knows, if you have been reading to him that books are not for eating, but for a different meaningful exchange with his parent. By age two, you can have safety scissors available. He has the skills because he can now use his fingers and thumb to grasp. However, you need to monitor the use of the scissors because he is not safe with them. It would be very easy for him to poke his eye or experiment with cutting his hair or books.
The Twinkletime song in today’s column can give your toddler practice in refining his fine motor skills by imitating your gestures or sign language for some of the words. One sign language dictionary you can access online is handspeak.com.
Thank-you for the world so sweet
Thank-you for the food we eat
Thank-you for the birds that sing
Thank-you, for everything.
Pair the words ‘thank-you’, ‘world’, ‘eat’, ‘sing’, and ‘everything’ with simple sign language. This is a lovely song to sing each day before meal times.