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Top tips for toddlers

Here is some down-to-earth wisdom from other mums .

• To encourage your child to put sun block on their face, let them paint pictures on their skin with different coloured zinc creams, then tell them to mix all the colours together
• Drawstring mesh bags have a multitude of uses – to let bath toys drain, to wash sand out of beach toys before going home, to separate collections of small toys like Lego and cars, and to contain baby’s booties in the washing machine so the ribbons don’t get lost
• Ease hair-washing trauma by giving your child a pair of swimming goggles
• Ease hair-washing trauma II Get them to look at a picture you’ve stuck to the ceiling while you rinse The water will run down their back
• Teach your child to keep their hands on the car after parking to prevent them walking into danger They could pretend they have magnet hands that only release when you say a magic word
• Get inside the playpen yourself – use it to stand inside while barbecuing to keep small hands away, or to sit in while getting on with a hobby such as sewing while your baby plays in the room around you
• Encourage turn-taking by using an egg-timer or the oven timer Soon you can ask your children what they think the fairest solution to a sharing problem would be
• Teach your child their address and phone number by singing it in the tune of a familiar nursery rhyme Tell them if someone asks them for this information, it’s okay to sing it to them
• Add extra fun to bath time by letting baby play with household items such as plastic bottles, a colander or a small watering can Make a puppet out of a facecloth and have the puppet wash them
• To help teach your preschooler what their name looks like and about left and right, print their first name and “left” inside one shoe or gumboot, and their surname and “right” inside the other They’ll also get their shoes on the right feet

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