What you'll want this month:

How your baby is developing: Babbling increases and new words are spoken as your toddler learns to hold a real conversation. Expect to sit through minutes of excited babbling as your toddler tells you all about their latest adventure.

Understanding what you say is also improving. If you ask "Where's your head?" they will point to it. If you flip through a picture book your toddler likes, your toddler will point out pictures you name, if the object in the picture or character is familiar and well liked. Your toddler's attention span for sitting and reading is getting shorter – expect to read only a page or two before your toddler gets up and walks away.

Children at this age are beginning to understand that crayons are not food, but are tools to create colorful pictures and scribbles on paper. They can understand simple games and will play for short bursts of time before they want to move on to the next game or activity. If you need a rest, games like peek-a-boo and "Where's your nose?" can distract and occupy most toddlers for a good ten minutes or more.

Toddlers like to help – they may hand you something if you ask. Toddlers like to pretend they are little people and pretend games make them feel like you, only smaller. They like to watch you and do those same things for themselves. They may not do very well, but they love every minute of it and will refuse your help.

Cooperation is a concept that most toddlers are resistant to at this stage. It may seem crazy to reason with a toddler, but explaining how their behavior could hurt or help others will help them to understand why they should or shouldn't do something. Have patience and try it – you may be surprised.

Fun games and activities to play: Your toddler continues to try new things and explore. They want to help you, but for shorter periods of time. Here are a few activities that you can do together, that may hold their attention a little longer than expected.

  • Bring your toddler outside when you do your gardening. Give them their very own shovel, rake, and watering can. Let them help you dig holes for new bulbs, rake the leaves, and water the plants.
  • Kick, walk and roll a ball back and forth outside in the back yard or the park. The space will give your toddler more room to run as they like to run away from the ball before they walk or kick the ball back to you.
  • Sing and dance with your toddler. Songs like Ring Around the Roses and The Hokey Pokey encourage a new level of interaction as your toddler is more able to join in the fun.
  • Get creative with food, paper, and glue. Give your toddler a piece of construction paper, some white glue in a cup with a craft stick, and a variety of food stuffs: puffed wheat, macaroni, and cheerios. Let your toddler make a food collage. The different textures and glue will keep them touching and creating. Add some finger paint and you will have a very colorful, creative food collage.

Your toddler's understanding of the world is growing rapidly. Here are a few baby products that you can use to educate and entertain.

Baby Care
  • A few warm, close-fitting baby jackets to keep your toddler warm and free from getting snagged on tree branches or play equipment.
  • An electric toothbrush is an easy way to introduce your toddler to brushing their teeth on a regular basis.
Playtime
  • A craft kit complete with papers, crayons, glue, pom-poms and stickers.
  • Rolls and rolls of stickers – most toddlers can't get enough of stickers.
  • A toddler-sized rake, a shovel and a bucket for good dirty outdoor play.
  • CDs of kids songs that encourage your toddler to listen and dance are a good way to keep your toddler active while improving their ability to listen and understand.

Take a look at the perfect baby products at seventeen months.

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