What you'll want this month:

How your baby is developing: By the end of the month, your toddler will be running with fewer stumbles and trips. Your toddler may even kick a ball with a bit of force behind it. They will be able to walk up stairs holding the railing, but will need to hold your hand and the railing on the way down. Balance and aim are still a bit off, so they can't quite jump or throw just yet.

Power struggles and frustration lead to hitting, pushing, and even biting. Staying calm and explaining why we don't hit people will help your toddler to understand, and hopefully nip that behavior before it becomes a problem. This behavior sparks the beginning of the "Why?" phase as well – expect to be asked "Why?" to everything by the end of the month.

Children at this age are developing an understanding about what things are and how they are used. They understand that crayons are for coloring and scribbling, not flushing down the toilet; they understand hammers are for pounding nails into the work bench.

Your toddler will want to color, scribble, paint, and create more this month than in the past. Their ability to create straight lines and circular lines excite them and they want to show you what they can do. You will notice your toddler using one hand more than the other when drawing this month. Hand preference is slowly becoming a solidified choice.

Your toddler is naturally curious about everything: boxes, doors, animals, fingers, mouths, even their genitals. Sometime this month your toddler will play with their genitals while they are bathing or when you are dressing them. They are just discovering this new part of their body and they want to understand what it is – like everything else. Don't make a big deal out if it, explain the basics, let them know that's how they go pee, and explain that playing and self-discovery are best done at home during private time.

Fun games and activities to play: The frustration of sharing seems to spark a creative streak this month. Keep your toddler active and provide a few different creative outlets.

  • Set up camp on the sidewalk or driveway with some sidewalk chalk. Let your toddler scribble and draw pictures larger than life. Have your toddler lie down and trace the outline of their body, then let them fill it in.
  • Set up watercolor paints, shiny paper, and a few brushes. Show your toddler how to wet their brush and the paint pucks, and let them paint beautiful, washable pictures.
  • Play Follow the Leader. March around the house, clap, jump up and down, and roll on the floor. Switch leaders once your toddler is ready.
  • Blow up a few balloons and toss them in air. Hit them so they stay up in the air and chase them around, and toss them back and forth.

Creativity and growth are two points of focus this month. Stimulate your toddler's drive for both by adding these baby products to your household.

Nursery
  • Hanging clothes organizers in the closet so your toddler can help put their clothes away.
Feeding Baby Care
  • A pair of flexible-soled running shoes or loafers for your toddler to run around in.
Playtime
  • A watercolor paint set with different papers and brushes.
  • A big bucket of sidewalk chalk in different sizes and colors.
  • An easel equipped with a chalkboard, a roll of paper, chalk, and washable markers or crayons.
  • Large magnetic letters and numbers for the fridge.

There are plenty of fun games and toddler products for your twenty one month old.

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