Happy New Year everyone!  I have to say as I get older the New Years come rolling along just a little quicker than the previous one.  But in saying that I am more than happy to see the back of 2020. I wonder do you feel the same way.

I really miss being with lots of different people. And even though I love to bits the people in my ‘social bubble’ gosh do I need to burst it! I can’t wait to hug my parents again. To see little ones able to hug their grandparents.  For grandparents to be able to hold their new grandchild for the first time. To be able to sit around the office table and have tea and scones with all the Lifestart team. This list goes on and on!

2020 has to be the year we have all learned how important most of the people in our lives are to us.  We need to connect physically with family, friends and work colleagues so we can connect in a social and emotional way.  Let’s face it you just can’t hug a screen. You can’t see the friendly smile behind a mask.  So hopefully 2021 will be a year we get to hug and enjoy family, friends and being together again.

This week’s tip comes from the Growing Child Issue 21.  I’m sure Santa has brought many toys with wheels of some sort on them! For our regular readers you’ll know that issue 21 refers to the month age of the child we are focusing on.  And of course you’ll know that when we talk of month age it is only a guideline of what to expect at around this age.

Trucks and trailers with blocks for loading and unloading. Push alongs of all sorts and sit-n-rides are all great toys for this age.  Toys like these are great for muscle development (gross motor skills), spatial awareness, thinking and imagination.  This is the perfect age for sit-n-rides. And the great thing is they come in all shapes and styles.  They generally have a handlebar for steering and wheels.  Sit-n-rides don’t have pedals, when your toddler sits on this toy they use their feet to move.  Please note that a sit-n-ride is a toy and not a baby walker.  We here at Lifestart totally advise against the use of baby walkers. They have been proven to delay walking, impact on physical development and are dangerous.

So I hope you got a sturdy sit-n-ride because it is something that will take a bashing for the next year or so.  My children certainly got the value out of the ones we got even up to ages of 3 or 4 for pushing siblings and cousins around!

Don’t be alarmed if your toddler pushes themselves backwards to start with.  Your child finds it much easier to push with the thigh muscles that straighten the knees than it is to pull along by muscles that bend the knee.  They may also push or pull themselves along using both feet together.  Your child will begin to use their legs alternately as they get more used to it.

If this is a new toy for your child don’t be surprised if your child uses their new ‘sit-n-ride’ as a push along for a month or two.  This is something completely new to them. It may take some time before they are willing to even sit on the seat.  However, when they are ready to sit on and go they will have hours of ‘fun on wheels’ with lots of valuable learning!