TV-Free Tip #7: Unearth old toys.
Hiding a few toys can quickly make them new again. "When my 2-year-old daughter, Sasha, gets restless, I just pull out some things I've hidden. She's entertained and I get some TV-free time," says Dorre Kleinman, a mom from Brooklyn, New York.
TV-Free Tip #8: Prep for preschool.
Spend some moments teaching your toddler about letters. Choose a "Letter of the Day" and have your child learn new words that begin with that letter. "I do this with my 16-month-old son and he loves it!" says Teresa Martin, a mother from Ann Arbor, Michigan.
TV-Free Tip #9: Get a helping hand.
Toddlers can be enthusiastic helpers, so try to involve them in whatever you're doing. Ask your child to help you cook or clean. Give her a brush to wash veggies or a rag to help dust.
TV-Free Tip #10: Start a sing-along.
Most toddlers love tunes. "Songs like 'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star' are a great way to help your baby learn the patterns of language," says Jean Crawford, director of PBS Parents. "Songs also help baby hear the small differences in sounds, a skill he'll need when he learns to read."
Originally published in American Baby magazine, June 2005.