Two-year-olds-flush with the pride of having "aced" Walking, Running, and Climbing 101 -- are eager to test their newfound physical capabilities. With warm weather beckoning, all it takes is some simple equipment and close supervision to help your child make the most of her new motor skills. Here's the recipe for summertime fun and activity:
- Balls. For just a few dollars, you can provide your 2-year-old with an entertaining, skill-building toy. Look for large, light plastic balls that are easy for your toddler to kick and throw (and, perhaps, catch, when tossed gently from short distances). Beach balls and foam rubber balls can be used in a playroom, provided there's nothing breakable around. Tossing balls into a laundry basket or cardboard box can also be a fun and challenging diversion for your child on a rainy day.
- Swings and slides. Scaled-down plastic slides with small ladders are a big hit at this age. Do supervise closely, however: Your 2-year-old lacks the common sense not to stand precariously at the top or even leap off. The back-and-forth motion of a swing will also delight your toddler, though he's unable to pump himself into action by himself. Look for a sturdy toddler chair-swing with a safety strap, and fasten it securely to the designated tree or ceiling. (And never leave your child unattended in the swing.)