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Your 2-year-old now
What can a 2-year-old remember? More and more every day! He's developing a way of thinking called spatial representation or symbolic thinking. Basically it means he can see things in his mind's eye. As experience and habit create new connections in his brain, he becomes better able to call up these captured images: what a lost teddy looks like, the way to Grandma's house, the ice cream and cake served at the party yesterday.
Help your preschooler lay down these memory tracks in the brain by asking questions about things he knows: "Hmmm, what will the bunny say goodnight to next?" Ask him to recall details: "Did you have vanilla ice cream or chocolate?" At night, review your day together: "And then what did we do?"
Your life now
Bath time can be a time for bonding, relaxing, and play. Bring out a variety of water toys – plastic containers or measuring cups work fine – so your preschooler can dip, pour, and play. But sometimes happy bathers turn into fearful ones almost overnight. If your preschooler develops a sudden aversion to the bath, you might:
- Bathe together. You can hold her to help her feel more secure.
- Try showers. Some preschoolers like standing in the "rain." (Others, though, are frightened.)
- Introduce bubble bath. The bubbles may distract her and are safe to use in moderation.
- Buy bath time diversions made for kids. Your local drugstore or toy store may carry soap that squirts from a can, "crayons" that draw on the tub and wash right off, or colored bathwater tints.
- Use a minimal amount of water. Add more as days go by and your child's comfort level increases.
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