I Am Special

As your toddler grows, he develops a self-concept. He is becoming increasingly aware that he is an individual person with his own tastes, interests, and personality. Early on, he will have experiences that will shape his self concept and esteem. Both directly and indirectly, he will be receiving messages about his worth and competence. You can plan specific activities that will reinforce the message that he is indeed very special.

Self-Portrait

Have your toddler do a self-portrait a few times a year. This is a great way to measure his progress in self-image as well as motor control.

  • Provide your child with a paper and crayons to create a self-portrait.

  • If desired, let him glue on yarn for hair and scraps of fabric for clothes.

Activity for an individual child

Age group: 18–40 months

Duration of activity: 15 minutes

Light-colored construction or bond paper

Crayons

Yarn and fabric scraps (optional)

White craft glue (optional)

All-about-Me Book

Your child can create a lasting memory. He will enjoy “reading” it as much as he did creating it. You can bind the pages together with a stapler or by punching holes in the sides and attaching the pages with a yarn bow.

  • Label each page of your child's book with a title, such as “My Favorite Foods” or “Toys I Play With.”

  • Help your child find appropriate pictures in the magazines to cut out and paste onto the pages.

Activity for an individual child

Age group: 18–40 months

Duration of activity: 45 minutes

Light-colored construction or bond paper

Markers

Magazines

Scissors

White craft glue

I Go to Pieces

Enhance your child's self-esteem with this project. This also makes a great gift for grandparents. Simply put it into a box labeled, “I love you to pieces.”

  • Glue the photo of your child onto the poster board and cover with the clear contact paper.

  • Cut the photo into puzzle pieces. You can make the puzzle simple with fewer pieces, or more complex with more pieces.

  • Give your child the new personalized puzzle to complete.

Activity for an individual child

Age group: 18–40 months

Duration of activity: 45 minutes

Photograph of your child, enlarged to 8” x 10” or larger

Poster board cut to same size as photo

Clear contact paper

Scissors

White craft glue

Mirror

Young children are often fascinated by mirrors and their own image. Your toddler may enjoy simply making silly faces in the mirror. Don't worry — the dry-erase ink is easy to remove with a glass cleaner and a paper towel.

  • Have your child stand in front of the mirror and show him how he can use the markers to trace over his image. He may also want to give himself a hat or other accessories.

Activity for an individual child

Age group: 30–40 months

Duration of activity: 10 minutes

Mirror

Dry-erase markers

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