11 Skills I Want to Teach My Toddler this Year

Vivi made a lot of gains last year in terms of her development, and it was fun to watch her learn and practice each new skill. My favorite skill to watch and listen to her learn is the art of speaking. My Vivi translator had to expand quite rapidly last year. The kid also learned to use the toilet; although, she still refuses to do the number two, and she only uses the toilet when she feels like it. Pretending to read books can be marked off the list of things she’s learned. She has become a master at putting hair ties, something she calls “hair do’s,” on random stuff, including my toes, and walking up and down the stairs happened quickly and without a hiccup (so far).

Most of what Vivi has learned she has picked up on her own as she’s observed the things we do. This next year, however, I’ll get a chance to start actively teaching the kid some things, and there are some things I want her to learn more than others.

Here are 11 skills I want to teach my toddler this year:

  • 11 Skills I Want to Teach My Toddler this Year 1 of 12

    Click through to read my plan!

  • To Ride a Tricycle 2 of 12

    We tried teaching Vivi how to ride a tricycle last year and it didn't go very well. It ended with a lot of pushing and absolutely no pedaling. This year I'd like to make the lesson stick and get Vivi riding a tricycle on her own. It would be nice to go on evening strolls with the kids as Addie rides her bike or scooter, and Vivi scoots along on her tricycle. 

  • The Joys of Flying a Kite 3 of 12

    I learned to fly a kite somewhere around Vivi's age. I don't remember how good I was at getting the kite into the air, but I do remember getting about a-bazillion kites for my birthday each year. So far I've failed to teach Addie how to get a kite in the air, and I plan to remedy that failure this spring. Hopefully teaching Addie how to fly a kite will allow me to teach Vivi how much fun flying a kite can be, and maybe she'll even figure out how to get a kite in the air herself.

  • To Sit Still in a Movie Theater 4 of 12

    One of our favorite past-times as a family is going to the movies. Once Vivi was born, those family trips to the movies were drastically reduced. When must-see movies come out one of us will take Addie to the theater while the other stays home with Vivi. So far, Vivi has only gone to three movies at a theater, and she's struggled to sit through each of them. I'd like to teach Vivi how to sit still in a movie theater so we can get back to going to movies as a family.

  • The ABC’s and the 123’s 5 of 12

    Vivi can get through most of the ABC song and she loves to count, although, she's just randomly calling out numbers as she moves her fingers. Lots of things end up being "37." Casey says this upcoming age is the time when Addie first started to learn to read. I don't know how that's even possible, but if it's at all possible to get Vivi reading at this age like Addie did, then I'm all for it. The bigger head start Vivi can have in life, the better.

  • Phineas and Ferb 6 of 12

    We introduced Perry the Platypus early in Vivi's life, but so far the kid is uninterested. I was so happy when Addie got hooked on Phineas and Ferb because it meant I could watch her shows along with her. Now Addie has moved on from Phineas and Ferb and Vivi is still stuck on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, but I'd like to reintroduce Phineas and Ferb this next year and see if I can get back to saving the tri-state area.

  • To Drop the Diapers 7 of 12

    It's time to move on from the diapers--they're expensive, time consuming, space consuming, and just plain gross. Vivi knows when she needs to go to the bathroom, but so far she hasn't decided it's always necessary to do it in the toilet. I'd like to teach Vivi the value of using the toilet instead of a diaper.

  • To Dress Herself 8 of 12

    I would like to teach Vivi how to dress herself this year. The kid doesn't really even pick out her own clothes now; however, she will occasionally have strong feelings towards her Batman shirt. Not only is it convenient when a child can get himself/herself dressed, but it can also be entertaining. I loved some of the strange ensembles Addie used to come up with when she was younger.

  • To Pick Up a Room 9 of 12

    These kids are really messy. They're like little tornadoes that run through the house. So far only Addie can pick-up a room, though, and that's problematic. I would like to teach Vivi how to pick up her room after she's done playing with whatever she's been playing with. So far she's willing to pick up little messes she makes when she accidentally spills something small or purposely empties a cup of something on the floor, but I would like to expand that ability into picking-up an entire room.

  • To Throw a Softball 10 of 12

    Vivi loves playing with balls. She has a large basket full of balls in our front room, and she's constantly pulling them out and throwing them at random things. She'll even grab her toy football while I'm watching a football game and ask me to play catch with her. The kid has an arm too -- if she could just figure out how to aim that arm she'd be a deadly softball player. I would like to work on her figuring out that whole aiming thing with a softball, because that kid could end up with a scholarship some day.

  • How to Play Soccer 11 of 12

    We enrolled Addie in soccer when she was 3 years-old, and she only made it to about 2 lessons before she quit. Addie was too shy to play soccer with the other kids. Vivi's a little more assertive when it comes to this kind of stuff, and she also has a more sturdy build. I think this kid would enjoy playing soccer, so I would like to get the soccer ball out and start working with her a bit and see if we can make a little league soccer player out of her.

  • To Be Self-Sufficient on the Playground 12 of 12

    Vivi loves going to the playground, but she's still not big enough to really do much without a lot of assistance from her parents. Part of the joys of going to the playground is that the playground can act as a bit of a babysitter so that Casey and I can have a little break. This year, I would like to teach Addie how to swing on a swing by herself and how to climb all the random bar lined obstacles typically found on playgrounds so that Vivi can get herself up to the slide over and over and over again.

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