Ideas for Younger Children

How to Entertain a 1-Year-Old

Engage all of your child's senses. Encourage your 1-year-old to explore objects by touching them, listening to them, seeing them or smelling them. For example, give your child differently textured items such as a fluffy stuffed bear, a smooth board book, and a bumpy blanket to look at and touch.

Get scientific, and allow your baby to make basic discoveries about the physical world. Give her a shallow pan of water -- siting next to her -- and let her make waves or splashes with her finger, or take her outside so she can feel the soft grass under her feet.

Give your child choices when it comes to entertainment. Provide two or three different options, such as stacking cups, plastic blocks or a soft, cloth doll.

Entertain your 1-year-old with an art activity. Allow him to use different materials in different ways. Give him nontoxic finger paints and paper or a few crayons to make squiggles and scribbles with.

Speak in simple words, using gestures with your instructions. For example, point at a stack of plastic blocks and say "Pick up."

Engage in the activity with your infant. Move off of the sidelines and get in on the action. Finger paint together, sing songs, clap your hands with her, or build a two- or three-block tower as a team.

Tip

Schedule a play date. While your 12-month-old isn't ready to play with a friend, he will play next to or near another child. Although he won't act completely social, he may notice and copy the other infant's actions and gestures. Vary your entertainment strategies daily. Instead of spending every day entertaining your child by singing to him, trade that activity for finger painting with pudding or another equally engaging activity.

Warning

Never leave your 12-month-old alone while she is playing. Always supervise her. Check for safety and choking hazards before giving your child anything to play with. Avoid passive activities, such as TV, as a method of entertainment. These won't engage your child's mind or allow her to make her own discoveries.

Jobs for 11-Year-Old Kids

Work at Home

Kids can help make dinner to earn money.
Kids can help make dinner to earn money.

One of the first jobs that most kids take on is helping out at home. Give your child a list of things that should be done each week. This may include tasks like vacuuming, washing windows, helping with dinner or watching younger siblings. Decide on a fair amount of pay based on the type of work performed and age of your child. Avoid paying them for those duties that are expected of a child their age, such as keeping the bedroom clean or folding laundry. As your child gets older and wants more spending money, increase the allowance each week as well as the amount of work expected.

Work for the Neighbors

Kids can rake leaves for neighbors.
Kids can rake leaves for neighbors.

If you have older neighbors who live alone or have a hard time getting around, your 11-year-old could offer to clean their house or rake leaves. Neighbors heading off on vacation may be interested in hiring your child to water plants or walk a dog while they are away. Keep your ears open for such opportunities and encourage your child to do a good job for repeat business.

More Ideas

Dog walking is an option for earning money.
Dog walking is an option for earning money.

Job opportunities are limited only by your 11-year-old's creativity and interests. Parents should determine what their children enjoy and do well. If they tinker with bikes, they could buy old or broken bikes, fix them up and resell them. If they enjoy pets, they could start a pet walking service. Other options include: washing cars, teaching a skill like swimming, wrapping gifts, shoveling snow, making birthday or get well cards, delivering papers, cleaning houses or tutoring younger children. Encourage your 11-year-old to be creative in how to earn money.

Too Young?

Make sure the job your 11 year old performs is age appropriate.
Make sure the job your 11 year old performs is age appropriate.

Use your best judgment when it comes to jobs that you allow your 11-year-old to seek out or accept. Eleven may be too young for big responsibilities like watching young children without an adult around or operating a lawn mower. Encourage your child to find work, but make sure he doesn't take on more than he can handle.

The Effects of Moving on a Two-Year-Old Toddler

Stress

When the adults in the family are busy and stressed out from the preparation and transition of the move, it’s natural for this upheaval to trickle down to the littlest members of the family. A wise parent will minimize this stress on little people because it will only do them harm. Try to get help from friends and family during the moving process either with help packing or playing with your child while you pack. Another option is to work on move-related busy-work while your toddler is sleeping to minimize disruption.

Sleep Issues

Yank your toddler’s familiar surroundings and routine away from her and she’s going to go through a transition. Some children will react to this loss of security by developing sleep issues. Sleeping in a new room in a new house can be scary and overwhelming for a little one. He might have a hard time settling down, he might start waking and he might have nightmares. Setting up your toddler’s room first should be a priority to give him as much security as possible. Comfort him if he has trouble sleeping and keep the new routine low-key and consistent to help him acclimate to the new home.

Fear of the Unknown

No one likes an unknown future -- it’s scary and overwhelming. Your 2-year-old is no different, but she can’t express how freaked out she is about it. If you have pictures of the new house, show them to your child. If you can visit the new house before moving in, this can give your toddler a concrete idea of where she’s going. Let her see her new room so she knows what it looks like. When the big day comes, walk through your old house and say goodbye to each room together. Take pictures, too, to help her remember it.

Behavioral Issues

Unpleasant behavioral issues can appear during the transition of a move. You might notice clinginess, regression, nervous habits, eating issues, shyness or even aggression. These behavioral issues are another direct result of the language limitations of a 2-year-old, according to Zero to Three. The lack of language skills places toddlers in a position of using actions instead of words to express feelings. Unpleasant feelings often generate unpleasant actions. Provide lots of love and security during the move and always discipline consistently so your child learns the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behavior.

What to Expect at My Three Year Old's Checkup

Physical Examination

Your 3-year-old will undergo the usual physical examination. The pediatrician will conduct a few tests and look at every part of your child’s body. Teach your chcild to open wide and say "ahhh" to prepare him for an examination of his mouth and throat. Naming his body parts helps you explain how the doctor will check his limbs, spine and stomach, head, muscle tone, heart beat and reflexes. Show him how the doctor will check his ears and eyes so he knows what to expect. Prepare to answer questions about weight gain, height, motor development, bowel functions and any concerns you have. Your doctor might recommend taking your child to a dentist for the first time.

Growth and Development

Your pediatrician will check your child’s development through observation and by asking you questions. Some doctors ask parents to complete a questionnaire form that asks about typical developmental milestones expected for 3-year-olds, such jumping and running, using crayons and speaking in sentences. The doctor wants to know about sleep, nutrition, toilet training and your child’s ability to learn. Does he know the colors, alphabet and numbers? Can he feed and dress himself?

Immunizations

Although most children don't need vaccinations at their 3-year-old check-ups, the doctor might recommend some if your child is missing some that should have already been administered. Between birth and three years of age, children receive a series of vaccines and booster shots to protect against various diseases and conditions. The immunizations protect against various diseases and conditions, including hepatitis A and B, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, influenza, polio, chickenpox, measles and mumps.

Vision and Hearing

Pediatricians check their little patients’ hearing and vision, often using observation and simple techniques. Your doctor might order additional testing as a routine part of well-child care for your 3-year-old or if she detects potential problems. The type of testing performed depends on the child’s development and ability to participate, when required. Screenings and full examinations help doctors identify problems early. Pediatricians refer children to specialists when more extensive testing is required.

List of Jobs for Teens Age 15

Household Services

messy garage
messy garage

An enterprising 15-year-old can earn steady wages by offering to complete various chores for homeowners. He can find business opportunities buried in his customers’ cluttered basements and garages. The teen can perform full cleaning services or focus on clearing and organizing specific troublesome spots such as attics or cellars. Painting is another service that a teenager can provide to different households in return for payment, especially if the youngster knows that a neighbor is remodeling a home. Interior painting services could be accomplished all year, whereas exterior work would be done during warmer months. A 15-year-old can mow lawns and pull weeds in the summer, rake leaves every autumn and shovel driveways and walkways in the winter.

Business Help

girl on computer
girl on computer

A 15-year-old should assess his skills to see if his abilities can be put to work in any small or family-owned business, especially if the teenager already knows the owner of a local proprietorship. The youngster could offer his computer know-how, especially if he is proficient with web design and content. Or, the teen could run errands or perform messenger work. If she is a gifted writer or photographer, she could generate interest among smaller businesses that might have a demand for those same talents on a freelance basis.

Tutoring

boy tutoring a student
boy tutoring a student

Teaching is another possible revenue generator for a 15-year-old. A teen who has aced his high school mathematics, English or foreign language classes could assist other teens who need some extra coaching in those same subjects. Adults and children also could be interested in one-on-one tutoring with a bright teenager. Computer classes represent another demand. Many adults and small-business owners would appreciate personalized PC instructions with a technologically savvy 15-year-old.

Traditional Jobs

girl washing a dog
girl washing a dog

The jobs that historically have been performed by teenagers continue to be available for a youngster eager to make money. This includes babysitting and washing cars. A 15-year-old also can earn cash by walking, bathing and grooming neighborhood pets. When a client travels on vacation, the teenage entrepreneur can charge fees for checking on and caring for that customer’s animals.

Inexpensive Things for 5-Year-Old Kids to Do

Outside Play

The outdoor world is full of options for inexpensive play, with little or no equipment necessary for fun. Kids in the 4- to 5-year age group have the gross motor skills to stand on one foot for about 10 seconds, hop, swing, climb and do somersaults, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. With these skills, keep your child actively busy with hopscotch, follow the leader, hide-and-seek, red light-green light and kickball outdoors. Vary the activities to keep them interesting and engaging for your youngster.

Indoor Play

Stimulate your child’s imagination and curiosity with engaging activities indoors. Throw a blanket over a few pieces of furniture for a makeshift fort or tent. Give your youngster a flashlight, and he can pretend he’s camping out. He might even enjoy taking books and coloring paper into his tent for quiet play. A simple deck of cards can also provide inexpensive playtime for your 5-year-old. Play "Go Fish," "Old Maid" or other simple card games. You could also create a deck of pairs of cards and play a memory matching game with your child.

Arts and Crafts

By providing simple and inexpensive art supplies, your child can create artistic projects. Crayons, paper, glue and watercolor paints can form the foundation of his artistic creations. For additional materials, teach your child the magic of recycling and repurposing. Save items such as cereal boxes, paper towel rolls, egg cartons, clean milk jugs, shoe boxes, oatmeal containers and brown grocery bags. Designate a bin for collecting these household treasures, and your child can use the items for pretend play, constructing and creating.

Teaming Up

Your 5-year-old has a growing awareness of the world around her and has a strong desire to understand how things work. Foster this curiosity and gain some important bonding time by including your youngster in your household activities. Team activities include folding and sorting laundry, sweeping the floor, decluttering a room, wiping down tables, dusting and unloading the dishwasher. Keep work time fun by talking with your child, singing and discussing whatever project you are tackling.

How to Calm Down a Wild 3-Year-Old

Set loving limits for your energetic 3-year-old. By this age, many youngsters have a strong desire to please their parents, according to "The Wonderful Three-Year-Old," a publication of the University of Florida. By instituting limits, you allow your child to know your expectations. Because he wants to please you, he will probably try hard most of the time to follow the rules.

Look your child in the eye at her level if you perceive she’s losing control. Tell her that you notice she's getting upset and you understand that she’s feeling excited or angry. Suggest a change of scenery or environment to interrupt whatever is upsetting your 3-year-old.

Provide calming activities to help your child come down from excited behavior. Try a warm bath with quiet bath toys to help a rambunctious child calm down. Get out the modeling clay or finger paints and set your child up at a worktable to give him something quiet to do when he starts to slip out of control.

Sit with your child in a peaceful place and encourage a quiet activity, such as reading or telling stories with her on your lap. See if your loving arms around her and your calm voice in her ear provides the calming focus she needs.

Strive to keep your child's emotional tank filled at all times so he will have more self-control and ability to stay calm. When your child feels loved and connected to you, he will naturally be more secure, better behaved, less wild and less anxious. Give your child positive attention, especially when he's behaving. This will reinforce the behavior you desire and discourage acting out.

Ensure that your child eats a balanced diet and gets adequate sleep. Try not to allow your 3-year-old to become overtired or overextended and hungry. When a preschooler doesn’t feel well physically because of hunger or lack of sleep, she will have more trouble behaving. If you know your child is tired or hungry, don't place her in challenging situations that will set off behavior problems.

Tip

Assess your child's behavior to ensure it fits normal parameters for preschool behavior. According to the website HealthyChildren.org, it's normal for a child this age to avoid stopping to rest, run into objects or people, ask a lot of questions and even run in circles. Children who are so active that they take dangerous risks when climbing and jumping, and who often suffer injuries due to their behavior, may have health issues that need to be evaluated by a professional.

Techniques of Discipline for a Ten-Year-Old Child

Consequences

Children this age are starting to take on more responsibility and they want to explore their own worlds; as a result, they sometimes act out when things don't go their way. Some parents choose to combat that by asserting more authority when homework doesn't get done, rooms are left dirty or a special event is overlooked. The other option is to give your 10-year-old a little more control of her own, which appeals to her budding sense of independence. This hands-off tactic may be painful to watch, but she's unlikely to learn true responsibility until she has to suffer the consequences of failing to follow through on something that was in her court.

Discussion

Talking through a problem may be more beneficial that it ever has been before. Your child likely has a highly developed vocabulary at this point -- which, granted, she may use to back-talk. It's OK to let her "talk" through some things, but then counter that with concrete reasons why the thing she did was wrong. Then have a discussion about what type of punishment she can expect next time she does the same thing, either with or without her input. Establish the rules for good behavior, then follow through with the consequence the next time she does that same thing, advises Parents magazine.

Walk Away

Children this age may develop quite a temper -- which brings up another less-than-pleasant part of parenting a 10-year-old: those outbursts can cause you to lose your own temper. You can't expect your child to keep her cool when you're always losing yours -- so work on walking away as part of your discipline plan, advises The University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Instead of blowing up, tell her you're taking a break to cool off. You're less likely to dole out punishments that may be painful for you to enforce if you take a breather -- and you'll be teaching her the valuable skill of de-escalation.

Fairness

Obeying the golden rule to "treat others how you would want to be treated" is a good reminder for you as you deal with her, and for her as she deals with the outside world. Ten-year-old children are still deeply invested in a sense of fairness -- which includes fairness coming from you. You don't have to be her best friend, but don't adopt a strategy that involves unjust consequences or treats her disrespectfully.

How to Handle a Stubborn 3-Year-Old

Maintain awareness of your child's physical changes. Growth of the flexor and extensor muscle can cause a slight loss of coordination around age 3 1/2 years. Children who could formerly complete a stack of blocks may have trouble because their hands shake, or they might fall down more often. This moderate regression can cause the child to feel unsure when performing large-motor physical tasks, such as stair climbing. Her desire for you to hold her hand or carry her might be a developmental adjustment, rather than stubbornness.

Listen to your child. Threes are developing an excellent grasp of language, and they love to talk. Use dialogue such as, "I like your picture, but I'm not sure what is going on. Can you tell me about it?", then listen to what she tells you. Validate her fears by saying things like, "You want the light on? Oh, so it will keep the monsters away." Let her take control of the conversation while you are doing routine tasks. This gives you both a comfortable way for her to have control some of the time, while letting you know what is going on in her mind.

Leave your child with a sitter, relative or friend when you go out, if your child develops a habit of throwing tantrums in public places. This gives you both a break from each other and the power struggles that are common to the middle part of the third year. Ames suggests that if you are a single parent, or if you do not have the resources to hire a sitter, connect with other parents who might be willing to trade childcare occasionally.

Maintain a general routine for eating and sleeping, but allow your 3-year-old some choices. This is about the time that some children stop taking naps, so you might offer to let her look at books or watch an age-appropriate video instead of sleeping at her former nap time. Use distracting techniques, such as telling her about the good things that are going to happen today while you are helping her get dressed. Avoid mealtime battles by keeping healthy snacks available. Engage in a shared activity at bedtime, such as reading a book together, to help her settle down and to assure her that she is your well-loved little girl.

Tip

Remember that age 4 is usually a better year, developmentally, than age 3. Remain at hand for safety, but allow your 3-year-old to do things for herself.

Field Trips With a One-Year-Old in Allentown, Pennsylvania

Museums

While your 1-year-old probably won't want to spend an entire day at the museum, short doses can be quite enjoyable for little ones. The America on Wheels Museum (americaonwheels.org) showcases a wide variety of old-fashioned cars and vehicles, including an antique ambulance. Your child can pretend to race in the driver's seat of an Indy race car, too. The Allentown Art Museum (allentownartmuseum.org) caters to children and families with plenty of artwork and programs. The museum hosts drop-in family workshops that include art projects for children as young as 1 year old, as well as puzzles, books and activities for children of all ages.

Zoos and Amusement Parks

The Lehigh Valley Zoo (lvzoo.org) has an assortment of animals including zebras, camels, kangaroos, penguins, monkeys, bison, otters, owls and farm animals such as alpacas, cows, chickens, pigs and sheep. Your 1-year-old might enjoy the playground, paddle boats and wagon rides, as well. Visit Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom (dorneypark.com) and your toddler can ride kid-friendly rides as well as play in the Kids' Cove water park, which is a car wash-themed attraction full of water activities. The park also features Dinosaurs Alive, which includes dinosaur attractions as well as a kids' dig site where your child can dig for bones.

Outdoor Venues

Coca-Cola Park (milb.com), home of the Iron Pigs baseball team, is a family-friendly outdoor attraction. In addition to taking in a baseball game, which is free for your 1-year-old, your child can play in the Red Robin KidsZone playground area. Take your child to pick fresh fruit at Strawberry Acres (strawberryacres.com). On the weekends, the farm offers pony rides, hay bale mazes, treasure hunts and wagon rides. For an added fee, your child can make her own stuffed animal in September and October in the farm's Johnny Appleseed Schoolhouse.

Additional Attractions

At the Crayola Experience (crayola.com/factory), your 1-year-old can watch crayons being made, but he can also get creative by coloring with a huge assortment of fresh crayons or play interactive games. Your family might also enjoy the Da Vinci Science Center (davincisciencecenter.org), which features several exhibits including animal-themed ones, as well as activities that are hands-on, so your tot can get up close and personal with science concepts that allow him to do things like play in the water.

How to Get Your 1-Year-Old to Stay Sleeping

Write down the times your one-year-old is put down for night-time sleeping and naps, the time it takes for him to fall asleep, the times he awakes in the morning and from naps and whether the waking was initiated by the one-year-old or someone else.

Calculate the total nap time. Calculate the total night sleeping time. Calculate the time elapsed between awaking from his last nap and bedtime, and the time between the last nap and the one-year-old falling asleep naturally. One-year-olds need approximately 10 to 13 hours of sleep, including 1 to 3 hours of nap time. If your one-year-old is sleeping less than 10 hours total, choose an earlier bedtime or add one naptime. If your one-year-old is sleeping more than 13 hours total, choose a later bedtime or substitute or shorten a nap.

Choose a bedtime that allows adequate sleep for your one-year-old, is a quiet time for your household and is a time you can spare 10 to 30 minutes to prepare your child for bed.

Eliminate night-time discomforts. If your one-year-old is teething, ask your doctor about remedies that can be offered near bedtime. Offer a light snack 1 to 2 hours before bedtime and make sure your one-year-old goes to bed with a dry diaper.

Establish a bedtime routine. A bedtime routine can include a bath, story, massage or any activity that is soothing to your one-year-old and is something you can do every night.

When your one-year-old wakes up in the night soothe him promptly and quietly. Movements like rocking or walking, nursing or sucking on a pacifier, and soothing touch can all help soothe a one-year-old back to sleep. Put the one-year-old back down when he is nearly asleep. The sleep interruptions will be minimized for your one-year-old and he will become accustomed to falling back to sleep quickly.

Warning

Do not give your one-year-old drugs to make him sleep, except on the advice of your child's doctor.