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Ariella Update – 19 Months old today

Every morning we start the day with breakfast and BBC News on the TV, this morning the news was distracted with the victory of Donald Trump. As we sat watching it together while eating breakfast in the kitchen, I wondered exactly how this was going to impact England. I won’t pretend to know the ins and outs given it’s not my own country I don’t tend to worry too much about things beyond my control, I don’t afterall get to vote. But perhaps today is not a day for progress.

The weather here was rather fitting, we watched Trump take the lead while it “rained cats and dogs” seemingly as if the world itself had turned upside down.

The last couple of weeks have definitely felt like Ariella has taken onboard some new concepts, she could sort shapes and was showing an interest in her toys. It’s really be great to see her cruising the furniture most of the time, pulled to standing on every height. But this week so far feels like the decline of the peak before the next big jump, either that or she isn’t feeling well.

Instead of my suggested activities Ariella wanted to play on her iPad, of which she has plenty of toddler friendly apps to play. We’ve installed various educational games which encourage learning, animals, sounds, shapes, fine motor skills. My view on technology is that it’s important for her to have an understanding as we live in a world built on technology. To not embrace the positives of what is on offer would mean that she would not have the life skills “of today’s world”. Ariella has one of our old iPad’s, it’s not very fast but it doesn’t need to be, it plays the apps she needs just fine. Definitely buy yourself a good case though, this one allows her to grip it well and protects it when she frequently drops it.

I tried to encourage a few other activities during the morning, using her Grimms Rainbow friends. However she showed no interest in matching the friends with their cups today, she reverted back to throwing the pieces and putting everything into her mouth.  We also tried some stacking blocks, building with her Mega Bloks to no avail today.

We bought the little Grimms friends for Ariella on her 1st birthday and today she is nineteen months old, I cannot believe how quickly time seems to go when you are the adult and not the child. I fondly remember childhood seeming like a “very long time”,  it still baffles me how this can be so.

Rather than face the rain outside (I need to buy a good all in one rain suit for Ariella) I decided to setup a painting activity for her once she had woken from her nap. We use these Galt Toy Squeeze and Brush paint pens which are great. She has been getting better at not putting things in her mouth and we hadn’t tried it for a while, a rainy day seemed the perfect opportunity. However Ariella had other plans, all day she has been looking at me and saying “up”, so I would pick her up but then she would become upset and wriggle back down to the floor. I’ve had my suspicions for a couple of days now that she is coming down with something, a suspicion which I think may be correct!





Pretty much straight away she started to protest, soon as the paint hit the paper. Promptly after looking with disgust at the paint brush she looked me dead in the eye and said “up”. I asked “Would you like a cuddle?” And she said “yes”. Yes, definitely coming down with something.

Tools Down!

Other than the iPad, today was all about “pretend play” which she is very excited about right now, this is great news as pretend play is expected during the next stage of development between 12 – 18 months. She started playing properly with her Happyland Cherry Lane Cottage set, sitting them at the table, giving them a bath and taking a large interest in the little animals. The two girls are called Savannah and Susie and Ariella quite often likes to wander around holding them in each hand.

Here you can see what is expect between the development stage 12 – 18 months:

Increasingly, these children can walk without support. However, they are still unsteady on their feet and their walking resembles toddling more than mature heel-to-toe walking. Now they want to explore everything; though their curiosity far outweighs their judgment for predicting outcomes or foreseeing dangers. They are trying out a variety of basic gross- and fine-motor skills, and are gaining confidence as climbers. They can sing to themselves and will move their bodies to music. Since they are more mobile, they can self-select toys that were once outside their reach. They find basic grasping easier, and can manipulate toys that require simple twisting, turning, sliding, and cranking.

Through trial and error, they continue to explore cause-and-effect relationships like dumping and filling activities, and now they enjoy a variety of actions with objects, such as pressing, pushing, pulling, rolling, pounding, beating, clanging, fitting (for example, fitting a round peg into a round hole), stacking, marking, scribbling, carrying, and poking their fingers into objects. They delight in the many effects their actions cause, and enjoy toys that take advantage of this by the use of, for example, various sounds, blinking lights, and spinning wheels.

Children of this age can recognize the names of familiar people, objects, pictures, and body parts. Long-term memory and the development of simple vocabulary using one-word utterances now provide the foundation for make-believe or pretend play, however these children do not make clear symbolic connections until about 18 months of age. These children often imitate common actions they see – such as talking on the phone, “drinking” from a bottle or cup, or putting on a hat – but only in brief, sporadic episodes. They can defer imitating something for up to a week, and can also do so across a change in context (for example, away from home). Simple toys that encourage pretend play, such as dress-up materials, dolls, stuffed animals, and small vehicle toys, are appropriate. –

This does seem to be where she is heading, she really can’t fit a round peg into a round hole reliably yet. We work on stacking, shape sorting, marking, exploring objects every week and it’s great to know that soon we might see some progress with these challenges. When looking at the stage previous to this one, I can see exactly why the paediatrician reviewed her to be 10/11 months old (apart from speech and communication). If I was reading through that’s exactly where I would have understood her to be also.



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