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Even ordinary activities are packed with sensations that help toddlers learn, like watching you approach, rolling a ball, or tasting a new food.
By the time he reaches his first birthday, your toddler's sight is well developed. He can tell near from far and he'll be able to recognize people he knows approaching from a distance. He'll be using his depth perception and his improved hand-eye coordination to learn new skills such as stacking and sorting, or rolling, and even catching a ball.
Your toddler can hear clearly too, though, that doesn't mean he'll always listen. As he becomes more independent you may find you have to work harder to get his attention.
Your toddler will gradually understand how he can use words to describe what he sees, hears, feels and thinks. Sensory experiences, like discovering what things feel like, will help him build his vocabulary. Words like smooth, rough, slimy or soft are almost impossible for him to understand without experiencing them for himself.
Toddlers continually seek out new sensory experiences; it's one of the ways they learn. Many toys are designed to encourage development but everyday activities will feed his hungry brain too. A simple cup to pour and scoop water in the bath will help him hone his fine motor skills and learn about liquids and gravity.
Your toddler won't greet every new sensory experience with joy. You may find he suddenly decides that he doesn't like a certain food. Often, it's not the just the taste he'll object to, but the texture, the smell or even the color. Although it can be frustrating, it can help to know that this fussiness is a normal part of his development.
One sensory experience your toddler won't tire of is snuggling up for a cuddle. He may see himself as a big boy now but he still needs the gentle reassurance of feeling your soothing touch and smelling your familiar scent.