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20 September 2014
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Girl walking on grass

Outdoor play: one to two years

Clare Walters

Toddlers need to practise their walking skills by getting outside each day. The more they walk, the sturdier they'll be on their feet.

Finding their feet

In the street - let your toddler walk alongside the pushchair and try out different sorts of steps - big ones, little ones - and the odd jump. If the roads are busy, wait until you're on a quiet street or without the pushchair so you can hold her hand.

Look and see - when you're out and about, point to and name all the things you can see, such as cars, buses, bicycles, shops, trees, squirrels and birds. Ask your child if she can point to them, too.

Exploring and climbing - set out some tempting objects in your garden for your toddler to investigate. Try a folded-up rug with some toys hidden inside, a set of empty cardboard boxes, a pile of garden seat cushions, or a basket of small, safe household items.

Ball games - try rolling a ball along the ground for your toddler to run after, drop it in a cardboard box, or kick and throw it.

Feed the ducks - obvious, but very popular with toddlers, although you may find they eat more bread than the ducks!

Teach your child never to eat wild berries or seeds

Many gardens and parks contain poisonous plants such as yew and laburnum, so teach your child never to eat wild berries or seeds.

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