Make your two year old your “buckle-up buddy.” Every time you get in the car and buckle them into their car seat, talk to your toddler about how important it is to wear a seat belt.
Ask your child to be your buckle-up buddy. Tell them they have a very important job. Their job is to remind you to wear your seat belt.
You can say,
- Buckle Up!
- Thanks for reminding me to buckle up. You’re the best buckle-up buddy!
- We take care of each other.
Do this every time you get in the car. Seat belts keep everyone safe.
Helmets on Please!
Your toddler may be learning to ride tricycles and scooters. Your child needs a helmet to protect their head while riding. They need a helmet even when riding in a child’s seat on your bicycle.
California law requires that children under 18 years old must wear a helmet.
Your child will be more likely to wear the helmet if they help choose it. Pick a helmet that is your child’s favorite color, if possible. If your child likes stickers, you can help them put them on the helmet.
Set a good example by wearing your helmet when you ride a bike. Say,
- I’m putting my helmet on so I can ride my bike.
- May I help you put your helmet on?
When your child starts wearing a helmet every time they ride, it becomes a routine.
Tub Time, Teaching Time
Your two year old can sit and stand by themselves. They can splash and play on their own. They even use a washcloth to clean themselves. You might be tempted to leave them alone in the tub just for a few minutes. But don’t! Always stay with your child when they are in the tub.
Use tub time as fun teaching time.
- Read to your child to help them learn new words
- Talk about their day. What was fun? What was exciting?
- Take turns making up silly rhymes or songs about taking a bath
- Play word games
Stop, Look, Listen
Your two year old is too young to cross a street alone. Show them how to stop, look, and listen each time you cross a street together. When you reach the street, stop with your child. Say,
- STOP to make sure your toddler understands.
Then look both ways down the street for cars or bicycles coming toward you. Say,
- LOOK and make sure your child is looking with you.
- LISTEN and take a minute to listen for any traffic that you may not be able to see. Parked cars or bushes can block your view.
Use hand motions to help your child remember to stop, look, and listen.
- When you say STOP, hold your hand up in front of you.
- When you say LOOK, put your hand above your eyes as if to shade them.
- When you say LISTEN, hold your hand up to your ear.
Practice these hand motions at home. Teach your child to cross at crosswalks only!
Help your child learn their full name. Try making up a song, a rhyme, or clapping a beat that will help your child remember. Practice saying their name in this fun way over and over again so that they can remember it.
Help them learn your name, too. Ask,
- What is my first name? Alex, that’s right.
- And what is your first name?
- What is your last name?
Your child should know their name and your name in case you ever get separated.