Your toddler is still likely to explore her surroundings the way she has for the last few months — grabbing random objects, inspecting them closely, putting them to her mouth, banging them on the floor. But you'll also notice that she likes to challenge her physical limits. She knows she can walk, so she wants to try to carry a heavy load, like a box of blocks, while she's at it. She's confident that she can climb up onto the sofa, so she'll want to push a chair to the kitchen counter to climb higher and investigate what's up on the counter tops. If you haven't already done so, now it is essential that you childproof your home. The kitchen can be a particularly dangerous spot, so get into the habit of cooking on the back burners of the stove, turning pot handles inward and out of reach of groping hands, and locking up any dangerous cleaning products and medicines rather than leaving them out in the open. If your toddler is willing to let you test her physical prowess with her, try this silly game recommended by child development expert Marilyn Segal, author of Your Child at Play: One to Two Years: Hold her hands and show her how to squat down. While you're moving up and down, chant: "Bend our knees, and down we go All the way to the floor. Up, up, up, we stand up tall, And now we squat some more."
If your child isn't walking with ease, or is hardly walking at all, try this activity, which developmental experts use to help children gain confidence on their feet. First have your child stand with her back to a wall; move back so you're about 3 feet away from her. Hold out a hand and have her reach for it, taking one or two steps to get to you. Guide her back to the wall and do it over and over again, occasionally stepping back so she has to take more steps to reach you.
Your 16-month-old is becoming more adept at using her hands and fingers. She may be able to stack two or three blocks into a tower, and will delight in immediately knocking it down. When you read books, she'll insist on turning the pages for you, and by now may be capable of turning one or two pages at a time instead of simply flipping from front to back. If you hand her a crayon, she'll know exactly what to do with it, but will probably scribble on anything that's in front of her — books, furniture, and walls included — so "coloring" is an activity that you'll probably want to monitor closely. She may even be able to insert a round block into the proper hole on a board with various shapes.
This is a great time to introduce finger painting. You can make your own finger paints by mixing 2 tablespoons of white flour with a little water to make a thin paste and then adding a few drops of food coloring. To make painting extra easy for a young child, have her paint on waxed paper taped to a table in the kitchen or outdoors. Put a blob of paint down on the paper and show her how to slide her fingers around. If you want to save her creation, press a piece of regular paper over the waxed paper and peel gently away; hang to dry.
Noah's vocabulary continues to grow. Some of his new words this month include money, work, basketball, soccer ball, cup, back, Matt, and pretzel.
He has become quite the climber. He's learning how to push chairs/ tables etc. around the house in order to use them to climb up on a higher piece of furniture (beds, the couch, and counters). This has resulted in a few injuries, but fortunately nothing major. Every now and then he tries to climb up the bookshelf or inside of the fridge like they are a ladder... boy do I have my hands full with this one right now!
This month he got his first haircut. Jeremy's mom was nice enough to do it for us. He really needed the haircut, when we stretched his curls straight they reached all the way to his chin. They kept hanging in his face and he was constantly brushing them out of the way. Knowing that it had to be done didn't make it any easier for me though. In a matter of minutes he seemed to transform from my little baby, to this big boy, with big boy hair and big boy features. I'm not sure that I'm ready for all of this yet.
He's also starting to be a bit of a picky eater. He doesn't eat endless amounts of food like he has, and he's becoming a lot more picky about what he will and won't eat. I can't get him to eat plain tofu anymore, but he still happily eats it as long as it's cooked in a sauce. Most cooked veggies are now hit or miss depending on his mood. Overall he is still a great eater, and eats very healthy stuff. I'm just a little disappointed that he's not quite as open minded as he originally was. One night Jeremy and I took him on a family date and he devoured some raw fish, so I guess that sushi is still on the list of acceptable foods... of course, he is our son isn't he.