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Series 1, Episode 7: The terrific twos

The Terrific Twos

We meet 2 1/2 year old Callum and his parents Ellen and Stu.  Callum won't sit at the table to eat dinner, and is testing the limits.  Aukilani is just 2, Gabrielle is almost 3.  They have an older sister Zoe who's 4 and a younger brother Chiro who's 8 months.  Their parents Christina and Max have got their hands full.  Family counsellor Jo Lloyd-Lewis has strategies for both families to encourage the good behaviour and talks about the virtues of positive parenting.  Gill Connell discusses the importance of developing upper body strength and encouraging children to do messy play - the foundations for skills children will need to have when they go to school.  And we make Gloop, a simple recipe for messy play that develops fine motor skills.

What happens at this age and stage?

The twos can be a tricky time for parents, as their children assert their new-found independence, but it's a wonderful time too. Two year-olds are more able to satisfy their own needs and are becoming more interested in other children and what's going on around them. They can understand most of what they hear and communicate in simple 2-3 word sentences. They are starting to ask simple questions and say please and thank you. They like to dress and undress themselves, wash and dry their hands, feed themselves. Toilet training usually starts around now. Many two year-olds have definite likes and dislikes and can be a bit bossy or jealous. They will compete with other children for toys or adult attention. Parks and wide open spaces are fun for two year-olds as they master running, climbing, kicking and throwing skills. They will learn to walk on tiptoe and balance on one foot, will express their feelings and show pride in their new-found skills.  With routines and clear boundaries in place, the terrific twos are a time to treasure and enjoy.

About Jo Lloyd-Lewis

Born in Wales, Jo emigrated to New Zealand as a four year old.  Jo says she grew up with an affinity to children and became the playground rescuer early on, evolving to the neighbourhood listening post. Now a Barnardos family counsellor in the Waikato, she has also run parenting and domestic violence programmes. She and her partner have two pre-school-aged daughters, whom she says, "have enhanced my ability to perform in my discipline more than any other influence". She currently works part-time counselling families, individuals and couples to bring about changes they desire and also co-tutors an introduction to counselling course.

About Gill Connell

Based in Christchurch Gill is our Active Movement presenter.  She has an impressive amount of information about the importance of children being active, and imparts this to our families along with a series of activities they can do with their little ones to ensure they ultimately reach their genetic potential.  Gill travels the country with her company 'Moving Smart', educating early childhood educators, primary school teachers, parents and caregivers on the all-important link between movement and learning.  A primary-school teacher and mother of 3, Gill has co-written a book for parents called Moving To Learn, and is about to write a sequel.  She was part of a reference group that worked with SPARC to develop a national framework and guidelines for physical activity in early childhood. This work was the basis of the world-leading national initiative Active Movement, a philosophy targeting the 0-5 age group. NZ is the only country in the world to have a nationwide focus on the under-fives in this regard.  Gill continues to work with SPARC in a mentoring capacity.

Craft Item: Gloop

  • 1 box of Edmonds Cornflour or approx 2 cups cornflour
  • 1 cup cold water

Stir cold water into cornflour slowly.