Infant and Toddler Development Workshop For Parents

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This summer, Smartiepants (an enrichment program for preschool children) and Kindercare Pediatrics are teaming up to offer a suite of parent education and support workshops.

Our first offering is a 6-week infant and toddler development workshop. This workshop will help parents to learn and understand the basics of infant and toddler development. Hosted at Smartiepants and led by Kindercare’s experts in nutrition, speech and language therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and child/family psychology, each weekly workshop will include both formal teaching and informal question & answer sessions.

Workshop Dates, Topics and Experts:

Day 1 : Speech and Language Development – Sari Feldstein, Speech and Language Pathologist

Day 2: Feeding and Nutrition – Dr. Daniel Flanders, Pediatrician with specialized interest in nutrition

Day 3: Gross Motor Skills and Coordination – Hillary Abramsky, Physiotherpaist

Day 4: Fine Motor Skills and Activities of Daily Living – Megan Silverhart and Francine Persico, Occupational Therapists

Day 5: Healthy Attachment and Mental Health – Dr. Mirisse Foroughe, Family and Child Psychologist

Day 6: Summary and Integration – All health practitioners


Full Program: $200

Each Individual Session: $50

Click Here to Register

See below for more details and session objectives:


Workshop Summary

Speech and Language Development

Session Objectives:

Parents will…

  • Learn about the role of an SLP in supporting speech and language development in infants and children.
  • Develop a better understanding of their children’s early communication patterns
  • Learn about typical speech and language milestones
  • Review a number of family friendly techniques that could easily be implemented in the home to help establish and promote healthy speech and language development.
  • Understand when it may be warranted to consult with an SLP

Feeding and Nutrition

Session Objectives:

The session will be primarily informed by Health Canada’s infant nutrition recommendations.  Teaching and discussion will focus on…

  • breastfeeding and formula feeding
  • introducing complementary foods
  • reducing the risk of food allergies
  • responsive feeding style
  • pitfalls that may lead to picky eating

Gross Motor Skills and Coordination

Session Objectives:

The session will follow a timeline through the first year of life, outlining the progression of gross motor skills.
  • Milestones to be discussed include rolling, sitting, crawling, pulling to stand, cruising, walking, running, and jumping.
  • Hot topics will include mastering tummy time, preventing flat head syndrome, and baby equipment.
  • Participants will be provided with handouts as well as a list of resources regarding developmental milestones.

Fine Motor Skills and Activities of Daily Living

Session Objectives:

The session will focus on…

  • The development of fine motor skills from birth to 4-years old.
  • An overview of early motor development and key fine motor milestones.
  • Strategies and activities to promote the development of hand-eye coordination and self-feeding skills.
  • Pre-school readiness skills development

Mental Health 

Session Objectives:

The session will focus on…

  • Identifying the core components of child development
  • Learning how to develop self-regulation in their child
  • Developing behaviour coaching skills to implement at home
  • Learning strategies to prevent mental health difficulties
  • Identifying red flags in behaviour, development, and emotional functioning
  • Knowing when to seek psychological services and how to navigate the system