Why Biting?

Image result for kid showing teeth

From toddlers to twos, biting is an unavoidable topic. While developmentally appropriate, and completely normal in many ways, biting is still an uncomfortable and sometimes scary reality for many families. When you find yourself asking, why, why, why, here are some common answers:

  • Expressing emotion: Oddly enough, young toddlers can bite as a way of showing love. “Toddlers have really intense feelings but don’t know how to show them,” says Dirk Flower, chartered psychologist. “Biting can be a way of expressing their feelings.”
  • Experimenting: Toddlers are learning how their body works – they put things in their mouths, and sometimes nip. It’s impulsive and they don’t mean to hurt. Often, a baby chomps on someone when they’re teething. Sometimes toddlers nip when they’re over-excited or over stimulated. Things smell good, look good, so a young child thinks, how does it taste? Then they go for it!
  • Defending: Young children learn to bite as a defense, especially if they can’t talk. Sometimes changes or upsets at home can bring on this type of biting. “These children are trying to establish a safety zone,” explains Dirk Flower. “When you bite, your victim moves away – it’s a great defense.”
  • Controlling: Some children know biting is a way of getting other children – or their parents – to do what they want. They don’t always do this consciously. It may happen when a group of children are jostling to be leader. Sometimes the youngest child in the family bites to gain power. And as any child who’s ever tried it has learnt, biting is a fantastic way of getting attention – and so what if it’s negative?
  • Frustrated or irritated: Your child wants a toy back. Or they want a biscuit or adult attention, or can’t cope with a situation. They may not understand turn-taking and sharing. Or things may have changed at home or the child feels under stress. Your child doesn’t necessarily mean to cause harm, but just can’t find the words to express themselves.


While we don’t like it, and try very hard to prevent and redirect these types of behaviors, biting can still occur. Depending on the ‘why’ you can then partner with your child’s teacher to come up with a plan. Just remember at the end of the day, your little one is exhibiting normal toddler/twos behavior, and we will work together to redirect that behavior into a positive growth experience.


Simply Science

Who doesn’t love a good experiment? Science teaches kids about the world around them, encourages exploration and discovery, and most importantly, asks questions like ‘Why’ and ‘How’.

We believe in hands on science, which is why each of our rooms, from infants all the way up to our school age program, has a science center. In each center there is a variety of age appropriate science activities, learning opportunities, and prompts. For some basic science fun at home, try one of the following activities.

Seedy Science

Developing: Classification and identification of objects with includes size, shapes and colors

What you’ll need:

-Ice cube tray (empty)

-up to 16 different seeds (go less for younger children)

-Magnifying glass (if you’ve got one, or reading glasses offer the same type of magnification)

-Tray or flat surface (to avoid messes use a platter, plate, or piece of paper)

How to start:

Put out the seeds onto a tray or paper, and help your child sort them into the ice cube tray. Let them decide how to classify the seeds, are they grouping them by color? Shape?  Size?  Texture? There is no wrong answer, encourage them to think about what makes each side different, and what makes them the same. Then for older children, write the name of each seed down on the worksheet below, and talk about species, and how seeds grow and germinate.




Sink or Float

Probably the most fun you’ll have all day!

Developing: Scientific method with deductive reasoning and observation

What you’ll need:

-a large container that holds water (tub, tray, giant bowl, the bigger the better!)

-a variety of objects to start (pick things that water won’t necessarily damage.)


How to start:

Lay out all the items next to the water container, ask your child what they think will sink, and what they think will float. Ask the all-important questions like, ‘Why do you think that?’ and ‘What would happen if?’ the answers, and reasoning behind them, may surprise you! After you have made your hypothesis (guess) then have your child drop in the object and see the results! To further the activity with older children have them right down their predictions, and then right down the outcomes, and compare. Also, ask them to come up with other objects they’d like to try.


Questions for any project to help further reasoning, analysis and creative thought:

Why did that happen?

What happens next?

How do you know that?

Why do you think that?