Try, try and try again – that is the motto of a toddler. During the toddler years, your child learns through trial and error. It helps the toddler that he can now recall things that happened hours or even days earlier. Children begin to understand cause and effect and anticipate consequences. If I drop the toy when I am sitting in a high chair, mommy will bend down and pick it up – again and again…
We can notice their cognitive growth even in their play. Children start to pretend play. In their pretend play they often imitate adults’ actions and language. We often only become aware of our own unique little habits when we see our children imitate us. Where a lot of the childrens’ play were directed earlier at objects, it now shifts to people and events.
Your toddler’s language skills develop quickly. They can give names to certain objects. They understand words and commands given to them, and can respond appropriately to those commands. It is important to remember during this phase, your child understands more than he can express – which leads to immense frustration when he cannot convey what he feels accurately. Because his attention span increases, he can concentrate for longer and can recognize and identify familiar objects in storybooks with your help. He can also match similar objects or pictures. At 19 months a average child would be able use about 20 words accurately. This increases to 100 words at 24 months. A two year old starts combining his words to form two word sentences.
During the toddler years he starts recognizing himself as a person apart from his mother. He forms a sense of self, becomes more independent and starts exploring his environment with enthusiasm. Being not connected to his mother, he can start imagining threats and become clingy. Often toddlers become fearful of strangers due to an overactive imagination. A toddler becomes aware of his own body and can usually identify different body parts accurately.
In addition to these skills, they also develop certain practical skills:
- They can throw things out of containers
- They can tear paper
- They can pull things over
- They can put things in containers and take it out again
- They can solve simple problems and
- They can throw objects.
A parent needs to watch a toddler with hawk eyes – they are quick, innovative and extremely daring. Some people will even go as far to say toddlers can be innocently destructive in their behaviour – who can be angry with the child drawing his first picture of him and mommy on the wall?