As your toddler discovers new things, throws the grocery store tantrum and pushes the limits of any parent you can expect many things (good and bad) as they develop. Their energy, curiosity, stubbornness and self-centeredness can create all sorts of joy and havoc. However, with their self-centeredness and their desire to be independent they are still an amazing blessing.
What You Can Expect from Your Toddler
- Toddlers like to follow their parents around and imitate what they hear and see.
- They have short attention spans with activities that aren’t of interest or they aren’t involved in.
- Their physical skills continue to develop. By the time they are three they will be able to walk, run, jump, hop, roll and climb.
- They begin to see how they are different and like other children.
- Their vocabulary will increase substantially from 2 or 3 words to 250 words. They will understand much more of what people say to them. By the time they are three they will be able to put together short sentences. They will begin to count and learn their ABC’s.
- Toddlers will request their favorite book to be read aloud.
- They will pretend to read and write the way they see their parents and others do.
- They become more aware of others, their feelings and thoughts.
- They begin to scribble and distinguish between drawing and writing making marks that are like letters.
How You Can Help Your Toddler Develop
Healthy toddler development is important to both parents and children. Toddlers will require many opportunities to learn, be physically active and make their own decisions. Parents can assist in providing these opportunities by setting clear and reasonable boundaries.
Provide your growing children with activities that will use their large and small muscles such as running, jumping, dancing and putting together puzzles. Allow them to touch, taste, smell, hear and see new things daily. Talk and sing to your children to strengthen their vocabulary and knowledge. Encourage them to talk back to develop and practice their language skills.
At this stage of development they can pick out some of their own clothes and dress themselves. Get your toddler involved with other children so they can play and develop their social skills. Go to the library, museums, zoos and parks to stimulate your child and give them the opportunity to explore.
One of the best things parents can do for their children to help them develop is reading out loud. Spend time interacting with them and help them to grow into their next developmental stage.