Thinking and understanding
Did you know your little one’s brain grows more in the first few years than it will the rest of their life?
Your toddler is developing mental growth, intelligence, responsiveness and perceptual capabilities daily.
Around 12 months: Your toddler can develop a greater interest in their surroundings, begins to copy your actions and enjoys searching for objects you may hide around the house (hide and seek).
Around 18 months: They begin expanding their language skills by naming familiar things when they see them. At this stage, your little one may not have any real understanding of size and space and can develop a sudden fear of being sucked down the plug-hole or out through the flushed toilet. Try not to dismiss these fears, listen to their concerns and try to explain the reality of these situations.
Around 24 months: As your toddler’s memory develops, they begin to retain more words and actions, making it much easier to communicate their wants and needs. They start to question everything around them, and ‘why?’ becomes one of their favourite words. Your little one is currently a concrete thinker, learning from seeing and touching which can often get them into trouble. They are also more aware of their own body, and may begin to initiate toilet needs.
Exciting new changes:
Your toddler’s attention span is increasing (although still very short!). They are beginning to think, understand, reason and remember. At around 2 years of age, they may be able to keep their attention on one task and persist with that particular activity until they master it.
Toddlers begin to understand much of what you say and become more responsive. For example, you may tell them it is time for dinner and then find them standing next to their high chair. Or you might say to them that you’ve lost your purse — and they’ll go and find it for you. This makes talking to your toddler a lot more fun. However, you may need to spell out words like n-a-p when they’re nearby to avoid a pre-nap meltdown!
As your toddler learns more about how objects work, they will begin simple forms of fantasy play, such as putting a toy telephone receiver to their ear, driving the car or imitating your actions such as leaning on your hand. Imitation and role play are a big part of how your toddler learns, they will copy your actions over and over as they master the details of how to act.
Tantrums begin as they start to construct their own identity and begin to assert themselves when things don’t go their way.