PARENTING TOOLS---Your Toddler and You: What to Expect
Children seldom misquote. In fact they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn't have said.— unknown
My grandbaby boy's favorite book.
A three year old is a being who gets almost as much fun out of a fifty six dollar set of swings as (he, she) does out of finding a small green worm.— Bill Vaughan
Loves to Hold Gently a Tiny Frog (Age 5...a Big Boy Now...his words
Each new day with your toddler will be filled with some of the most exciting times of your life and your toddler's life. Some days may bring frustration as yo try to figure out what exactly your baby wants but a little patience and observation will quickly cause those feelings to dissipate. These will be days of discovery and learning for your toddler and for you.
You may wonder: Is my child able to do things that others at the same age can do? This question is often asked and not surprisingly so as it normal to want to know the answer. We want to know if our child is progressing as is expected of a toddler. One thing I know as mom and grandparent is that your child will develop as is appropriate for your child unless there is a physiological reason for that not to occur.
The chart that is provided is for a brief time period of the toddler years. As you can see, the changes occur gradually but steadily. The few skills listed are just that, a few of the many that children attempt and master. One way to increase a child's likelihood of acquiring new skills is to provide many opportunities for experiencing . These charts, no matter whose you use, are only guesstimates of what a child will be able to do at given times.
What to expect from your toddler will vary from famly to family. It is just nice to have some idea of what may be happening.
Baby Grandson at age 2
Child growth and development
age 20-24 months
SKILL IS LEARNED (most children can do)
LEARNING THE SKILL (many children can do )
ADVANCED SKILLS (some can do before others)
likes to feed a doll/dump objects while imitating others/can throw trash away
learning about 10 or more words per day/can walk up stairs
draws an (almsot) straight line/names some body parts
twenty one months
can walk up stairs/is learning to make decisions ( chooses to place a toy at a certain location)
can throw a ball/ kicks a ball/can stack six blocks
can name common pictures in a book/can walk down stairs
twenty two months
kicks a ball/follws two step directions
can do easy puzzles/can draw an (almost) straight line/can name some body parts
can put on loose fitting clothes/might be ready to transition out of the crib/knows opposties
twenty three months
can name simple pictures in a book/is using about six dozen words
opens doors/sings a simple song/likes to play with other kids
has begun to be more me oriented/begun to ask why
twenty four months
can name at least six body parts/others can now understand about 50% of what the child is saying/can say a two or three word sentence
me oriented/likes to arrange things/walk down stairs
begins to understand abstract concept/learning gender differences/learns to jump
Brothers Having Fun...
Other activites that engage toddlers
- playing with and in empty boxes
- stacking blocks and knocking them down
- placing magnets on the refrigerator or other magnetized areas, knocking them off, and doing it again
- throwing balls, trying to bounce balls
- dancing to music on a video
- imitating what you are doing
- helping with picking up toys
- sharing food with others
- learning to interact with family pets
- learning to listen and follow directions
Opportunity to Learn
Toddlers all learn to do the things cited in the chart as well as many other things when ready. If you notice a marked delay in development discuss it with your pediatrician. Children do not know that many people have written about their growth and development and have decided that certain behaviors are expected of them at certain times.
You can help your child develop by providing an environment that increases opportunities for learning and developing.
- Read to your child often. Encourage exploring books on their own.
- Provide the alphabet and numbers for exploration: you can purchase interconnecting foam letters and numbers for your baby to use.
- Have your child count coins, blocks, toy cars, any objects.
- Have them tell you how many objects are on the table.
- Provide opportunities for children to sort by color (size and shape can come later). You can use cereal for this sorting activity.
He loves to read the book about trains
Books are a favorite
It is not unusual to find this toddler curled up in his chair, laying on a rug, or in his toy box, reading a book. He will spend long periods of time looking at the same book over and over. He may put that one aside and begin a new one or bring it to us so he can point out what he finds interesting. Listening to a story is a favorite way for him to spend time too.
Reading often to your sweet baby boy or girl will help those mind movies begin to form. That is beginning a lifelong love of written words.
Provide a print rich environment for your child. Have many books avalable and show an interest in them.
Many books can be bought for nominal fees at yard sales, flea markets, and thrift stores. Do not let money be a reason you do not have books.
Learning Shapes Is Fun
A Cabinet Filled with Plastic Dishware
From the time my grandson son could crawl around, there has been a special cabinet filled with plastic dishes and utensils for him to explore.
He likes to pull them out, flip them and do it all again. Now that he is an older toddler, he likes to mix up imaginary foods and serve them to us.
Feeling the Water, Sand, and Seeing Minnows Scurrying Along
Your child's world is of course not limited to inside play and discovery.
Out of the doors are many opporuntiies to learn and experience.
Their senses will be filled with the many textures, colors, and sounds that await outside.
- sounds of birds and animals
- sounds of passing trains, cars, trucks
- sounds of neighborhoood childnen
- feeling sand and soil
- feeling grass, flowers, bushes
- feeling of cement walks and play areas
- colors of plants, butterflies, cats, dogs
- color of the sky
- smelling flowers and plants
- smelling foods cooking on a grill
This is a time when children are discovering their modalities of learning (many have multiple intelligences as discovered by Howard Gardener http://howardgardner.com/multiple-intelligences/).
Exposing your child to outside play is not only a world of exploration time for your child but also is a time for running, chasing, and playing.
Learning to help his Nini with care of flowers.
A Washtub and Some Water...instant Fun
Outside water play is always a favorite with my grandson
Playing in water is a favorite way to spend some part of any day.
- Holding his tiny fingers up in the water as it comes out of the faucet makes a smile appear on this face that comes from way deep down inside of him.
- Leaning over to take a sip of that cool elixir as it flows from the faucet will bring an explosion of laughter forth.
- Dipping his plastic watering can or plastic tub in and out of a bucket of water always makes him bubble over with giggles.
- Holding his tiny arms down in the water and splashing is more fun than one can imagine. He will then pull it out suddenly and say ‘Cold’. He will come to me and pull me over to the water and immerse my hand into the water so I can feel that it is ‘cold’ too.
Learning and fun happening simultaneously.
Your toddler and you
- Every child will reach milestones such as being bottle free or potty training at different times. Do not panic if your child is not doing what any chart of expected behaviors indicates is appropriate.
- The time you spend with your toddler will make a huge difference in how quickly learning takes place.
- Providing opportunities which offer a wide variety of experiences will create a new avenue of learning for your child.
- Take time to play and be a part of your toddler's world.
- It is a time that passes so quickly and so many changes occur almost daily.
- You will not want to miss one minute of it.
Potty training will vary from child to child. How they learn to use the potty will also depend on individual children. Training my daughter was easy. I purchased a little duck potty that she could sit on and hold the handles on the front of its head. She took to it right away and soon after she transitioned to the adult-size toilet.
My grandson was a breeze. We bought pull-ups for him. We put on his first pair and after that he never wore a diaper again and he never wet in those.
My new baby grandson has been interested in using the big potty for quite some time. He uses it but still has not gotten totally diaper free. My daughter changes him very often and now when he needs a new diaper he will bring her one along with wipes. He soon will be using the family toilet.
The toilet seat they have has a special section that accommodates the tiny bottom. I bought him a child's potty but he said not thank you very much.
Notice I did not say an age. The reason is there is no magic age. You should begin to introduce using the potty to your child as soon as you feel he or she is ready. Talk about the fact that it is time now to use the bathroom in the toilet instead of in a diaper. And soon the child will make the transition.