Children grow so quickly in the first years of life.Toddler development typically includes many changes in the areas of:
Gross motor skills
This includes things like walking, running, climbing, and exploring the area around one’s self (think at a park or in a new place). Toddlers are fast at work developing their gross motor skills. This is one factor in why toddlers seem to have a lot of energy and may have difficulty sitting still for long periods of time.
Fine motor skills
This includes things like picking up small items, drawing or coloring (or scribbling), feeding one’s self, and having greater control using hands and fingers for activities such as building with blocks and doing puzzles.
Sensory skills and development
Toddlers sensory development is developing during this developmental period. Toddlers senses are developing in multiple ways. They are developing greater acuity of sight and hearing. They are developing preferences for tastes. They are also learning to identify various stimuli with their senses such as different smells or textures.
Toddlers are developing their language skills in complex ways. They are learning receptive skills which includes ability to comprehend what others are saying and following instructions. Toddlers are also learning expressive skills which includes developing the variety of words they use vocally and increasing the number of words in phrases or sentences they use.
Toddlers are learning a variety of social skills through the early years. Toddlers learn to interact with other children as well as adults. They learn parallel play and eventually collaborative play. Their pretend play skills develop, as well. Toddlers are also beginning to work on problem-solving and conflict resolution skills. Toddlers are beginning to show even more interest in others. They are expanding on their imitation of others’ behaviors. Imitation is a foundational skill that many skills are based upon. Toddlers learn from watching others and observing their surroundings and environment.
Cognitive skills refer to skills related to thinking and mental processing. Toddlers are developing in their cognitive abilities. For instance, they are learn to understand “first, then” concepts such as “First put your shoes on, then we can go outside.” Other examples include learning to sort by objects or concepts, understanding object permanence (that something still exists even if it is hidden behind another object), and being able to identify some letters and numbers and so much more.
Daily Living Skills
Toddlers are beginning to learn daily living skills including getting dressed, putting shoes on and taking them off, putting a coat on and taking it off, brushing their teeth, washing their hands, feeding themselves, cleaning up after themselves, and toilet training. Toddlers may still need assistance with many daily living skills, but they are beginning to attempt to do the activities on their own at times and can typically complete the tasks at least in part.
If you want an even more detailed description of typical toddler development by age, see the link at the CDC:
Toddler Development. Medline Plus. Retrieved 11/12/2017 from: https://medlineplus.gov/toddlerdevelopment.html
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