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AGES & STAGES

Infancy | Toddlers | Preschoolers

TODDLERS

Graphic: WagonThe toddler years are a time when the young child wants to become independent.  "I do it," or "me do it." Gentle, consistent care can encourage the toddler to learn to trust others, as well as safely move toward more independent behavior.

14 TO 18 MONTHS

Focus for this age:

  • Learns to walk independently.
  • Use of words in sentences increases.
  • Needs supervision in play and in exploring.

Emotional development:

  • Smiles when happy, cries when sad or frustrated.
  • Can be comforted more easily than during infancy.

Social development:

  • Enjoys being around and with people.
  • Becomes upset when separated from parent(s).
  • Easily imitates others.
  • Will play alone on floor with toys.
  • Recognizes self in mirror.

Physical development:

  • May weigh 17-30 pounds.
  • Height can range from 27 to 35 inches.
  • Likes to push, pull or dump things.
  • Waves bye-bye and claps hands.
  • Crawls, stands alone, walks, & sits down easily.
  • Carries small objects, often in each hand.
  • Rolls a ball to an adult.
  • Holds spoon, but may have difficulty getting spoon to mouth.

Language/intellectual development:

  • Says as many as 20 understandable words.
  • Looks at person who is talking to him.
  • Looks for objects that are out of sight.
  • Understands and follows 1-step directions.
  • Likes to take things apart.

WHAT PARENTS CAN DO

  • Show pleasure in toddler's abilities.
  • Safety proof the home (cover outlets, put away breakables, check safety of plants).
  • Watch for small objects that toddler can choke on - remove from play area.
  • Read to toddler using simple books.
  • Play simple games.
  • Take walks together.
  • Name objects you see.
  • Encourage toddler to play games like naming and finding (body parts, pictures of toys or fruit or animals).

TOYS FOR TODDLERS

  • Small Riding Toys
  • Push & Pull Toys & Balls
  • Tacking or Nesting Toys
  • Pictures and Books
  • Crayons (With Adult Supervision)
  • Puzzles, 2-6 Large Pieces
  • Large Cardboard Box to Climb Into
  • Shape Boxes or Balls (To Drop Blocks Into)

18 TO 24 MONTHS

Focus for this age:

  • Becoming more independent.
  • Enjoys imitating everything.
  • Requires constant supervision.

Emotional development:

  • May use "No" often (sign of independence).
  • Can get angry and have temper tantrums.
  • Acts shy around strangers.
  • Will comfort a sad friend or parent.

Social development:

  • Has difficulty sharing.
  • Very possessive ("my toy," or "me want it.").
  • Has difficulty waiting and wants things now.
  • Enjoys adult attention.
  • Often unable to remember rules.
  • Can get physically aggressive when frustrated.
  • Refers to self by name.

Physical development:

  • Feeds self with a spoon (may be messy).
  • Stacks blocks (2-3), tosses or rolls a ball, & enjoys moving small-wheeled toys.
  • Weight: 20-32 pounds; Height: 30-37 inches.
  • Becoming aware of wet/dirty diaper - showing an interest in potty and using potty.

Language/intellectual development:

  • Has vocabulary of several hundred words.
  • Uses 2-3 word sentences.
  • Talks to self & jabbers with expression.
  • Enjoys rhymes, stories, singing, & echoes words that are spoken by others.

WHAT PARENTS CAN DO

  • Play helps children to grow and learn about what they can do.
  • What are they learning while they play?
  • Watch them concentrate as they:
  • Figure out how things work.
  • Pick up new words and ideas.
  • Build strong muscles they can control.
  • Solve problems.
  • Use their imagination.
  • Learn how to cooperate with others.
  • Learn how to use tools and objects.

TOYS FOR TODDLERS

  • Sorting Box, Holes With Pegs
  • Puzzles and Books
  • Large Spools or Beads to String
  • Soft Dough Clay
  • Bells, Music Toys
  • Small Broom, Sponge, Pots and pans
  • Wagon, Riding Toys
  • Toy Telephone
  • Washable Doll, Animal, or Cloth Objects

2-3 YEAR OLDS

Physical development:

  • Like to run, jump, climb, and swing.
  • May show interest in toilet training.
  • Cuts last of baby teeth (20).
  • Reaches of adult height by 2 years.
  • May continue to use both hands equally well.
  • Can scribble and make marks on paper - may miss paper and mark on table or floor.
  • Can put clothes on, but not able to button or snap.
  • Will explore toys and objects by sorting, poking, pulling, or imitating others.

Social/emotional development:

  • Enjoys being near and playing beside others.
  • Wants to do it himself.
  • Routines are important and builds secure feelings.
  • May develop fears.
  • Moves to extremes - from loveable to demanding.
  • Will feel positive or negative about self-based on feedback from others.
  • Impulsive, easily distracted, & excitable.
  • Can become easily frustrated with activities/people.
  • Likes people.

Language/intellectual development:

  • Can speak in 2-3 word sentences.
  • May know 200 to 1000 words, but does not speak them all.
  • Enjoys talking.
  • Uses "I," "me," "mine," and "you" often.
  • Remembers where objects are when named.
  • Remembers routines, past events, & names of people.
  • May identify the picture with the object (apple in book with the fruit on the table).

WHAT PARENTS CAN DO

  • Spend time talking and playing with your child.
  • Keep expectations reasonable.
  • Allow child to make choices.
  • Read books with simple pictures and rhyming words.
  • Let your child play with other children.
  • Describe foods, play, or any new experience to your child.
  • Encourage your child to "help" you (pick up toys, set the table, rake the leaves).

Although two-year-olds can do many things by themselves, they still need supervision. They are curious. This curiosity can endanger them when they see a ladder to climb, matches on a counter, or knives in a drawer. Be aware of where your youngster is when he/she is not beside you.

TOYS FOR TWOS

  • Markers
  • Big Beads to String
  • Musical Toys
  • Stuffed Animals
  • Wagon
  • Ball, Wheeled Toys, Trucks, Cars
  • Books to Read
  • Toys to Put Together and Pull Apart

For more information visit: http://bluehen.ags.udel.edu/deces/gb