A toddler is a child whose age ranges from one to three. The word is derived from, ` toddle’, which means to walk unsteadily. Toddlers should be taught the boundaries of acceptable and non acceptable behaviors as early as this stage. They always strive to be more independent, mostly after learning few things within their surroundings. Toddlers often get frustrated when they try new things and don’t succeed or mastered, hence making them to cry, scream or feel uncomfortable.
Toddlers obtain some development skill like early learning of tools and instruments, visual movement of objects from one place to another then understand the surrounding which includes people and objects. The toddler then understands personal relationship of adjusting to the surroundings and trying to be self independent .There are key stages that a toddler has to learn like walking, talking, gaining self control, dropping naps and writing. These developments have been grouped into physical, social and language.
Physical Development and Movements
A toddler has to go through some changes in the body. These changes are differentiated into gross motor skills (use of large muscle in the body, specifically at arms and legs), and fine motors skills (use of small muscles in the body specifically at fingers and hands).The large muscle at the legs and arms make the toddler to stand alone at 12 months then walk at 12-15 months. He/she develops muscle strength that assists from rolling over to sitting to crawling then later makes him/her move to stand and walk. This is achieved by standing and cruising around. In case the child hasn’t walked at the age of 18 months, then you should seek help from doctor or health care adviser. At 18 months, the child should be able to walk backwards and be able to move up the steps then later proceed by jumping by 24 months. At age three, the toddler should be able to involve in some few activities like riding tricycle.
The small muscles at the fingers and hands will make the toddler to make three cubes and be able to scribble at 15 month. The fine motor skills can also let the toddler use a spoon at 2 years then later, is able to copy while writing or drawing at age 3 years. The toddler can walk, jump, run and nimble by his/her feet. Toys can also help toddlers develop motor skills.
When learning to use language. A toddler can use 2- 4 words like `mama’, at 12-15 months, he/she learns to understand and follow simple instructions and command like` come’. Some toddlers develop language signs to communicate with their guardians and parents. At two years, the toddler should be able to identify and name simple items like pictures and animals, and begin to say his or her own name. At age three, a toddler should know his/her gender and be able to construct simple sentences like, ‘where is dad?’
At age 12-18 months, a toddler should be able to point something when in need of and call for help when in trouble. At 2 years, a toddler can listen to stories and recall few encounters and stories. At age three, a toddler takes part in playing, singing, reciting a poem and other simple activities. Encouraging play with other toddlers is a good way to help them develop social skills in a fun way, having equipment like a teepee for toddlers can be a great way to do this.
A toddler needs a lot of attention. It is a stage for children to be taught good behaviour and parents or guardian should be persistent in modelling them. Toddlers should be consistently be taught well behaviours as they create more concern on discipline cases, remember, they are the future generation to control rule the world.