Being a toddler is hard work. This is a time of rapid changes and development and one of the primary ways they learn at this age is through play.
As your child moves through the toddler phase their play develops and changes and they will start to spend a lot of time engaged in role playing.
It’s a phase
Your toddler will have already gone through a range of developmental phases. They will have been working on developing their eye-hand coordination through reaching, grasping and learning to hold things. They love to repeat the same action and to put things in and out of containers – and into their mouth. As they get older they start to learn about cause and effect and like to make things happen – pushing a button and watching a toy pop up will be a favourite. They will also have been learning to pick up small things, point and ask questions.
As your baby becomes a toddler they will focus on working out how things go together and how they can make things work. Then your older toddler will go from primarily being a solo problem solver to being a much more active, social, imaginative, and creative little person.
Your toddlers use of words will also be rapidly evolving with new words being added to their lexicon almost daily. They will also start stringing words together, learn to follow simple instructions, and start using their words to find out answers to their questions.
Supporting your child’s development
There are many ways you can support all aspects of your toddler’s development through play. They are working out how things work and how they fit in to the world around them, and learning at an incredibly rapid rate.
Toys that do everything don’t allow experimentation, discovery and imagination. You can help spark play by providing some toys that help get them started.
Enhance their play
Add to your child’s play rather than dictating it. If you are looking to develop solo play, choose a toy that will expand their play. If you are playing alongside them, get them started by letting them choose what to play with and then add to what they are doing. Or create a fun scenario using the props you have available to you and then let them take over.
Written by Robyn
Robyn creates content on Kidspot NZ. Her hobbies include buying cleaning products and wondering why things don’t then clean themselves, eating cheese scones with her friends, and taking her kids to appointments.
Favourite motto to live by: “It’s just a phase.”