Toddlers (up to the age of 3, approx.)
Toddlers move through a number of stages in their development, from standing, cruising, taking their first few steps, waddling, toddling, and finally becoming more confident to walk and run. The toddler phase covers an important period therefore it is important that practitioners recognise and understand the following:
- Repetition is very important for toddlers
- They like steps to climb on, up and down
- They like moving things from one place to another
- They like throwing things and testing what happens
- They like exploring what things do
- They need time to practise new skills
At this phase of a child's life, it is important that they learn self-control and concentration.
Toddlers are keen to help and this provides perfect opportunities to foster the child's powers of concentration and learn to persist just a little more with a task and complete it.
Encouragement, praise and constructive feedback are crucial to help toddlers become more confident. By using proper words to describe actions and objects you can also support their language development and demonstrate the movement to complete the task.
Young children need to try a wide range of experiences and build relationships with practitioners supported by co-operative play and modelling. Although children at this stage still need opportunities for lots of physically active play, learning various movement (locomotor), stability (balance) and object-control skills becomes more important.