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Toddler development

Toddler is a child 12 to 36 months old. Toddler years are a time of great cognitive, emotional and social development for your child. The word is derived from “to toddle”, which means to walk unsteadily, like a child of this age.

Toddler development can be broken down into several development stages. There is reasonable consensus about what these areas may include:

  • Physical development: child begins to grow or increase in size.
  • Gross motor development:child begins to control the large muscles which enable walking, running, jumping and climbing.
  • Fine motor development: child begins to have the ability to control small muscles; enabling the toddler to feed themselves, draw and manipulate objects.
  • Vision development: child begins to see near and far and interpret what is seen.
  • Hearing and speech development: child begins to hear and receive information and listen (interpret), and the ability to understand and learn language and use it to communicate effectively.
  • Social development: child begins to interact with the world through playing with others, taking turns and fantasy play.

Although it is useful to chart defined periods of development, it is also necessary to recognize that development exists on a continuum, with considerable individual differences between children. There is a wide range of what may be considered ‘normal’ development. However, according to experts, there are specific milestones that should be achieved by certain ages and stages in life in order to properly grow and develop.