You’ve just got to love toddlers! That age from a little over a year to about three years of age is great. The behavioral goals at that age are so transparent and easy to understand, that is, if you don’t let the behaviors throw you, it is one of the most endearing times in years before school.
One of the main goals for toddlers is control. They are learning to control their bodies and their environment. With the wonders of the internet and digital movies, I was able to watch my youngest grandson work at mastering both.
He and his preschool age brother have a sturdy child-sized table and chairs. While the preschooler explored the activity before him on the table, the toddler explored the chair and the table. Just barely out of the crawling stage, he crawled onto the chair and using the back of the chair for balance he stood up. Once in standing he did a bit of bouncing. Bouncing helps the body receive messages from the joints to the brain. Bouncing helps the body learn how to control balance. After a bit of standing freely without using the back of the chair he turned his attention to the table and bending over, explored the drum qualities of the table with his hands, adding vocal accompaniment to his drumming.
In that short video, I watched my little one learn control over his body in climbing and balancing. In the next few weeks we will explore control over the fine movements of the hands and fingers (and of course over us!) In the meantime give the toddler in your life a hug and a kiss—and let him know how smart and wonderful he is.