Your child is between the18 months to 2.5 years
A toddler’s development during the second stage
Children develop of their own accord, but they do need those around them to provide them with experiences and the right kind of guidance. In this timeline, you will get to know the milestones related to motor skills, language development, social and emotional and cognitive/sensory development, and personality development. You can also read about how Kindergarden sets up the children's environment to help them develop optimally. We make use of the “recurring” moments in which we’re tending to them individually, such as while dressing and undressing them, changing their diapers, or putting them to bed, to give them a little extra one-on-one attention. This turns an everyday care moment into a special development moment.
Did you know that at this age, children develop an understanding of why certain things are not allowed? And that they do a much better job at remembering songs, rhymes, and verses?
Development occurs during the interactions between the children themselves, and their interactions with the childcare staff and the environment. Our horizontal groups enable us to provide guidance appropriate to the different developmental stages. In doing so, we are guided by the pace and preferences of the children. After all, children are individuals and experience their milestones at a time appropriate to them. This timeline indicates the things you might encounter during the first important years of a child's life, but we also allow the children the space to reach their own milestones and develop at their own pace!
Motor development (physical development)
Climbing, rolling, and playing: children are given the opportunity to practice their balance and coordination, using items such as beanbags, small and low climbing equipment, balancing bars, and stepping stones.
Look what I can do!
Standing on one leg (with support), running, walking backwards, making circles, suddenly coming to a standstill, jumping in the air with two feet at the same time, or walking on their toes.
Walking and other activities
Toddlers start combining walking with other activities, taking things with them under their arm, or pulling objects behind them.
Less likely to fall
Children at this stage develop more of a sense of balance and improve their coordination skills, which reduces the likelihood of falling.
Walking with confidence
Toddlers become more confident walking: their knees are slightly bent, pulling their shoulders back and keeping their arms more stretched along their body. They are also more likely to place their feet flat on the floor.
Children start developing their fine motor skills. From age two onwards, toddlers start showing an interest in toilet training.
How does Kindergarden support children in their motor development (physical development)?
Playing with blocks
Indoors and outdoors, we offer children all the room they need to move around. Children can already do so much at this age! Some of the toys we use to stimulate fine motor skills include wooden blocks and DUPLO®. This also introduces children to the concept of gravity by letting them build tall towers and then watching them collapse.
Balance and coordination.
Beanbags, small and low climbing equipment, balancing bars, stepping stones. These are all safe materials and equipment children can climb on, roll off, and play with unsupervised. This allows them to practice their balance and coordination.
We offer activities that develop independence. We make them put on their own socks and, if they’re ready, their shoes. Putting on and taking off your own coat is an achievement, as is eating your food yourself without assistance, and washing your face and your hands on your own. These are all good exercises for toddlers to improve their fine and gross motor skills, while they also learn about different items of clothing, body parts, and various new concepts. This helps children to grow in self-confidence.
Social and emotional development
We encourage children to play together and remind individual children of the importance of sharing toys, although children below the age of two still tend to take each others’ toys away rather than sharing them.
Imitating (mimicking) and asking for help
In social and emotional terms, toddlers are affectionate toward their mothers, imitate adults – particularly in ordinary everyday activities – and regularly ask adults for help. They want to show everything.
Together or alone?
At this age, children start interacting more with their age peers. They play alongside each other in the same room, sometimes using the same toys and games, but separately and individually.
Toddlers have a hard time sharing with others and awaiting their turn. Between 18 and 24 months of age, they have yet to learn to be empathetic (i.e., put themselves in another person’s shoes).
The sense of self is growing and they become more stubborn; this is when they start asserting their own will. Their behavior is imbalanced, oscillating between dependence and independence.
Between 24 and 30 months of age, toddlers learn that other children sometimes have different feelings than their own, which is a sign of their growing ability to empathize. They also develop a larger vocabulary at this stage that allows them to discuss their feelings.
How does Kindergarden support children in their social and emotional development?
Creating a calm and relaxing environment
Children have – and burn off – loads of energy at this time. Since they’re also unable to get themselves to slow down, we make sure there’s plenty of opportunity for rest and relaxation: cuddle time, reading stories, and singing songs together. Reading to children is enjoyable and educational and stimulates their imagination, as well as being a time of rest and personal attention.
Although most children still play alone or alongside each other at this stage, they also start playing together more often, which is something we encourage. We also remind individual children of the importance of sharing toys, although children under the age of two still tend to take each others’ toys away rather than sharing them. For example, we might pass the ball to each other while at the same time calling out the children’s names. This is how we create a sense of togetherness and encourage children to have fun together.
Backed by their professional training and through observation, our childcare staff can observe children in a neutral and respectful manner and can interpret their behavior correctly. Children who take other children’s toys tend to do so not to tease or bully the other child, but rather to train their independence. They are too young to grasp that their behavior is not desirable and not nice from the point of view of the child whose things they have taken away. Up to the age of 5-6, children are very self-focused: they simply cannot yet put themselves in another person’s shoes.
Up to the age of around 18 months, toddlers already have a vocabulary of around 50 words, and then go on to learn around 10 new ones a day!
Toddlers form sentences made up of two words: “mommy gone.” They come to understand that “not” and “no” are both negatives.
The magic of language
Identifying something, making clear where something is located, or describing a particular activity and the person performing it. Language has a purpose now!
Around the second year of life, children start forming questioning sentences: “mommy gone?”
Children gradually learn the difference between pronouns such as “me” and “you,” although they still have trouble using them correctly.
This is the stage where children start asking “why,” purely out of curiosity and as a way of getting attention.
How does Kindergarden support children in developing their language skills?
Variety of language
We try to articulate as much as we can for toddlers, which helps them to build their vocabulary. We don’t just communicate a lot with the children; we also read to them, ask them questions, and explain things, which promotes speech development. Young children do not yet have the patience to listen to a full story, but they love reading short stories or looking at pictures together.
Look who’s talking...
Up to the age of around 18 months, toddlers already have a vocabulary of around 50 words, and then go on to learn around 10 new ones a day! After a while, they start combining these words to form simple, basic sentences. We speak very slowly and clearly to ensure that children use the correct sentence structure; we use short sentences and repeat a lot of what we say. We tell children what we see around us or what we’re going to do. We and the children finish sentences together, without making any corrections or improvements. This will make them feel challenged the next time, as opposed to self-conscious.
All children love creating a “living” story - success guaranteed! One thing we do is describe pictures and items found in a book; we might choose a picture of a clothesline with a pair of trousers, socks, and a sweater. We hand everyone a pair of socks, and if they’re bunched up they can throw them in the air like a little ball and catch them. They can then fold the socks out again and wave them around. This is how we visualize language for children in a playful way.
Cognitive and sensory development
Children love to doodle and use crayons: they enjoy the rhythmic motion of their arms and what this looks like on paper. They also love to play with beads and clay.
Children learn to identify colors. Children’s eyes need more contrast than those of adults, so in order for them to be able to observe them, colors need to be brighter and more intense for kids.
Children become more skilled at processing information, which they deduce from images, symbols, concepts, and interrelationships. If they throw their food off the table, the floor gets dirty.
Children have an easier time remembering songs, rhymes, and verses and increasingly focus on details.
Children understand why some things aren’t allowed, even when the “boss” is away.
How does Kindergarden support children in their cognitive and sensory development?
Fun and educational: we offer children toys where different shapes (circles, squares, and triangles) must be fit into the corresponding slot. This gives them an understanding of different-sized objects and learn to identify different shapes. It also improves their spatial awareness, as does playing with blocks.
Growing and flourishing
At Kindergarden, we mark the passing of the seasons and celebrate each new season, both indoors and outdoors, as this teaches children about the miracle of nature. We interpret “Caring for tomorrow” to mean caring for yourself, others, and the natural world around us. For example, we might collect rainwater in a rain barrel and then use this to water the plants during an extended dry spell.
Crayons and clay
Toddlers like to doodle and color with crayons and enjoy the rhythmic motion of their arms and what this looks like on paper. They also love to play with beads and clay. These various forms of expression help them develop their creative, sensory, and motor skills, as well as teaching them about different materials, colors, and shapes. At all our branches, we have the materials to turn these activities into a real joy for all the children.
Children this age see themselves as the center of everything, and rules help to create clarity, and by extension a sense of safety and security. This is how we help them build confidence.
Toddlers start to recognize themselves in the mirror.
From around 18 months, children start saying their own name.
Children put themselves at the center of everything they do.
Let me do!
From the age of two, two of the most common phrases they’ll use are “wanna do myself” and “let me do.”
As toddlers start developing their verbal skills, they also become more self-aware: they learn to articulate things and can reflect on them.
How does Kindergarden support children in their personality development?
Rules and agreements
Children this age see themselves as the center of everything, and rules create clarity, and by extension a sense of safety and security. This is very important during this stage of dependence and growing independence. They’re becoming better at understanding what you say and mean. We lay down a few basic rules: treating each other with respect, cleaning up our toys after we’re done playing with them, and handling things with care.
Giving children compliments
We like to give children compliments because this increases their self-confidence, although we never overdo it, as this may have the opposite effect, where children come to rely too much on positive affirmation. We teach the children that they should be proud of who they are and of their talents, abilities, and accomplishments. We describe the process and what feelings this evokes in the children. We describe what we observe and what impact this has on the child.