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The toddler period is divided into younger toddlers (1-2 years) and older toddlers (2-3 years).During the toddler period, children experience significant growth and development in their cognitive, motor, and social-emotional skills. Toddlers begin to explore their environment more actively, which can lead to a sense of independence and autonomy. They develop an understanding of object permanence and cause-and-effect relationships, which allows them to engage in more complex play activities.


In terms of motor development, toddlers make significant strides in their gross and fine motor skills. They begin to walk independently, climb stairs, and run. They also develop their fine motor skills, such as the ability to use utensils to feed themselves, hold a crayon, and manipulate small objects. Younger toddlers still usually wear diapers and are fed by their parents. Older toddlers can already use the potty and like to do things independently.


The differences in the initial development of speech are so great between individual children that any norms are only a very approximate indicator. There are children who already know nursery rhymes in the middle of the second year. Other children never learn nursery rhymes very well. However, many initial differences are evened out in later development. Up until the age of three, the time frame for a child's physical infancy is broadened, meaning that there is no need for concern if a child has not yet started to speak. As long as the child does not have any impairments related to vision, hearing, speech organs, or intellect, and has adequate stimulation within the family, any delays in their development may simply be due to a slower rate of maturation, which is likely to catch up over time.

Toddlers also begin to develop their social skills and interact with others in more meaningful ways. They may engage in parallel play, where they play alongside but not necessarily with other children. They may also begin to engage in simple turn-taking activities and enjoy playing with toys that encourage social interaction.

In the first year of life, we could predict quite accurately when a child would acquire which skills. But the older he gets, the harder it is. A child is an individuality. It is affected by different influences, has different conditions for development, different temperament and predisposition, different constitution and its own mental life. Some children start walking before their first birthday, others only after a year and a half (the norm is up to the 18th month). So do not take the following overview of motor development too strictly. Every child is different. 


While toddlers are developing rapidly, it is important to remember that they are still very young and may experience emotional outbursts and tantrums. They may struggle with self-regulation and expressing their emotions appropriately. It is important for caregivers to provide a safe and nurturing environment and to model positive social-emotional behaviors.

Overall, the toddler period is a time of significant growth and development in many areas of a child's life. It is a time for exploration, learning, and developing social-emotional skills that will be essential for future success.


During the toddler period, children start to understand that they can move around and grab things they want, but they also learn that sometimes other people can stop them from doing so. This realization can result in occasional outbursts of defiance, where the child reacts with forceful insistence ("I want!") or refusal. This marks the beginning of the first stage of defiance in a toddler's development.

Image by Rachel Forrez

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