At this stage, toddlers’ creativity and imagination are flourishing. They love to play make-believe games with caregivers or playmates – assigning different characters to each person (I’m a superhero! You’re the bad guy!). They pretend to read books to an audience of stuffed animals and action figures. When you read together, they might make up a new version or insert a different ending to their favorite story.
Children are making exciting cognitive gains, like getting closer to counting to ten by memory. By now, they can label several of the colors of the rainbow. They also start to connect symbols with meaning. For example, they draw pictures of family members in a very basic way. A drawing of a circle is the head and lines will represent the arms and legs. Put it all together, and it’s a picture of grandma!
The ability to understand more complex patterns is improving. Children enjoy song and dance routines like I’m a Little Teapot or Ring Around the Rosie. They’re not only getting better at recognizing the pattern of body movements associated with each dance, they’re also starting to remember the words to their favorite tunes.
The silly factor at this age is also on the rise! Children do funny things to get attention, like wearing a shoe on their head or pretending a spoon is a microphone. They start to feel more confident helping without being prompted, such as bringing you something if they hear you talk about it, or helping a friend find a toy. They even show affection towards playmates by giving spontaneous smiles and hugs! These acts of kindness make it clear that their social-emotional skills and friendships are beginning to bloom.
Remember that children are delightfully unique and some of these milestones will happen before or after this month.