Curiosity is stirring this month! You hear more “why?” questions than ever before, but that’s a healthy sign of your toddler’s desire to learn more about the world. In fact, children around this age will often rehearse questions they’ve heard others ask. They’re not always looking for an answer, but the act of practicing these questions can help build their vocabulary and deepen their logical thinking.
As vocabulary expands, children are more descriptive with their words. For instance, during a bedtime story, you may hear them describe characters or actions in a more comprehensive way. You hear more colors in their descriptions too! Well, at least a few colors! Around this time, they can identify 2-3 different colors, but they still mix them up every once in a while. They also start to understand the beauty of rhyming words and love to rhyme! It’s a great way for them to learn new words and strengthen their memory.
They can also string together 3-4 word sentences, but their pronunciation and delivery is still a little shaky. For instance, they may make consonant errors (“bue” instead of “blue” or “du” instead of “duck”). Verbs that describe a state of being are used more often, but not always correctly (“I are tired” or “he am not sad”).
During pretend play, children may look like tiny film directors developing a new scene – placing stuffed animals, dolls, or action figures in different positions while they carry out fictional scenarios and storylines. They often incorporate more emotional components to these scenes as well (pretending their teddy bear is laughing because he’s happy).
Children are also fostering a sense of self-awareness and identity. Around this time, they can probably identify themselves in terms of gender, and this process of gender identification will continue to develop and grow throughout preschool. They also expand self-descriptions in more sophisticated ways (“I happy!” or “I run fast!”). Because of their ever-evolving vocabulary, they start to connect words to their emotions, physical states, thoughts, and actions.
Remember that children are delightfully unique and some of these milestones will happen before or after this month.