Your toddler is exploring the world through play, discovery and creativity
What to Expect
Your toddler will probably enjoy:
- messy play
- singing aloud to songs and rhymes
- making ‘music’
- pretend play
- imitating the behaviour of grown-ups and older children.
Your child has lots of creative thoughts and ideas, and is keen to express them all through play. Imagination and creativity grow best with new experiences and with lots of time and space to explore. It’s important to let children do their own thing at this age.
Your toddler is a keen little mimic who uses imitation to learn from others. By the age of two, your toddler will probably be babbling into the phone, cooking up a dinner of leaves and grass in the backyard, and copying the actions of other people.
Dressing up and pretend play start around 15 months. Your child might start playing house or marching around the backyard as a firefighter. If you provide plenty of props, such as old clothes and hats, your toddler will probably enjoy playing at being a grown-up.
You might start to see a preference for a particular colour – choosing the blue crayon or the orange pants. Your child might also prefer one type of art, whether it’s clay or playdough or painting.
Music of all sorts can have your toddler imagining fantastic things like flying or floating in space.
Moving and singing along to favourite songs, getting stuck into water and sand, and squelching paint between fingers and toes will all be popular play activities.
Your toddler will also want to ‘help’ you around the house and at the shops, and will feel very proud of being a good helper.
The bath can be a great place for exploring water. Your child will enjoy pouring water from one container to another, seeing what happens when boats are filled with water, and experiencing how it feels when water splashes in your face.
Ideas to encourage imaginative and creative play
Your toddler’s imagination is blossoming. There are lots of ways you can encourage this process. Try:
- telling stories and reading books, particularly books with pictures of wonderful landscapes and creatures, and fun, silly or enthralling story-lines
- playing outdoors, or walking in the park, in the sunshine, on the beach or anywhere with new sights and sounds
- reciting nursery rhymes
- playing dress-ups with old clothes, handbags and hats
- playing with musical instruments or listening to music
- allowing water play from 12 months. A bucket of water with bubbles and a few plastic cups are all your toddler needs. Always supervise your child for safe fun with water
- scribbling with crayons and paper
- giving your child toys for open-ended play, such as blocks and cardboard boxes.
All children develop at their own pace. If you’re concerned about any aspect of your child’s play development, it’s a good idea to visit your health professional.
Global Montessori specializes in early childhood education providing daycare, preschool and elementary programs and has been serving Langley, Brookswood, Cloverdale, Walnut Grove, Surrey, High Point and Morgan Creek for over 26 years.