1-2 years

Time to move ...

Our second year can be quite different from the first. Talking to other parents shows that their little ones did not come with a manual, either, and that every child is so unique. Here are 10  useful areas of development that can influence our approach.

1. Dependent observers:

While still dependent, toddlers from 1-2 year start to become aware of their developing abilities. As they are more able to control their limbs, they learn to walk and talk, and may struggle to articulate their need to do things on their own.

2. Body Language:

Although toddlers have started to understand language, they still prioritise body language. “No talking” instructions are pointless when they never stopping communicating and reading each others’ bodies. Your intent and your feelings speak much louder.

3. Suspense:

Toddlers have learnt to expect a number of behaviours as babies. This prior experience helps them to manage new situations that may be similar. When unexpected things happen, they tend to become emotionally overwhelmed with great joy or great upset.

4. Simple gross motor movements:

After 4 months, babies lose most of their newborn reflexes. As they experiment with their limbs and bodies, they begin to develop more sophisticated movements. As toddlers, they begin to match external beats, both in beating and shaking instruments.

5.Object permanence:

As babies learn and grow, their continuous repetition leads to their recognising which objects remain and which do not. As toddlers, they begin to place emotional attachments on objects, leading to clashes when they are misunderstood.

6 Individual attention:

Toddlers are still self-orientated as they are still learning to control their limbs, their bodies, their feelings. They will not master this for a number of years. As they are now more vocal, they may be more expressive with others but still play better alongside others than together.

7. Play independently:

New toddlers are still learning to control their actions and movements, to find their place in their world. This takes all of their ability, all of their strength, so while they may stare at other children, they are too busy learning about their own movements and skills to play with others.

8. Simple physical motion:

As babies, they could sway. As toddlers, they learn to deliberately rock. Rocking introduces a whole body rhythm that appears to soothe the nervous system, acting as a reassurance and comfort. Rocking with another can be powerful enough to even override fear and pain.

9. Familiar phrase repetition:

As toddlers begin to learn the rules to mastering their world, their baby vocalising becomes more sophisticated. As they start imitating words more closely, they realise that their voice produces results from adults, from favourite foods and toys to approval or disapproval. 

10. Inner pulse:

Toddlers start to become aware of the different rhythms that surround them, without realising it. This may be mirrored in matching their own heartbeat, or recognising an external repetitive beat, like musical rhythms. As it is so automatic, they are often unable to express which they are matching.

What Makes This Age So Special?

There are so many magical moments, but these are the biggies that set this age apart from the others:


Toddlers show extreme surprise when expectations are not met.

Peek-a-boo games builds trust, and physical comedy builds humour.

Play independently:

Toddlers are learning too much about themselves to play together.

Multiple identical toys or instruments allows for non-competitive play.

Object permanence:

As toddlers learn which objects come back, they do not yet know which to care for.

Making the time to understand why toddlers are upset is worthwhile.


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