Cognitive Development for Toddlers 12 – 24 Months

CME WebsitesChild Development, Toddlers 12 - 36 Months

In Terms of Cognitive Development, Most Two Year Olds Will:

  • Recognize self in the mirror
  • Play for longer periods of time
  • Often says ‘no’ to bedtime and other requests
  • Enjoy dancing to music
  • Feel proud when doing things independently
  • Enjoy messy activities
  • Be willing to release toy to her parent
  • Give hugs and kisses to her parent
  • Play with a ball cooperatively
  • Like to be the center of attention
  • Begin to say ‘NO’
  • Imitate chores
  • Show jealousy
  • Begin to recognize distress in others and comfort them
  • Begin to resist and fight, and become easily frustrated
  • Show a wide array of emotions

Parenting Tips for Toddler Cognitive Development:

Suggested ideas to help a baby between 12 and 24 months develop his or her social and problem-solving skills:

  • Now is the time to let your toddler join the family at the table. He may need a booster seat but he’ll be able to eat with his own spoon and fork. He can even help you set a place at the table.
  • Play the matching game. When you’re folding laundry, play this game. Put some of the socks in a pile. Ask your toddler to find the one that matches the little green one. Show her how to match the sock if she needs help, and then ask, ‘Who wears these little green socks?’
  • Good night nose. When getting your toddler ready for bed, say goodnight with a kiss on different parts of his body. ‘Goodnight little nose (kiss), goodnight little ear (kiss) etc. Ask what part of his body you should say good night to next.
  • Start a collection. Take a little pail with you as you go for a walk and collect little rocks, leaves, etc. When you get home put things together into different groups. Separate the big rocks from the little rocks, the rocks from the leaves, or the black rocks from the white ones. Make sure she doesn’t put anything in her mouth.
  • Give plenty of hugs. This can be a frustrating time for a toddler. Be ready to provide lots of comfort and reassurance.
  • Take turns drawing. Get a large piece of paper and take turns copying what the other person draws or scribbles.
  • Have a picnic. Eating on a blanket in the backyard is very fun when your toddler is this age. Make it a party by inviting a few stuffed animals to join you! On rainy days, a picnic in the living room is just as much fun.
  • Everyone needs a bed. Turn a shoe box into a bed for your toddler’s favorite doll or stuffed animal. A dishtowel is the perfect size to be a blanket. Before bedtime, your toddler can read a story and tuck their toy animal into his new bed.
  • Plan some play dates. While your child won’t be able to play independently, he or she will enjoy playing next to other children. Make sure there are several cars or dolls so it’s easier to share. Praise the children when they are playing well together.