Being a toddler (2-3 years old) is one of the most important stages for emotional development. In this stage, children process and develop their understanding of emotions, while at the same time, try to process and develop a consideration for the feelings of others.
Toddlers begin to understand their behaviour and its impact on others and themselves. They use and interpret this knowledge to control their environment, but due to their limited language and expressive skills, their ability to process emotions is still developing and is sometimes limited. This can then manifest in frustration, anger or temper tantrums – all of which are very normal at this age and part of social and emotional development.
Toddlers rely on adults to facilitate their communication skills through role modelling, setting positive examples, positive reinforcement and routines. Our educators facilitate these opportunities, and present and teach appropriate behaviours to toddlers using a variety of methods to support their social and emotional development.
We see the toddlers in our care as great explorers. Their thinking is ignited by curiosity and develops quickly with each opportunity and experience. At this developmental stage, they begin to recount and retell their small daily adventures, or even make up their own creative stories based on their experiences. They start to understand important concepts and learn to differentiate them. We create opportunities for our toddlers to engage in dramatic play as they thrive on these interactions to reinforce and practice social experiences.
We’ve identified that physical skills develop rapidly at this age, and we have created programs that provide essential opportunities for toddlers to develop and practice fundamental movement skills. Alongside this, we encourage and incorporate opportunities for independence and promoting self-help skills, such as hand washing, self-feeding, taking off and putting on shoes and socks, and toilet training – all major milestones in achievement for 2-3 year olds.