How Toddlers Learn - 18 to 36 Months Old

What Do Toddlers Do? How toddlers learn
  • Learn new words every day.
  • Say "no" and "not."
  • Follow simple stories.
  • Copy adult voices and actions.
  • Look at books on their own.
  • Ask many questions ("What that?").
  • Take turns while talking with people.
  • Speak using groups of words ("Ned go out").
  • Name objects in picture books ("Ball").
  • Scribble with crayons and washable markers.
  • Join in when a book has rhymes and repeated words.
  • Follow two-part directions ("Pick up the socks and put them in the basket.").
How Do Toddlers Learn?
Rosa tugs on Ms. Vega's arm and says, "Wet." Ms. Vega says, "Your diaper is wet. Let's go change it."

Rosa lies down on the changing table. Ms. Vega washes her hands and tells Rosa what she is doing. "I'm washing away all the germs so you will stay healthy. I'm taking off your shorts. They're red, like your sneakers." Rosa says, "Red sneakers."

Toddler learn to read Ms. Vega takes a diaper from the shelf. She replaces Rosa's wet diaper with a dry one. "All done," says Ms. Vega. "Wash hands?" asks Rosa. "Yes," says Ms. Vega, "let's wash our hands."

Rosa heads for the sink, singing. "This way, wash hands, wash hands, wash hands." Ms. Vega sings along, then says, "Rosa, you learned a new song to sing." "Sing song," says Rosa.

Like many toddlers, Rosa is learning about language:
- She communicates her needs using groups of words.
- She repeats words she hears adults speak.
- She learns a simple song.
- She asks questions.
- She answers questions.

Rosa's caregiver helps her learn about language:
- She responds to Rosa's request by answering with a group of words.
- She describes what she is doing and names a color - red.
- She asks a simple question that Rosa knows how to answer.
- She sings with Rosa, then congratulates her on learning the song.

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