Toddler Social Development

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Very important toddler social development occurs from the age of 1 to 3 years old. It will help your toddler’s social development if he/she has strong attachments to his/her parents. These close primary attachments can help teach your toddler positive ways to interact with others and help your little one feel confident and secure. Encourage these special attachments by spending one on one time with your child reading together, playing together, speaking together, and giving hugs and kisses when needed.

Toddler Social Development For 12 Months Old:

At 12 months old, toddlers may show anxiety or fear around strangers. It is also normal for a child this age to get upset when a  parent leaves the room (separation anxiety).

Another toddler social development for this age is the ability to play simple games like pat-a-cake or peek-a-boo.

Toddlers in this age group may enjoy being around peers, but will often only play along side them and not with them. This is called parallel play.

Toddler Social Development For 18 Months Old:

At 18 months old, your little one probably enjoys handing objects to others (though s/he may want them back soon after). S/he will also show affection for the people s/he knows well.

At one and a half years old, a child may also be able to play simple pretend games, like giving a baby doll a bottle, or taking care of a toy kitty.

Your toddler may try to socialize with you by pointing to show you things. S/he may still show some shyness or anxiety around strangers and may get clingy in new situations. Tantrums may emerge at this age as well.

Toddler Social Development For 2 Year Olds (24 Months Old):

By age 2, many young children enjoy being around other children. At this age your tot also likes to mimic others, including adults and children.

Your child probably still participates in parallel play when around other toddlers, but at this age he/she is beginning to play with them as well.

Toddler social development at this age also include more defiant behavior and a desire for more independence (the reason this age is called the “terrible twos”).

Toddler Social Development For 3 Year Olds (36 Months Old):

By 3 years old, toddlers can often separate easily from parents. They will also show their friends that they care without being prompted by parents, and also understand how to take turns.

Three year olds can also show a variety of emotions, and may get upset with a change in routine. They also understand possessive words like “mine”, “his”, and “hers”.

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