This month, your toddler is using more action words when he talks. You’ll probably notice that his vocabulary is greatly increasing and he is using more phrases than single words now. He may be using words like ‘jump’ and ‘go’ and his phrases may consist of an action word with his name or a pronoun. For instance, he may tell you “jump me”, meaning “jump with me”. You’ll also notice that he understands directional words like “up”, “down” and “in” and “out”.
Your toddler is now fully using his memory skills. You can test this the next time you read to your child. Select a book that is very familiar to him. When you read, stop at the end of a sentence leaving out the last word. You will probably be surprised and amazed when he fills in the blank. You can encourage your child to remember more words by using picture books; when you point at a picture, say the name, explain what it does, if it makes a sound, etc. This will show you that your child understands many more words than he can say. Through repetition, you’ll soon be able to ask your toddler, “Where is the red fire truck?” He will point at the fire truck even though he cannot yet say “fire truck”.
Another great achievement around this age is the ability to hold a container and place objects in the container and then dump it out. The act of grasping an object and intentionally letting it go is nothing new, nor is the act of holding the container. It’s the combination of the two activities that is the great achievement. However, the most fun part for your child is dumping out the contents. This activity will happily occupy a toddler for hours. Give him a bucket and some blocks and watch him repeat the process over and over.
This age also brings more interest in playing with toys. Your child has already been playing with toys for many months, but now, he is more interested in the details of the toys. He might have only chewed on his plastic blocks or thrown them across the room in the past, but now, he is actually stacking them up and forming shapes with them. At this time in your toddler’s development, toys that encourage tasks like shape sorting or stacking are the best.
Since your toddler is more interested in the smaller details of toys now, it may be a good time to take a look at the toy box and remove any toy that has small pieces that can be removed. Make sure there are no toys that can be broken when your child throws them on the ground, and remove any toys with moving parts that could pinch your child’s fingers.