National Association for the Education
of Young Children lends the following
tips for encouraging toddler
1. Give your child time to do simple
tasks on his own. Children at this age
can do many things older children can—it
just takes a little more time.
2. Offer your child choices. Let her
pick out pajamas, healthy snacks, and
favorite play activities. Rather than
setting up a power struggle between you
and your child, empower her to make her
3. Choose your words wisely. When giving
your child a choice, ask a question:
“Would you like to put your coat on in
the bedroom or in the kitchen?” If
something is not a choice, make a
statement: “You need to put your coat on
before we go outside.” Being as clear as
possible about what he can and can’t
decide for himself as you support your
child’s growth and independence will
reduce frustrations for both of you.
4. Engage and interact with your child.
Set him up at the kitchen counter to
tear lettuce or break uncooked pasta.
Give him a bowl and spoon as you make
breakfast. Hop to the bedroom; sing in
the car; read favorite books over and
over. Share experiences and laughter
5. Respect your child as a person. Tell
him what’s going to happen today: "I’m
picking you up right after nap today."
Let him know what's happening next:
"After breakfast, we’ll get you
dressed." Give cues: "We’ll start
putting the blocks away in a few
minutes." And give him the opportunity
to do it for himself: "Do you want to
put your socks on by yourself?" Respect
your child as an individual.
Remember that Toddlers and twos are
learning all the time. They learn
through their play, so be sure to give
your child lots of time for both indoor
and outdoor play experiences. Blocks,
animal figures, dress-up clothes,
cardboard boxes, bubbles, sticks,
leaves, balls, and interesting kitchen
utensils (pots and pans, empty spice
containers)—these can all be exciting
tools for learning through play.
Read more tips provided by the NAEYC here.