At 15-24 months, most children are walking. They play with and discover parts of items and enjoy action toys. Toddlers can use simple sentences and enjoy listening to people speak. This is the time “what” and “why” questions are often asked. Reading is enjoyed during this period. Children like to “read” themselves and hold their own books.
Rhythm and music are very popular at this age, as are puppets. At 25-36 months interests are greatly expanding. Concepts such as counting and colors are learned. The child enjoys known words, and wants to learn new ones. By the time a child is three years old, s/he may know as many as 1,000 words and understand 75% of the language s/he will use throughout life in ordinary conversation.
Children become more social at this age, but parallel play is still more common. Dramatic play, art, and action are of interest. There is an increase in motor development in specific areas such as jumping, hopping and skipping, and in areas of balance and coordination.
Reach Out and Read National Center (www.reachoutandread.org) developmental milestones for toddlers include:
Other key developmental elements in the 18-24 month stage include:
Reach Out and Read National Center (www.reachoutandread.org) developmental milestones for preschoolers include:
|3 years and up||
Mary Jett-Simpson, Professor of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, in her Reading Resource Book: parents and beginning reading (1986, Humanics Limited), refers to this preschool time as “emergent reading,” or that which takes place before formal reading instruction. During this time, she notes that children:
Young children learn with their entire body, through all five senses. Preschoolers need opportunities to move, scribble, sing, talk, and touch; discovery is very important to development.
In Learning Environments for Young Children (1998, American Library Association), author Sandra Feinberg asserts:
"Three to five year olds may be able to participate in group programs without their parents/caregivers. In order to encourage the discovery process, programs for young children should be designed for small groups and seek to convey ideas through the playful manipulation of relevant materials. For young children, active exploration of physical objects is essential to the internalization of increasingly more complex concepts."
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