- Importance of this age
- Developmental Milestones Circle: One to Two Years
- Points for concern
- Intervention through play
Children between one and two grow in motor capacity so that they can move easily between positions, walk confidently and negotiate obstacles. They stay dry at night if taken just before bedtime and as soon as they wake up, and bowel control is completely attained. Over this year, they learn to be more independent, separating from their primary caregiver with greater ease and for longer periods of time, as they gain confidence. They recognize and participate in routines and take great pleasure in their growing independence. Routines and repeated activities are particularly valuable tools during this period as they provide children with a strong, safe base from which they can explore the world.
Providing experiences of independence is important at this age, as children learn rules of the social and physical world through their own experimentation and experiences. Adult responses to their behaviour and actions guide the development of their own attitudes and response to situations. Children are developing a more complex understanding of themselves as separate people – social beings – and are learning how they can interact with and impact the social world. This is therefore, the age of tantrums, as children test and find out that they do not have complete control over their own lives.
This period sees an explosion of communication - vocabulary increases, and children move from single words to two-word phrases. Children, in this period, are very motivated to have their views heard and will use spoken language along with gestures, pointing, and even sounds to make themselves understood. Children learn many things about language, communication, social conventions and even themselves through these early conversations.
In this period, children are exploring with all their senses, leading with one and confirming with another and switching easily from using one sense to lead the investigation to another. Experimenting also leads to simple problem solving and we should see children drawing effectively on their senses and motor systems to get and check information and relate it to their past experiences. This constant exploration and experimentation lays those neural pathways that enable children to effectively understand and respond to what they see, hear, touch, feel and smell drawing both on current experience as well as stored memories and expectations.
Between the ages of one and two, we see a steady increase in the child’s ability to focus attention, effectively combine information from several senses and their past experience to create solutions. They demonstrate a growing ability to remember and reproduce longer strings of actions and words.