The Process of Toddler Development

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At each age, children go through new periods of psycho-emotional and physical development. Knowing the characteristics of a particular age, parents can more accurately understand their children’s needs, help them learn the necessary skills, and provide the right conditions for this. At the age of 2-3 years, the list of age features of children is already quite wide, as well as the perspectives opening before them. At the age of two, a child’s speech is actively forming. The development of thinking helps to establish simple cause-and-effect connections, to compare different objects with each other. Improved attention, increasing its stability, allows listening to reading or stories from adults. Perception and memory become more advanced and allow the child to learn language norms little by little. Infants begin to listen to stories and short stories meaningfully (Bradford & Wyse, 2020). They can repeat complex words and simple phrases after the parents and can even retell small pieces of text. Children closely observe various objects and learn to interact with them. Immersion in the outside world occurs mainly by receiving new information from adults (Maguire-Fong et al., 2020). However, children can only get new knowledge and the necessary help when they master speech.

As an article to analyze, I chose to study the effect of task wording on the performance of two-year-olds. My choice was motivated by my interest in studying younger children’s behavior and developmental patterns. Among the reading sources for the week, the article on what two-year-olds should be able to do by their age attracted the most attention. At the same time, the acquisition of these skills and abilities requires the need for clear explanations of the instructions to perform certain tasks. The question of how exactly these instructions should be formulated so that children could follow them as accurately as possible seemed to me to be a legitimate one. This was the reason for my choice of article to analyze.

The researchers see their goal as studying the dependence of successful completion of various tasks by two-year-old children on the way the task is formulated. Two experiments were conducted, the results of which were compared and subsequently allowed for a conclusion. In both trials, children have to sort objects based on their size. In this way, the researchers could see how accurately two-year-old toddlers understood the concepts of “big” and “small.” In the first experiment, the tasks included the phrases “big bucket” and “small bucket,” while in the second experiment, the word combinations were replaced with “here” or “there,” that is, a one-dimensional sorting task was used. The results showed that more of the 27 children did not do well on the first trial than on the second trial (Schonberg et al., 2018). This allowed the authors to conclude that simpler task wording led to better completion of the task. Consequently, there is a dependence of the performance of two-year-olds on the vocabulary of the instructions that are voiced for them.

The most significant information for me was the conclusion reached by scientists based on the results of the second experiment. I learned that when interacting with two-year-olds, it is fundamentally important to use simple sorting tasks that include simpler words than many common tasks for children of this age. The process of toddler development is very multifactorial, and the choice of vocabulary for tasks can cause both successes and failures of children in mastering different activities.


Bradford, H., & Wyse, D. (2020). Two-year-old and three-year-old children’s writing: The contradictions of children’s and adults’ conceptualisations. Early Years, 1–17. Web.

Maguire-Fong, M. J., Tronick, E., Lally, R. J., & Brazelton, B. T. (2020). Teaching and learning with infants and toddlers: Where meaning-making begins (2nd ed.). Teachers College Press.

Schonberg, C. C., Atagi, N., & Sandhofer, C. M. (2018). Two-year-olds’ executive functioning: The influence of task-specific vocabulary knowledge. Infant Behavior and Development, 53, 33–42. Web.

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PsychologyWriting. 2023. "The Process of Toddler Development." March 5, 2023.

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PsychologyWriting. "The Process of Toddler Development." March 5, 2023.