Saturday, 12 January 2013

Before actions come to life - The little connections.

I've been reminded why I became a teacher over the last few weeks. I've been watching Mr.T make some amazing pre-speech connections. I've been an active spectator as his brain develops at a rapid rate and his problem-solving skills go through the roof. Sounds dry and technical but isn't it such a beautiful thing? I decided I wanted to know more.

I found an amazing website called You can click on an age range and it shows you a picture of the brain and areas of development. It tells you in basic terms what's going on in the brain at that age group and what you can do to help develop that particular aspect. I know. I'm a nerd! But I did find it fascinating. There's some facts below. Please note, this is a guide. All children learn at different rates and it doesn't matter when it happens! It's just fantastic when it does. 

At 12-18 months is when toddlers can recall another person's earlier action and repeat it later. This part of their brain, called 'deferred imitation' becomes well established.

Well at 14 months I see those beautiful moments coming to life. Like when Mr.T waves goodbye and starts heading to the door. Or even the simplicity of copying me when I bang a toy. He also remembers when he puts his shoes on, it means he is going outside. Bless.

Between 13 and 20 months a toddler's brain becomes more focussed on the way it responds to words. This change allows speech to be processed more rapidly and toddlers can understand what is being said to them.

I'm loving this stage! I say "bed and bath" he heads to his bedroom. I say "Let's read a story" he goes and gets me a story...or two...or three. I say "no" he sits on the floor and has a big boohoo. Oh well, you can't have them all.

Really though, I sometimes forget about the insane amount of things that are going on in Mr.T's brain. Then he goes and does something that completely blows me away. He is such a busy boy, and of course he is! He's got so much of the world to see and do and so many little connections to make and I can't wait to be a part of every one of them.

On Facebook on Friday we had a discussion going as to what some activities are that you can do to fill up a toddler's day. There were many suggestions like:

* Read stories
* Water play
* Sing and Dance
* Shape sort
* Paint
* Play hide and seek
* Playing catch/soccer
* Collage

And they are all great ones, and I strongly believe they help all these little connections to take place. However, just engaging in play with your little one can help, giving them downtime to play independently can help too. I often think, imagine if me, as an adult, had someone in my face talking to me and engaging me ALL day? Why, I'd be exhausted! And my brain's not developing or moving nearly as fast as my little guy's is! So sometimes it's good to just sit back, observe and watch that brain grow and come to full bloom.

"I'll get the keys Mum, you drive."
What were those favourite little connections your toddler started making?


  1. When I say it's 'Time for bed' My 21 month old says "Daddy" and runs off to find him and starts kissing the air to indicate it's time for bedtime kisses. Then she says her sister and brother's name and insists on kissing everyone before I put her to bed. She then runs to the bookcase and says 'book'. It's great as I only have to say the three initial words to start the whole chain of events!

    She seems to understand a lot that I say and is very good at following routines and copying me. She makes me laugh all the time with how clever she can be!

    This age is one of my favourite stages :)

  2. Love the reminder that independent play is of great importance to toddler development too. They need that time to just do their own thing.

    And as mother to newborn and toddler, I need that time too ;)