The child is now developing their identity and developing as an individual. Their own needs are often at the centre of everything. At this age, the child can and wants to do more things by themselves – eating, getting dressed, opening and closing doors, for example. They’re also very active and can run, jump, climb stairs, walk on their tiptoes, and walk backwards. Many also start using a tricycle and kicking balls. You may need to make plans for playtime and excursions so that the child has an outlet for their energy. Go and play in the forest, jump over logs, and climb on rocks. Slide down the slide, climb on the climbing frame, and swing on the swings.
This is when your child’s imagination is also developing. The child can pretend that some things are completely different. They play make-believe with dolls and animals. The game takes on more sequential actions, such as feeding the doll, changing its nappy, and putting it to bed. They like dressing up in old hats, shirts, skirts, bags, and jewellery. Other children also become important. It’s fun to meet others, and the child often takes the initiative to talk and play with others. They continue to imitate adults, but also older children, and start to find it easier to wait their turn. However, they find it difficult to concentrate on one thing for a long time and like to move onto other things quickly. The child can solve simple puzzles and likes to sort things by size or colour. They enjoy colouring with pencils, crayons, and water-based or finger paints, and they usually paint circles or lines. Playdough can be fun, too.
Language develops a lot, and the child can usually put together short sentences of two to six words. Reading to the child is a great idea and increases their vocabulary. Songs and rhymes are also good for language development. It’s a nice idea to read to your child every night or as often as possible. Books with big pictures and a little text are most appropriate.
Author: Benita Hammarström
Specialist nurse in health care for children and young people.