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Caring for a toddler

All About Toddler Cognitive Thinking


As your toddler approaches age two, you will probably notice quite a change in his thinking. This is the age when most children develop the ability to think ahead.

Take this mini-case study as an example:

  • One day two-year-old Sara approached a door while carrying a flower in each hand.
  • She stopped, apparently realizing that she couldn't open the door with both hands full.
  • Putting the flowers on the floor, she reached for the doorknob.
  • Then she stopped again, aware that the door would crush the flowers as it opened.
  • Finally, after moving the flowers to a safe place, she opened the door.
  • This was a simple act, but it required quite a bit of thinking.
  • Sara had to imagine what would happen as a consequence of her actions.
  • Sara was thinking ahead.

1. Younger Toddlers: Experiment and Learn

Sara’s kind of forethought isn't possible for younger toddlers, who still learn mainly through trial-and-error. Younger toddlers spend a large part of their day simply experimenting-handling physical objects to find out what will happen if the ketchup is squished, the block dropped or the round puzzle piece is hammered into the square hole.


2. Older Toddlers: Experiment Less, Imagine More

As the ability to remember develops, older toddlers will begin to experiment less and imagine more. They start figuring out "what would happen if..." without having to try out the idea first. This ability to think ahead saves toddlers an enormous amount of time. Extra time to try new things! You'll be surprised how quickly your young toddler will begin to seem more and more like a child, rather than a baby.


The information published herein is intended and strictly only for informational, educational, purposes and the same shall not be misconstrued as medical advice. If you are worried about your own health, or your child’s well being, seek immediate medical advice. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website. Kimberly-Clark and/ or its subsidiaries assumes no liability for the interpretation and/or use of the information contained in this article. Further, while due care and caution has been taken to ensure that the content here is free from mistakes or omissions, Kimberly-Clark and/ or its subsidiaries makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information here, and to the extent permitted by law, Kimberly-Clark and/ or its subsidiaries do not accept any liability or responsibility for claims, errors or omissions.


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