Toddler Development – Month 20 – What’s Happening This Month?

Thursday August 16, 2018


Reading Time:
3 minutes

Establishing boundaries.

At 20 months your toddler will be saying a new word most days and will definitely understand much more! If you want to put this to the test, ask them to bring you an item that they cannot name – for example, the duster – and you will be surprised and delighted with the speed it is brought to you! When you are out and about it is fun to talk about the noises that can be heard and they will love to have a go at mimicking the sound and will expect you to do so too!

At this age, most toddlers can manage to string a couple of words together now such as ‘my ball’ or the most favorite phrase – ‘all gone’! They will be good at recognizing colors and counting and now is the time to help them learn more about size, shape, and texture as this will increase their vocabulary too.

At this stage, they will still be saying ‘no’ to many things including food, clothes, and toys. It is not because they are being naughty but because they feel confident that they can express themselves. Whilst it is good to compromise or to offer a choice for some things, there will be others where there can be ‘no negotiation’ and these include holding hands for safety and being strapped into their car seat. Don’t feel bad about being insistent on such points because although it may not sound like it, your toddler will feel more self-assured if these ground rules are firmly in place.

Toddlers love to get involved with what you are doing, and you will always have an extra pair of hands when you are gardening, doing housework or cleaning the car. They love to feel valued so get them to give you a hand with a particular task that they will be able to do such as picking up some leaves or cleaning the headlights on the car. Give plenty of praise along the way as that bolsters self-confidence too. If you are washing the car, be warned, your toddler will be fascinated by any puddles! Don’t ask me why, but children love puddles! It can be lots of fun for them to don their wellingtons to have a go at ‘puddle jumping’ – there is no upper age limit for this!

At this age, toddlers love to construct things, so some large building blocks will provide lots of fun. They are also curious about how things work, and you could find them trying to open the battery compartment or pull the wheels off a certain toy. Play dough is fun and the various machines that you can get which make the dough different shapes and thicknesses will definitely prove fascinating. Magic painting where your toddler ‘paints’ a picture with water and the image appears is also lots of fun – but will need close supervision.

With so much activity each day, you may well find that your toddler is getting hungry in between main meals. Toddlers can usually only eat small portions, so it is a good idea to introduce some snacks both mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Be careful in your choice of snacks as your 20-month-old has lovely teeth that need protecting. A small plastic dish containing pieces of cheese, slices or chunks of fresh fruit or raw vegetables or some pieces of fresh bread, will all be eagerly eaten, and your toddler will sadly announce ‘all gone’!

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Chrissie Stephen

Chrissie Stephen

Chrissie Stephen is an established writer from the UK. She now lives in the south west of France. She has three children and four grandchildren. She has worked with children much of her life as a Guider, Playgroup Leader and House Mother for an international boarding school. When she is not writing she can be found gardening, cooking or trying to improve her French.

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