Your toddler and the concept of storage

Thinking & Learning   |   Age: 1 year 1 month

Your toddler and the concept of storage

She may have the whole world at her fingertips, but your baby is still learning about ways to use her hands. Toddlers are pretty hands-on people and if they’re not holding one object, there’s a good chance they’re grabbing ahold of something else - which can make life tricky for their parents, especially during grocery shopping. For now, there’s a good chance that, if you’re out shopping with your baby, and you want her to let go of something shiny, you’ll be able to distract her just by handing her one or two more things she might be interested in, but before too long, she is going to discover the concept of storage, which could make this even trickier.

Toddlers and the trials of only having two hands

When older babies and very young toddlers have their hands in something they shouldn’t, distraction is generally the best strategy. This is true with most boundaries when it comes to very young children, because their brains are still learning the rules about the world, and they aren’t really able to learn anything from punishments like time-outs yet. When it comes to those grabby hands, it’s often simple enough to just to offer a young child two more objects she might like to hold - generally, she will drop the original object to make room in her hands for the two new ones.

As a young toddler grows older, though, and her memories expand and she starts to have a stronger sense of object permanence, they’re more likely to try to hold onto the first object somehow, by tucking it under an arm, holding it in her mouth, or trying to hold two things in one hand. That is, by the time she is about a year old, she has stopped living totally in the moment, and has discovered the concept of storage, and saving something for later.


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