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Toddler Development: 21 to 23 months

As your child approaches 2 years old, you've noticed his rapidly improvingcoordination, his increased attention span, and his better grasp of theworld around him. As he enters his 21st month, you’ll see those skillsbecoming even more refined and polished.

Around this age, your toddler is also making a bid for more independence. Encourage that do-it-myself spirit byletting him tackle some of his own chores, like brushing his teeth orgathering his toys.

The role of play.At this age, playing is your toddler's most important activity and the mainway he'll learn to function in the world. He may be self-centered rightnow, but he’s slowly mastering the social skills he’ll use later on. Takeadvantage of this developmental phase with these strategies:

• Use simple commands.Your toddler is starting to understand simple commands, which makes formore interesting play. Practice giving your toddler two-step commands like"Get your shoes and put them on" or "Pick up the toys and put them in thisbox."

• Encourage mimicking.Toddlers this age like to imitate what adults are doing, such as sweepingthe floor and raking leaves. Consider giving your toddler her own broom orrake to help out. Also show her how she can put her stuffed animal to bedthe way you do with her.

• Get outside.Going outdoors gives your toddler the chance to run, climb, and jump. Theseactivities help her become more coordinated and burn off energy. Takeadvantage of park playgrounds.

• Host playdates.Spending time with peers is the best way for your toddler to socialize. Aslong as they’re safe, let them figure out how to play together, even ifit’s more parallel play than interactive play.

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