What's going on? Between 18 months and 3 years is a magical period of development for a toddler. He's beyond the rattle and working hard to master skills he'll need later. "Play is how kids are trying to understand the world around them," says Lydia Soifer, Ph.D., executive director of Children's Development and Education Foundation. "It's linked to many other abilities that are developing at the same time -- social and language skills, cognitive and emotional growth."
Indeed, play isn't merely a game -- it's a job that consumes your toddler's every waking hour. Here's what you can expect:
Julie Tilsner is the author of Planet Parenthood, out next month.