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Why Kids Love Change

If anyone loves consistency and order, it's a toddler. But now yours is starting to notice that his world is changing -- and he's loving it. His sister's getting bigger! Daddy shaves in the morning, but he's got stubble by bedtime!

"Around age three, there's a burst of language development that is key to remembering things and, in turn, identifying change," says Erik Fisher, Ph.D., a child psychologist in Atlanta. Your child remembers the flower you plucked last week and sees that now it's droopy. Concepts like object permanence (it's the same flower from last week), time (last week the flower looked different), and cause and effect (when a flower's cut, it shrivels up in a few days) are all working together to help him make sense of the change.

You can feed his fascination by making new connections with him, says Fisher. Get into the "why": For example, as you cook an egg, explain that the heat turns the liquid white solid. Other ideas to get you started:

Show and Tell:
Look at pictures of a sibling or cousin at different ages and ask him what changes he sees.
Make chocolate milk:
Let your child squirt chocolate syrup into a glass of milk and stir it for a tasty demo of how mixing colors makes a new one.

Chase a shadow: Mark where shadows are cast in the morning, then check back later as the shifting sun makes them pop up somewhere else.

Grow something: Plant seeds with him. As the plant grows, he'll soon see that he's helping to make the change happen.