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Why Toddlers Love to Pull

Rishikesh Krishnan, 2, pulls his toy duck behind him wherever he goes. "He also recently insisted on 'helping' me with the groceries by dragging a loaf of bread into the house," says his mom, Nisha, of Rochester, MN.

What is it about the seemingly humdrum act of pulling that toddlers find fascinating? "It's about control," says Karen Shanor, Ph.D., a psychologist in Washington, DC. "It's exhilarating for them to discover this power  -- that if they pull something, it'll follow."

Playing with pull toys also contributes to motor-sensory development, says Shanor.

By around 6 months, babies have learned that if they drop something, it falls; figuring out how to work their muscles in order to drag something is the next step. It's a lesson your toddler can't get from simply pushing a button on a toy.

Just keep an eye on your toddler while she's pulling, in case she trips or gets tangled up. Before you know it, she'll be moving on to the next big toddler crazes  -- pushing and climbing.