Ian Ruzich of North Reading, Massachusetts, just celebrated his second birthday. Like many toddlers, he is an active, adventurous boy who is learning a lot. But his mother, Mari, wonders just how much she should be teaching him. "I wrestle with figuring out what he's ready to learn and what he's too young for," says the first-time mom.
Children in the toddler stage, generally considered ages 12 months to three years, are hands-on learners. Early childhood education expert Dr. Victoria Speaks-Folds, PhD, vice president of Education for Tutor Time Learning Systems, Inc., explains, "Toddlers learn through manipulating their immediate environment. They use their hands to try out cause and effect and their eyes and ears to absorb everything they see and hear around them."