An Experts Guide on Recognising and Supporting Toddler Development

Supporting Toddler Development

An interview with Paediatric Physio, Wendy Astbury from Junction Road Physiotherapy.

Wendy, a paediatric physiotherapist from Junction Road Physio, shares the signs parents should look out for when their toddlers might be struggling with certain activities.

Understanding Avoidance Behaviour in Toddlers

Wendy highlighted a key point that parents often overlook: when a toddler avoids a particular activity, it can be a sign that they're having trouble developing the necessary skills for that activity. "If a child's avoiding a specific activity or type of activity, it's usually a sign they're having trouble developing the skills they need for that activity," Wendy explained.

Common Signs at the Playground

Playgrounds are a great place to observe your toddler's development. Wendy shared some common signs that might indicate developmental challenges:

  1. Avoiding Climbing: If your toddler is hesitant to climb on the playground equipment, it might be a sign of muscle strength issues.
  2. Steering Clear of Spinning Equipment: Avoidance of equipment that requires balance, like spinning rides, could suggest balance issues.
  3. Reluctance to Run Around: A toddler who doesn't want to run and play might be struggling with overall physical coordination.

Identifying Muscle Strength and Balance Issues

When toddlers avoid these types of activities, it often points to underlying issues such as muscle strength or balance. Wendy stressed the importance of identifying these challenges early. "We need to figure out how to help them develop those skills," she said. Early intervention can make a significant difference in a child's development.

How Parents Can Help

Wendy provided some practical tips for parents to support their toddlers in overcoming these challenges:

  • Encourage Gentle Practice: Create a safe and supportive environment at home where your toddler can practice climbing and balancing activities at their own pace.
  • Engage in Playful Exercises: Incorporate fun activities that build muscle strength and balance, such as playing catch, dancing, or simple obstacle courses.
  • Seek Professional Guidance: If you notice persistent avoidance or difficulty, consider consulting a paediatric physiotherapist for tailored advice and exercises.

Understanding and supporting your toddler's development is crucial for their growth and confidence. By recognising the signs of developmental challenges and taking proactive steps, parents can help their little ones build the skills they need to thrive.

At Mizzie The Kangaroo, we're here to support you every step of the way. Our range of developmental toys is designed to aid in your child's growth and ensure they're having fun while learning essential skills.

For more expert advice and tips, follow along @mizziethekangaroo on Instagram or click here to watch more interviews with Wendy.



Often if a child's avoiding a particular activity or type of activity, it's a sign that they're having trouble developing the skills they need for that activity. So in young toddlers, at a playground for example, often you might find they're avoiding climbing or they're avoiding the spinning equipment or they just don't want to get up and run around. And so that is often a sign either there's some muscle strength issues or some balance issues and we need to figure out how to help them develop those skills.

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