19 - 21 Months

The rotation schema: why your toddler loves things that spin

If your toddler can’t get enough of things that spin, they’re probably working on their “rotation” schema. This is a form of play that can involve rolling balls, pushing toy cars, twirling their body, watching a pinwheel, and turning and twisting anything they can get their hands on.

What they learn from this schema play will help them later as they tackle math concepts like symmetry and geometry. It can also help develop physical skills like drawing, turning knobs, and dancing.

4 ways to support your toddler’s developing rotation schema

Watch things that spin. Put things in motion that your toddler can watch go round and round—for example, a pinwheel, a spinning top, a hula hoop, bike tires, or a fidget spinner.

Roll objects to them. Sit on the floor a few feet away from them and roll them a ball, toy car, or even a soup can or water bottle on its side.

Encourage rolling and spinning their body. Try taking them on a carousel or merry-go-round at the park, letting them roll down a gently sloped hill, or holding them in your arms and twirling them around. Toddlers love getting dizzy, as it informs their vestibular system—a sense that helps them orient their body in space.

Mix things in a bowl. Let them stir some water or dry ingredients in a mixing bowl with a spoon or whisk. For more ideas on including your toddler in the kitchen, read “Don’t buy that gorgeous wooden play kitchen just yet, by Lovevery CEO Jessica Rolph.”


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Posted in: 19 - 21 Months, 22 - 24 Months, Brain Development, Gross Motor, Cognitive Skills, Fine Motor, Play to Learn, Gross Motor, Playtime and Activities, Cognitive Development, Lovevery App, Child Development

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