Toddler Development

Imitation plays a significant role in cognitive development because of its ability to expose children to an environment where they can witness different activities and acquire skills through observation. Even in the adult phase of life, individuals use imitation to learn a new dance move or even a basketball trick to break through the defense. From this realization, imitation is a critical element of skill development because of its ability to enhance a toddler’s knowledge about new things. Children learn a lot by observing the actions of individuals in their immediate environment. For instance, toddlers learn how to speak by listening to adults in their surroundings among other activities such as gross motor movements, and interactive play behavior. Based on existing scholarly work regarding child development, imitation is a cognitive milestone that is recorded in the fourth stage of sensory-motor where children discover various activities taking place in their immediate environment.

Observation is an important aspect of imitation because of its ability to expose children to a different context where they can interact with other people through video. The medium of communication might range from a mobile phone to a TV set, which has a higher resolution and size. Strous and Troseth (2008) concluded that children who spend a lot of time watching TV tend to imitate a lot compared to their counterparts who have a limited exposure to the medium of communication. From this observation, evaluating the different contexts that toddlers can be exposed to acquire new skills and knowledge through imitation is critical in their overall growth and development.

Video-based learning introduces children to an enabling environment where they can learn from texts, moving objects, and sound. In this case, the learners are expected to utilize multiple senses to acquire the intended skill while making additional cognitive connections with people in their immediate environment. Importantly, children under five may require a certain level of specialized assistance because of their limited cognitive skills (English Standard Version Bible, 2001, Proverbs 22:6). Besides, parents should monitor the type of content that is consumed by their children to avoid exposing them to misleading information and other skills that may interfere with their perspectives towards life.

Exposing children to educational content that is age-appropriate influences their cognitive development and other elements of growth. Monitored screen time creates a positive learning experience for toddlers that exposes them to different insights and skills that shape their growth and development curve (Strous & Troseth, 2008). While toddlers may not learn a lot from interactive media, screen time captures their attention and increases their probability to acquire and imitate the various skills and knowledge being shared on the platforms. Notably, a family’s belief on screen time influences their children’s exposure to the interactive media. Besides, the element of faith in a family context influences the type of content children can consume during their screen time.

By relying on existing scholarly work regarding child development, imitation is a cognitive milestone that is recorded in the fourth stage of sensory-motor where children discover various activities taking place in their immediate environment. Imitation is an important aspect of growth and development among children because of its impact on their thought process. Even though children under five years may experience problems showing interest in educational content, increased screen time captures their attention and increases their probability to accomplish desired milestones. However, a family’s perspectives on faith determine the level of a child’s exposure to interactive content.




English Standard Version Bible. (2001). ESV Online.

Strouse, G. A., & Troseth, G. L. (2008). ‘‘Don’t try this at home”: Toddlers’ imitation of new skills from people on video. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 101(2008), 262–280. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2008.05.010

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