The best books on toddler development and behavior

The Books I Picked & Why

Touchpoints-Birth to Three

By T. Berry Brazelton, Joshua D. Sparrow

Touchpoints-Birth to Three

Why this book?

T. Berry Brazelton has been recognized as an expert on parenting and child development. I used to eagerly wait to read his newspaper column that offered concise advice on child care. In this book, Brazelton covers the milestones of typical development and he discusses common concerns of this age range. Although this book focuses on emotional and behavioral development, his background in pediatrics allows him to write about physical development as well. You will learn, in detail, what to expect of young children up to age three in this comprehensive book.


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The Power of Play: How Spontaneous, Imaginative Activities Lead to Happier, Healthier Children

By David Elkind

The Power of Play: How Spontaneous, Imaginative Activities Lead to Happier, Healthier Children

Why this book?

I had a hard time choosing between this book and Elkind’s bestseller, The Hurried Child. David Elkind has a special gift for understanding both the importance and magic of early childhood. Current research reinforces the critical importance of play in young children’s growth and development. The author recognizes that young children are currently being raised in environments that are stressing academic achievement and technological advances. He makes a strong case that play is not a luxury but rather a necessity for the healthy development of toddlers and all young children.


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Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs

By Ellen Galinsky

Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs

Why this book?

There are many opinions and schools of thought on how to best raise and care for young children. The author lays her discussion firmly on the solid foundation of research. Beyond academic skills or ability, Ms. Galinsky identifies seven skills that will lead to the child’s success in the future. Skills such as making connections or critical thinking need to be fostered for a child to do well in school as well as in interactions and endeavors later in life. This book is sometimes used as a text in college classes. And yet, parents will easily find this content accessible with concrete ideas to develop these essential life skills.


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From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development

By Deborah A. Phillips, Jack P. Shonkoff

From Neurons to Neighborhoods: The Science of Early Childhood Development

Why this book?

What are the biggest impacts on a child’s development? This book takes a close look at both nature (genetics) and nurture (the environment). I find that this book is an informative review of what we have learned about early brain development. The influence of experience and culture on the developing child is looked at through the development of the brain. After reading this book, you will have a renewed understanding of just how critical the early years of child development are. It is easy to see that this is a time of extraordinary growth and change and your role as a parent or educator takes significant meaning and implications.


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Understanding Toddlers & Twos: Winning Ways for Early Childhood Professionals

By Gigi Schweikert

Understanding Toddlers & Twos: Winning Ways for Early Childhood Professionals

Why this book?

This book is part of a trilogy that offers valuable insights and strategies for caring for young children. Readers will gain an understanding of toddler development and behavior. The author also covers techniques for promoting positive connections with adults and responding to the child’s individual needs.


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