And How To Encourage Your Bright Toddler
GIFTED TODDLER ASSESMENT – 18 QUESTIONS (5 Mins)
These scientifically backed questions are designed to pick up on even tiny indications that your child is gifted. It takes no more than 5 minutes to complete this test and find out if your toddler shows signs and characteristics of being gifted. You need to find out now and start encouraging their natural talents to reach their potential before it’s too late.
Time to complete: Approx 5mins.
1. Did your child develop their language skills at an earlier age than other kids around them? Examples would be using more words and forming grammatically correct sentences. (YES / NO).
2. Can your child understand simple addition and subtraction? (YES / NO).
3. Does your child ask lots of questions throughout the day? (YES / NO).
4. Are they extremely curious about the world around them? (YES / NO).
5. Can your child read some words from storybooks? (YES / NO).
6. Can your child use a phone/tablet independently? (YES / NO).
7. Does your child understand some elements of humor? (YES / NO).
8. Can your toddler write letters, numbers, words or maybe even their own name? (YES / NO).
9. Does your child talk to themselves during tasks/playtime? (YES / NO).
10. Can your child recall memories that you wouldn’t expect? For example where a relative lives? (YES / NO).
11. Does your child display an interest in musical instruments? (YES / NO).
12. Could your child complete simple jigsaw / other puzzles? (YES / NO).
13. Does your child show talent beyond their years in something that would be considered unusual in other children? (YES / NO).
14. Can your child recognize their own name written down? (YES / NO).
15. Does your child show interest in math, such as times tables, etc? (YES / NO).
16. Does your child show an exceptional physical talent for their age? (YES / NO).
17. Does your child ask unusual questions for their age? (YES / NO).
18. Can your child understand the concepts of love and family relationships? (YES / NO).
CALCULATING YOUR TODDLER’S RESULTS
This test tries to pick out the toddlers in need of nurture for their natural talents.
Even if your toddler doesn’t score in the gifted range. Don’t give up hope, as some toddlers are late bloomers. Whatever their score. Educational support is crucial at this time in their lives to future success.
To score the test, please count up the number of times you have answered YES to any of the above questions. The total amount of YES answers is the overall score.
If your score is 7 or Lower:
Your child does not show enough signs that they would be considered gifted at this age. This may be due to their age or the fact that they are a late bloomer, so they should be tested again in the future as some children develop gifts at later stages.
If your score is between 8 and 14:
Your child has many signs of being gifted. This a great time to work with your child and encourage their abilities.
Working with them now, you may be able to boost their abilities even more. Their future educational success may depend on how much extra attention from you that they get in the coming years.
If your score is 15+:
Congratulations! Your child shows strong signs of being gifted. They are ahead of the pack in terms of development for their age and if you put in the work now to encourage them then there’s no telling what they might achieve in later life.
Take the time to nurture their gifts now, you have been given an amazing opportunity.
15 EASY WAYS TO INSPIRE YOUR GIFTED / INTELLIGENT TODDLER
1. READ TO THEM
Good reading skills are so important that it is the one skill that can positively influence most of the others on this list. Reading for your child represents part of the language center in their brains.
Gifted children often display increased development in their language skills. This is why we need to push them to develop their reading skills further. The other reason is that as they grow older a higher than average reading ability will allow them to excel in other skills. Skilled readers are able to teach themselves.
IMPROVING READING SKILLS
1. Build a specific time to read everyday into your routine. It will mean that no matter how busy you get it wont be forgotten. I read a book to my toddlers every night before bed.
2. See this article from Kids Health about Toddler Reading Time.
2. ENCOURAGE THEIR MATHS SKILLS
I know math isn’t everyone’s favorite subject at school, but it is such a key one. Natural numerical skill doesn’t have to be something that we are born with, it can be taught and learned.
If you have a negative view of math as a subject, it’s important not to pass on that feeling. Try to stay positive around math, maybe you can re-learn those math skills that you used to struggle with and turn it into a bonding experience.
Math is another one of those subjects that links so well into so many other subjects. It’s needed for subjects like physics, engineering, etc. That’s why it is so important to encourage these skills at this young age. Luckily we can weave in maths skills into everyday life.
Have your 3 year old add prices at the grocery store, they could take off coupons from the price at the till, or simply add up the numbers of items in the basket. You need to make it fun. You could also sit down with them and show them simple math problems and work through them together, they will thrive on the attention.
IMPROVING MATH SKILLS
1. Have your toddler add up the number of items in your basket at the grocery store.
2. Count how many dogs you see while walking in the park.
3. Read this article from Zerotothree about Developing your toddler’s early math skills.
3. DEVELOP THEIR SOCIAL SKILLS
Gifted children are more likely to struggle with their social skills (1).
This means it’s important to focus on developing good socializing skills for gifted toddlers . Make sure they are having enough time to learn how to socialize with other children their age, they can do this by having them join activity groups or even just at the playground in the local park.
Having them interact with children and adults who are older than them is also a good idea. Make sure it’s with supervision so their interactions are appropriate.
Sometimes gifted children struggle to connect to children their own age. Playing and interacting with children slightly older than them will boost their development and give them some encouragement to aim higher.
4. ENCOURAGE YOUR TODDLER’S INTERESTS
One important aspect of encouraging your gifted child is to help encourage their interests. The spark in their eye and the constant effort to understand everything around them should be rewarded.
They might be obsessed with trains, planes, or buses. They might memorize every dinosaur name, or know everything there is to know about horses. They might be into baking or cake making.
Patience and time to indulge their exploration of their hobby is the key to encouraging their gift. Buy them books, take them on trips and chat with them about their interests. By encouraging their obsession you are allowing them to learn a subject deeply. They are learning to teach themselves about a subject, which will be very useful for them in the future.
5. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF LEARNING RESOURCES IN YOUR COMMUNITY
There are so many learning resources all around you in the community to take advantage of. Think about all the museums, art galleries, plays, concerts, and aquariums. They can all fire your 2 / 3 year old toddler’s imagination and spark so many conversations that can lead to learning experiences.
You can’t go to an aquarium without them excited to learn all about fish, you can’t go to a concert without them wanting to take up a musical instrument as soon as they leave the venue. This is what you should encourage, community resources like this give them exposure to ideas and experiences that they wouldn’t have through their everyday lives.
Another community resource that you should take advantage of is your local library. It’s so much more than just books, they have music and films. The library is a hub of activities, it’s a place for people to meet, groups and activity days. It’s a great resource that is sadly underused in most communities. Take your toddler and go explore what your local library has to offer.
6. ENCOURAGE THEM TO ASK QUESTIONS
I don’t think I have to tell you just how often your 2 / 3 year old will ask you questions everyday.
A study found that on average a four year old asked 390 questions in one day (2). That’s one question every 1 minute 56 seconds! I know that is a lot of questions and yes it does get tiring, but it’s so important that you filter out the less important ones and spend some time trying to answer the more important ones.
Why is the sky blue? Why do I have to sleep? … the list could go on. These types of questions are the ones you should be exploring with your 2 / 3 year old. If you don’t know the answer, that’s fine. Find it out together, your toddler is going to learn so much just watching how you find out answers to these questions. We should be encouraging our gifted children to ask the right questions and they will go very far in life.
HOW TO DEAL WITH ALL THESE QUESTIONS?
You could create a little reference library in your home that your toddler has access to. It could have a visual encyclopedia, a simple dictionary and books about subjects they love, like birds or dinosaurs. This will encourage them to find out some information by themselves, which is a very important skill to learn.
7. ENCOURAGE PLAY
Sometimes playtime for your 2 / 3 year old can seem unimportant.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
If you watch your toddler during playtime you will notice that they sometimes recreate real social situations with toys as stand in actors. They will also switch roles for themselves so they can see things from different perspectives. Play is a time for your child to act out their ideas and thoughts about the world around them. It helps them organize the world in their developing minds.
8. INTRODUCE THEM TO SCIENCE
Science is another fundamental subject that your gifted child should have exposure to. Thankfully science can be so fun that it can naturally attract children from a young age.
Being a toddler at 2 / 3 years old is the ideal time to be creating experiments that produce goo, studying small insects, and using pasta to construct bridges. Science can fire up their imagination and teach them important problem-solving skills.
FUN SCIENCE ACTIVITIES TO INSPIRE YOUR TODDLER
Check out this great list of 20 Science Activities for Toddlers.
9. LET THEIR CREATIVITY FLOW THROUGH ART
2 / 3 year old toddlers love art. They have a natural spark for it. Adults tend to think of art as just drawing or painting but children know better, they know art as finger painting, play-doh, collage, origami, and more.
Gifted children will love to let their imagination run free. Art is such a positive outlet for some children and can show a level of intelligence maybe not as apparent in their other academic work. It’s important to help your toddler explore their artistic side as this is where they might naturally excel.
Intelligence comes in many forms. One of which is creative intelligence. Your child may not have exceptional math skills but be a creative genius.
10. EXPOSE THEM TO NEW IDEAS
New ideas are all around us, but sometimes our 2 / 3 year old toddlers haven’t been exposed to a hobby or activity which may become their lifelong passion. I’m sure you can relate, I think we all as adults have had this experience.
Think of a hobby / passion you have in your life and think of the first time you experienced it, I bet you had no idea that it was something that you would enjoy for such a long period of time. It takes a lot of experimenting with many different activities to find the ones that fire up your passion. This means you should let your gifted child explore their interests to see what could develop.
FINDING A HOBBY
1. 40 Unique Hobbies for Kids
11. NURTURE THEIR INTERESTS
Once your gifted child has found their passion, you should nurture their interest in it. Encourage them and take an active interest in the passion yourself. Share it with them and you can enjoy it together.
Spend time helping them learn more about their passion and help them develop their skill at it. Learning something new will help expand both of your brains and will be a lovely bonding experience.
12. HELP THEM TAKE CONTROL OF THEIR OWN LEARNING
Gifted children should be encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning as much as possible. If they are truly gifted then you should let them lead the way. It helps them develop skills in scheduling their time and teaches them the important skill of learning how to learn.
As parents, we won’t always have the time to spoon-feeding them every drop of information that they will learn in their lifetimes. We need to prepare them to be resilient and independent in their learning adventure.
13. THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ACHIEVEMENT AND MOTIVATION
In our society, achievement is preferred above everything else.
Achievement is important but motivation and perseverance are far more important.
If you can encourage your 3 year old to take their time and not give up when it comes to overcoming a difficult problem then you will be helping them to learn an extremely important skill which will benefit them for the rest of their lives.
It is so important to reward hard work rather than achievement if you want the best for your gifted toddler. If your toddler doesn’t try hard at a test and still receives good marks which they are then praised for, this can then set a bad example for the future.
Toddlers won’t always succeed in everything they try, but if we reward them for seriously trying their hardest then they will always work hard. Which will never be a bad thing.
14. DON’T OVER SCHEDULE
Having a gifted child, it can be tempting to fill their daily schedule with all types of fun and educational activities. Just remember, as an adult, children need downtime too. Time for them to relax and let their minds rest and make sense of their day.
They don’t need to be occupied for the whole day to get the most out of it, there is a certain point where they will reach the limit for what knowledge they can absorb in a single day.
15. DON’T BROADCAST THEIR INTELLIGENCE
I know it’s tempting to want to shout about their great and new found intelligence to everyone who wants to hear about it. I get it, they are your little miracle and that makes you so proud.
Just be careful not to brag about it too much as this puts pressure on your child to perform well, even if you don’t tell them directly. Reward them for hard work and let their results speak for themselves!
HOW TO NURTURE YOUR GIFTED TODDLER
My sister’s 3 year old toddler, grabbed my arm and squeezed. She smiled at me and asked me a question that startled me.
“Do you have batteries for your car?”
I smiled back and explained that my car ran on gas and not on batteries like her toy ones. Then she corrected me.
“No, like electric cars“. I couldn’t believe it, she knew about electric cars. I had underestimated her.
Your toddler is soaking up every little bit of information the world around them. Your toddler might astound you every day with their thoughtful questions, but some toddlers will be leaps ahead of the others.
These are the toddlers who could be gifted. It’s important to recognize this gift as soon as possible so it can be nurtured and encouraged. Around this time in their lives at 3 years old, gifted children start to pull away from the pack, whether they were born with it or they learn it.
Some children are destined to grow into extremely successful and intelligent adults if they have the right support at the right time
If your toddler is a gifted child. It’s important to recognize their gifted abilities now.
If they show even the slightest spark of above average intelligence then they need to be encouraged now and given the chance that they deserve. It will set them on their path to future success.
If you think there is even a chance of your child being gifted then you need to start encouraging their talents now. All too frequently gifted toddlers can slip through the educational cracks at school. Early intervention and encouragement can make a big difference in successfully nurturing their special talent.
Highly gifted children are frequently placed at risk in the early years of school through misidentification, inappropriate grade-placementM. Gross (Roeper Review Research Publication)
anda seriously inadequate curriculum.
Parents of gifted children are usually the first to know about it, they know their kids inside out and they can tell when their little one is saying and doing things that are above the normal standards.
Unfortunately, schools are unlikely to take your opinion on the subject and will look for more classic academic signs of giftedness.
This is why it is important to recognize their talents now when they are 2 / 3 years old and get them to develop successfully in the areas tested at schools so they can access programs for gifted students.
The very early development of speech, movementM. Gross (Roeper Review Research Publication)
andreading in many highly gifted young children serves as a powerful predictor of unusually high intellectual ability.