Gifted Toddlers and Pre-Schoolers

Presenter(s): Willeke Rol

Whenever a child takes its first step on his or her own, a new phase in development begins.  At this stage children are now free to run around , it is a time for active exploration of their environment.  Language development takes major leaps which leads to learning the names of objects of interest, the ability to ask for things and as they discover their independent nature, yes, they develop the ability to say “NO!”.

But some children go so fast, that it is sometimes difficult to keep up with them, their advantage is not recognized and some children just don’t want to go preschool, but they cannot express why: they cry, fight or won’t say a word. At home the parents see a totally different child.

Advantage in development in toddlers and pre-schoolers

An advantage in development is when the child is clearly ahead in one or more development areas, compared to its peers. A child, could for example, learn faster and see more connections, which helps him build up a lead in development. However this does not immediately qualify a child as
highly gifted.

We speak of giftedness if a child has a measured IQ of 130 or more. Yet there are different areas where you can be gifted which cannot be measured by IQ alone. For example exceptional musical abilities or an exceptional ability of solving complicated mathematical problems and or difficult puzzles. Generally gifted children score above average in most areas mentioned above.
Testing at a young age does not say much, the literature shows that better results are achieved around the age of six years, especially in task orientation and creativity.

Gifted toddlers/ pre-schoolers are smart and need more than just learning by playing whilst in preschool/kindergarten. Toddlers who are advanced in their development may be in need of new challenges and professionals who help them in their personal development.