Why Toddlers Don’t Do What They are Told

Parents with toddlers will definitely have this question asked: “Why my toddler does not listed to what I tell him to do?” Some may find it frustrating and often we label the toddler as naughty, rebellious.

Few fail to understand toddlers function differently from adult and as an adult, we always use our own benchmark to judge our toddlers.

A psychology professor, Yuko Munakata, from the University of Colorado, found during a study that focuses on cognitive development, that actually toddlers listen, but they store the information for later use. Professor Munakata said: “Suppose it is cold outside and you tell your 3-year-old to go get his jacket”, the 3-year-old will run outside, discover that it is cold first, before he retrieve the memory of where the jacket is and then go get it. Professor Munakata suggested that instead of repeating the same thing again and again to your young child, perhaps you could say: “I know you don’t want to take your coat now, but when you are standing in the yard shivering later, remember that you can get your coat from your bedroom.”

Here’s the full article: “Why Toddlers Don’t Do What They’re Told“.


Understanding Toddlers

Toddlerhood starts from the age of 1 1/2 years old until the 3rd birthday. During this time, they go through many new physical, emotional and intellectual experience. They have high energy levels, they are curious, impulsive, easily frustrated, try to exert independence and they become extremely possessive.

Toddler behaviour leaves many parents dumbfounded because toddlers plunges impulsively into activities without much thinking. Even when toddlers think, it is not logical, your explanation won’t stop him from trying, even if he has not mastered the skill yet. The developmental quirk drives toddlers behaviour that gets them into trouble and can send caregivers to the brink.

There are many toddlers’ behaviours that we adult simply don’t understand:

  1. Why can’t toddlers walk from A to B without being distracted by a leaf?
  2. Why isn’t the green cup as good as the blue cup?
  3. Why do toddlers snatch?
  4. Why do toddlers always want what their brother or sister is playing with?

Fundamentally, toddlers think in different ways from older children and adults, we can’t blame them, that’s just the way their brains are wired, simply because they are still in an early stage of cognitive development and their brains are only half-finished.

If you step into a toddler’s brain and look inside, you will make more sense on each toddler’s behaviour. This article “Toddlers’ brains: how toddlers think“, explains toddlers’ behaviour from the brain development perspective.

Some challenging toddlers behaviour is developmentally correct. The same toddler behaviour the child needs to developmentally advance to the next level are the very ones that can get him into trouble. As a child goes from dependence into independence, some behaviours are simply a by-product of the child’s need to become an independent individual. The bad “Stubborn” behaviour is also what help your child get up after a fall and try again.

Here’s another good article that decode some of the maddening toddlers’ tactics and ways to deal with them. “How Toddlers Really Think: Understanding and Reasoning 101“.

Age 2 Week 5 & 6 – Ocean Theme

Theme: Ocean

Values: Behaviour


1. Feed the Shark




2. Numbers Recognition

2a. Number Trace >> Go To Page 8

3. Counting

3a. Ocean Numbers Peg

3b. Ocean Count & Clip >> Go To Ocean Part 1, Page 28 to 31

3c. Count the Animals >> Go To Page 3

3d. Count the Fish in the Sea >> Go To Page 30 to 32

3e. Fishing Games

Shapes & Colors

4. Find & Trace the Shape >> Go To Page 23

5. Sea Animals Color Match >> Go To Page 17


See Feed the Shark & Fishing Games above

General Knowledge & Others


6. Fun Facts about Ocean

7. Ocean Vs Land Animal >> Go To Part 1 of the Ocean Preschool Pack, Page 7

8. Find the Difference

8a. Which One is Different? >> Go To Page 26

9. Shadow Match

9a. Ocean Shadow Match


DIY Books



Week 3 & 4 – Transportation Theme

Theme: Transportation

Values: Daily Habits



1. Alphabet Car Parking Lot

2. Alphabet Train

3. Alphabet Tunnel

4. Alphabet Delivery Truck

5. Alphabet Tracing



6. Counting

6a. Numbers Count & Clip >> Go To Part 1 of the Transportation Preschool Pack, Page 10 to 12

6b. Number Match >> Go To Page 4 & 5 (Download is free but need register)

6c. Transportation Clip Card >> Go To Page 3 to 6

6d. Counting to 10, 2 Pieces Puzzle >> Go To Page 7 to 11

6e. Train Number Match >> Go To Train Number Quantity Matching 1 – 5

6f. Counting Vehicles on the Road >> Go To Page 24 (Download is free but need register)

6g. Ice Cream Vehicle Number Match

Shapes & Colors

7. Shapes/Colors Car Parking Lot – – Variation from Alphabet Parking Lot

8. Shapes/Colors Delivery Truck – – Variation from Alphabet Delivery Truck

9. Shapes/Colors Tunnel – – Variation from Alphabet Tunnel


10. See Alphabet & Shapes/Color section above

General Knowledge & Others


11. Match Community Helpers with Their Transportation

12. Left Vs Right >> Go To Part 2 of the Transportation Preschool Pack, Page 4

13. Shadow Match

13a. On the Road Shadow Match

13b. Transportation Shadow Match >> Go To Part 1 of the Transportation Preschool Pack, Page 8 & 9

13c. Silhouette Matching Game

14. Puzzle

14a. Transportation Puzzle >> Go To Part 1 of the Transportation Preschool Pack, Page 13

14b. Transportation Puzzles

15. Size Sequencing

15a. Sequencing Buses >> Go To Part 2 of the Transportation Preschool Pack, Page 8

15b. Size Matching >> Go To Page 9


DIY Mini Book


Other DIY Books



Age 2 Week 1 & 2 – Farm Theme

Theme: Farm

Values: Greetings




1. Numbers Recognition

1a. Number Trace >> Go To Page 5

2. Counting

2a. Farm Numbers Peg

2b. Numbers Clip >> Go To Page 9

2c. Farm Animals Numbers Clip >> Go To Farm Pack Part 1, Pages 24 – 26

2d. Eggs Numbers Match

2e. Count the Animal >> Go To Page 3

2f. Count the Animals >> Go To Page 22. Note: Download is free but need to register

3. Before & After Number Match

3a. Chicken & Egg Before & After Number Match

Shapes & Color


4. Shape Match

4a. Animal & Barn Shape Match >> Go To Page 6

4b. Pig Shape Match

4c. Shape Tractor >> Go To Preschool Pack Shapetractor.pdf

4d. Shape Tracing >> Go To Farm Tot Pack 2, Pages 24 & 25


5. Peel Hard Boil Eggs

6. Flip an Egg

Farm Motor Skill 1

General Knowledge

7. Farm or not Farm Animals Sorting

8. Clean or Not Clean Farm Animal Sorting >> Go To Farm Pack Part 1 Page 12

9.  Farm Products >> Go To Preschool Pack Farm Puzzle – Where They Come From.pdf

10. Farm Adult Vs Baby



11. Find the Difference

11a. Find the Difference >> Go To Farm Pack Part 1 Pages 6 & 7

11b. Find the Difference >> Go To Farm Tot Pack 2 Pages 10 & 11

11c. Which 1 is Different? >> Go To Page 10

12. Puzzle

12a. Farm Animal Puzzle >> Go To Farm Pack Part 1 Pages 18 to 21

12b. Farm Animal Puzzle >> Go To Tot Pack Pages 7 to 10

13. Farm Animals Sound

13a. Farm Animals Sound >> Go To Farm Pack Part 1 Pages 22 & 23

14. Size Sorting

14a. Farm Animal Size Sorting >> Go To Farm Pack 3 Pages 4 & 5

15b. Farm Animals Size Sorting >> Go To Page 8

16. Shadow Match

16a. Farm Animal Shadow Match >> Go To Farm Pack 3 Pages 2 & 3

17. Farm Animals Masks