Do toddlers and chimpanzees have anything in common? Yes, they both have a basic tool kit for solving problems.
As it turns out, there’s an instinct for using tools.
Toddlers between two and three and a half years old, use tools from their environment in order to solve problems, just as wild chimps and orangutans do.
Interestingly, the most common primate behavior such as using a stick to fish for termites is also a skill seen in toddlers who use tools to get what they want.
Chimps don’t use rocks to open nuts and toddlers don’t use toys to bash other toys open to see what’s inside.
What does this research tell us?
It tells us that humans have a natural ability to manipulate and understand the natural world. Toddlers need an environment filled with items that will encourage them to explore and enhance this understanding.
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