chapter  6
23 Pages

Imitation and toddlers’ achievement of co-ordinated action with others

WithCarol O. Eckerman

This chapter focuses on the new achievements in toddlers' abilities to generate co-ordinated action that occur toward the end of the second and into the third year of life as toddlers become full participants in generating novel forms of co-ordinated action with others. It explores how the transition from ritualized to non-ritualized co-ordinated action comes about and emphasizes the multiple roles that imitation plays in the transition. The chapter describes the end of the second year of life toddlers begin to readily imitate their partners' non-verbal play actions in social encounters and this imitation of others' actions is the major way toddlers first form co-ordinated responses in non-ritualized play. It explains imitating another's play actions functions in contemporaneous social interaction to generate diverse and complex forms of extended bouts of co-ordinated action. The chapter shows the imitation of others' play actions as a developmentally mature way of behaving during the transition between ritualized and non-ritualized co-ordinated action.