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CDA Infant & Toddlers Practice Test

Welcome to our Child Development Associate (CDA) Infant and Toddler Practice Test. This resource is designed to help early childhood educators prepare for the CDA credential focusing on the unique developmental stages of infants and toddlers. Each question reflects essential knowledge and skills crucial for nurturing the young minds and bodies during this foundational period.

Physical Development in Infants and Toddlers

Subtopic Overview: Physical development for infants and toddlers includes milestones in motor skills, both gross (large muscle movements) and fine (small muscle movements). It's about how young children start to explore their world through crawling, walking, grasping, and feeding themselves.

Types of Questions and Skills Tested:

  • Gross Motor Skills: Identifying signs of readiness for milestones like sitting, crawling, and walking. Questions test understanding of how to support these developmental stages through play and interaction.

  • Fine Motor Skills: Recognizing activities that encourage the development of hand-eye coordination, such as holding small toys or using utensils, to foster independence and exploration.

1. Which activity supports an infant's gross motor development?
A) Completing simple puzzles
B) Tummy time on a safe surface
C) Listening to lullabies
D) Watching colorful mobiles

Answer & Explanation: (B) Tummy time on a safe surface. This activity strengthens neck, back, and shoulder muscles, laying the foundation for crawling and walking.

2. How can caregivers best encourage fine motor skills in toddlers?
A) Providing large floor puzzles
B) Offering crayons for scribbling
C) Reading storybooks together
D) Singing nursery rhymes

Answer & Explanation: (B) Offering crayons for scribbling. Scribbling with crayons enhances fine motor control and encourages creativity and self-expression.

Cognitive Development in Infants and Toddlers

Subtopic Overview: Cognitive development in this stage involves learning about the environment through exploration and interaction. It includes problem-solving, understanding cause and effect, memory development, and the beginnings of symbolic thought.

Types of Questions and Skills Tested:

  • Exploration and Curiosity: Questions might cover how to create a safe, stimulating environment that encourages exploration and sensory learning.

  • Problem-Solving and Memory: Identifying activities that promote these skills, such as simple hide-and-seek games or puzzles suitable for toddlers, to understand cognitive growth.

3. What signifies cognitive development in infants?
A) Memorizing simple songs
B) Reacting to peek-a-boo games
C) Running in straight lines
D) Using complete sentences


Answer & Explanation: (B) Reacting to peek-a-boo games. This response demonstrates an understanding of object permanence, a key cognitive milestone.

4. Which is a sign of problem-solving skills in toddlers?
A) Clapping hands to music
B) Showing preference for certain toys
C) Using objects for their intended purpose
D) Sleeping through the night

Answer & Explanation: (C) Using objects for their intended purpose. This behavior indicates an understanding of cause and effect, and the ability to solve problems through experimentation.

Language Development in Infants and Toddlers

Subtopic Overview: Language development includes the progression from cooing and babbling in infancy to using words and simple sentences in toddlerhood. It encompasses both understanding (receptive language) and being understood (expressive language).


Types of Questions and Skills Tested:

  • Vocalization and Early Words: Assessing strategies to encourage vocal play, babbling, and the use of first words.

  • Understanding and Expressing Needs: Questions may focus on recognizing and fostering early communication efforts, including gestures, signs, and spoken words.

5. How can caregivers promote language development in infants?
A) Encouraging independent play
B) Speaking in full, complex sentences
C) Narrating daily activities and labeling objects
D) Limiting verbal interaction

Answer & Explanation: (C) Narrating daily activities and labeling objects. This practice enriches vocabulary and models language use.


6. What demonstrates advanced language development in toddlers?
A) Recognizing their name
B) Following two-step directions
C) Holding a crayon correctly
D) Walking backwards

Answer & Explanation: (B) Following two-step directions. This skill shows both understanding of language and the ability to apply it in actions.

Social-Emotional Development in Infants and Toddlers

Subtopic Overview: Social-emotional development involves forming close relationships, expressing and managing emotions, and developing self-awareness and empathy. It's crucial for building trust and security.


Types of Questions and Skills Tested:

  • Attachment and Trust: Understanding the importance of responsive caregiving to develop secure attachments.

  • Emotion Regulation: Recognizing strategies to help infants and toddlers navigate their emotions and social interactions.

7. What behavior is typical of social-emotional development in infants?
A) Solving complex puzzles
B) Smiling in response to familiar faces
C) Reciting numbers 1-10
D) Jumping with both feet

Answer & Explanation: (B) Smiling in response to familiar faces. This reaction indicates the beginning of social awareness and attachment.

8. How do toddlers typically demonstrate developing empathy?
A) By sharing toys without prompting
B) Showing distress when another child cries
C) Completing age-appropriate puzzles
D) Running errands for caregivers

Answer & Explanation: (B) Showing distress when another child cries. This response suggests an emerging sense of empathy and concern for others.

This practice test offers a glimpse into the multifaceted world of infant and toddler development, aiming to prepare early childhood educators for the CDA credential with a focus on nurturing the youngest learners.

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