Imitation is a powerful way toddlers learn from others. Instead of simply manipulating household objects as they did during the first 12 months, children start brushing their hair and babbling into the phone. Because toddlers are great imitators, they are eager to “help” their caregivers as they do work around the house, mow the lawn, go grocery shopping, or make dinner. They particularly enjoy spending time with older children, and imitate the behaviors they observe. Toddlers will also imitate actions they see other people do, including people they see on television.
Asendorph, J. B., Warkentin, V., & Baudonniere, P. (1996). Self awareness and other awareness. II: Mirror self-recognition, social contingency awareness, and synchronic imitation. Developmental Psychology, 32, 313