Development Milestones and Activities for Two Years Old
At two years old, your little trooper is becoming more and more independent. Your child may start to show eagerness to do things without your assistance.
Toddlerhood is both fun and exciting for parents and kids. You may observe your child being more active and looking more like a child than a baby.
Your toddler needs your support during these development years, so keep yourself abreast with your child's developmental milestones and appropriate activities.
If you want to read more information regarding child development and developmental milestones, check out the Parent's Guide to Understanding Child Development
To guide you as you watch your child's development in the areas of cognition, social and emotions, language, and physical, here are the developmental milestones expected from your 2-year-old toddler.
You may also download and print your copy of the Tiny Steps Developmental Milestones and Activities – 2 Years Old Checklist for your convenience.
Developmental Milestones and Recommended Activities
Expect a lot of walking, running, and climbing as your child becomes familiar yet curious in his/her environment. Your little explorer also becomes more comfortable around his peers and other adults. Here are other milestones you can look forward to during your child's second year.
- Finds hidden things under two to three covers
Your child's seeking skill is up to another level. At two, he/she can find objects even if two or more things cover them.
- Starts to sort by shapes and colors
From twelve to eighteen months old, your child starts to recognize and learn about colors. By age two, your little bub may begin to sort toys or things according to their colors and shapes.
- Can complete sentences and rhymes in books that are often read
When you make a habit of reading a book to your child, he/she become familiar with the words and pictures. Soon, he/she will be able to complete the phrases, sentences, and rhymes in the books.
- Plays pretend and make-believe games
Your child continues to do imaginative play, depending on his/her area of interest. You may notice your child copying his/her parent cooking or working on a laptop.
- Can build towers at least four or more blocks
Your child's stacking skills are improving too. His/her towers begin to get taller.
- Uses one hand dominantly
During activities, you will notice your child using one hand most of the time. At this time, you will know whether your child is right-handed or left-handed.
- Can follow two-step instructions
Two-step instructions like "Pick up the toy and put it in the box."
- Can name items in picture books
Your child remembers the characters and objects, and books. He/she can point or even say their names.
Social and Emotional
- Copies others
Your child is a keen observer. You will see them imitating people he/she interacts with closely.
- Shows a wide range of emotions
You can expect different sets of emotions from 2-year-olds. They start to feel excited and happy to be around other kids. They can also feel frustrated or angry when they fail to do some tasks they want to accomplish.
- Shows more independence
Your child starts to gain confidence and begin to assert some level of independence. Your child may show initiative to eat on his own, choose his/her clothes, and pack away his/her toys.
- Shows defiant behavior
Your toddler may start to say "No" and insist on doing as he/she wishes. He may be rebellious or misbehaving because he/she is testing social interactions, insistent on exploring his/her environment or copying a modeled behavior.
- Starts to play with other children
When your toddler was younger, he/she tends not to play alongside with other kids, but at two, he/she may already be playing with other kids.
- Points to things, people, or pictures named
Your child's vocabulary is expanding. He can associate the names to the people and around him/her.
- Knows the names of people and body parts
Your child becomes familiar to his family, caregivers, and even close friends. He/she is also able to point and say the name of common body parts.
- Can say two to four word-sentences
Your little bub can already converse and communicate in short phrases or even sentences.
- Can follow simple instructions
Your child can already understand and follow simple directions.
- Copies and repeats words heard
Be careful with your words because your child can easily pick up all the words you say.
- Stands on tiptoe
Your child is mastering how to balance his weight. He can stand on tiptoe and even stand with only one leg.
- Throws and kicks a ball
Your toddler is becoming more active and playful. He/she is now learning and having fun throwing and kicking the ball around the house and yard.
- Starts to run
Get ready! Your toddler may soon or maybe already running around.
- Climbs onto furniture without assistance
Your child's muscles are getting stronger, allowing them to climb onto furniture such as the couch or table.
- Walks up and down stairs holding on
Your child to be able to navigate the stairs with little or no assistance at all.
- Makes or copies straight lines and round shapes
Some children already show interest in holding pencils or crayons. You may notice that his/her scribbles become more defined.
- Create and maintain a loving and safe environment that your child can explore in.
- Continue with the established routine.
- Praise good behaviors.
- Encourage your child to do simple chores.
- Let your child play alongside other kids. Your child may not play with other children at this time. Just ensure that there are many toys the kids can play with.
- Teach your child about animals, body parts, and other topics of interest.
- State things correctly instead of highlighting the mistake.
- Encourage your child to speak word instead of pointing.
- Play hide and seek.
- Encourage your child to do puzzles with shapes, colors, or farm animals.
- Provide educational toys.
- Do art activities together.
- Ask your child to open doors and flip pages of books.
- Ask your child to carry small objects when he/she can walk steadily.
- Let your child walk, run, and climb in a safe environment.
When to Talk to Your Doctor
While children vary in their development pace, talk to your doctor if you notice any delay or have any concerns about your child's progress. Here are some signals that your child may need additional support and intervention.
- Does not say phrases
- Does not know what common or familiar things are for
- Does not copy actions and words
- Does not/cannot follow simple instructions
- Does not walk steadily
- Loses skills he/she once had
We will share the development milestone and recommended activities for the 3-year-old toddler in our next blog post.
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