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Read about reaching milestones: 24 to 36 months

All toddlers have their own timetable, but you can watch for certain developments in your 2-year-old. Celebrate with your child as he reaches or nears these milestones.

Cognitive

  • Figures out simple mechanical toys
  • Completes puzzles of three or four pieces
  • Sorts objects by shape and colour
  • Knows names of body parts
  • Finds things hidden under two or more layers
  • Finishes sentences in familiar books, songs, and nursery rhymes
  • Follows two- and three-part commands

Motor

  • Runs with more coordination
  • Learns to kick a ball
  • Jumps
  • Walks up and down stairs with alternating feet, while holding on
  • Pedals a tricycle
  • Throws overhand
  • May be able to stand on one leg
  • Stacks blocks three or higher
  • Unzips large zippers
  • Turns handles; opens lids
  • Uses a cup with one hand
  • Begins to hold a crayon more like an adult‘s finger positioning
  • Most are potty-trained by age 3

Communication

  • Understands most spoken words
  • Vocabulary rapidly increases, to about 300 or more words by age 3
  • Sentences become longer than two to three words
  • Repeats words and phrases he overhears
  • Uses pronouns (I, we, you)
  • Understands physical relationship words (“on,” “under,” “behind”)
  • Says name, age, and gender
  • Uses some plurals (babies, toys)
  • Begins to speak clearly enough for strangers to understand

Social

  • Very responsive to people (watching them, imitating)
  • Pretend play mimics real-life emotions
  • Shows affection for familiar playmates
  • Plays with other children (for example, chase), rather than just side-by-side play
  • Employs basic turn-taking
  • Understands the concept of possessives (mine, his, hers)
  • Quick to show emotions, especially happiness and frustration
  • Shows defiant behaviour (doing things after being told not to)
  • Dislikes major changes in routine