Toddler development: Has your 2-year-old hit these 10 milestones?

By Dr Richard C. Woolfson   — April 07, 2020
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    While every kid develops at a difference pace, here are 10 milestones you might notice as your toddler turns two.

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  • Her hand grip is stronger
    2 / 11 Her hand grip is stronger

    Her ability to pass and receive items manually improves, and she can pick up an item, pass it towards you and then let go once you have taken hold of it.

    She can also do the same action in reverse. Initially the object might slip from her grasp at the change-over stage, but it steadily improves.

    (Also read: 7 fine motor skills activities for toddlers that are great fun)

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  • She enjoys musical instruments
    3 / 11 She enjoys musical instruments

    When you give her a toy drum or tambourine, she likes to use it to make a noise while you sing to her.

    The chances are that her beats on the drum will be random, rather than rhythmical, to start with, but she gets better with practice. Moving her hand in time to music is very challenging for her.

    (Also read: Why music lessons help your child learn better)

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  • She has a bigger vocabulary
    4 / 11 She has a bigger vocabulary

    She uses a wider range of words in her everyday speech, and when she hears you use different words, she starts to do the same as well.

    Try to make the language you use with your child basic but varied. Instead of using the same words each time, offer alternatives that have the same meaning, for instance, “huge” instead of “big”.

    (Also read: 9 ways to boost your toddler’s vocabulary in fun ways)

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  • She likes pretend play
    5 / 11 She likes pretend play

    Now that her imagination is more advanced, she starts to engage in pretend play, in which she puts on a hat, or clothes, or a uniform.

    Your child thoroughly enjoys this sort of activity because she can pretend to be a different person – chances are she’ll dress up as an adult.

    (Also read: 5 fun play ideas that your kids will love (and don’t involve the iPad))

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  • She’s curious about puzzle play
    6 / 11 She’s curious about puzzle play

    She is already familiar with inset boards and therefore feels confident enough to attempt unfamiliar ones with an increasing number of pieces.

    Give your two-year-old her first jigsaw – this should consist of only two pieces, which easily fit together and which are a good size for her small hands to manipulate.

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  • She has enhanced recall
    7 / 11 She has enhanced recall

    She likes memory challenges. For example, let her see you place a newspaper on the kitchen table.

    A few minutes later, when you are both in another room, pretend that you can’t remember where you left it and ask your two-year-old: “Do you know where the paper is?” She thinks for a moment, then brings it to you.

    (Also read: 8 ways to improve your child’s memory skills)

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  • She has developed early jumping skills
    8 / 11 She has developed early jumping skills

    When your toddler was younger and tried to jump, she literally couldn’t get her feet off the ground.

    Now, she manages to launch herself into the air and land safely on the same spot. At first, the gap between the soles of her feet and the floor is minimal, but it gradually increases.

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  • She is more active
    9 / 11 She is more active

    Your little one is more adventurous during outdoor play, and she has great fun tackling large play equipment in the park.

    However, she still likes you to stay close to her when she climbs higher than before – your presence makes her feel safe and secure, and gives her the confidence to explore further and higher.

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  • She can be toilet-trained
    10 / 11 She can be toilet-trained

    By now your child probably has good bowel and bladder control during the day, and she is pleased that she now wears pants “like a big girl”.

    Give her plenty of reassurance when she occasionally wets herself accidentally. Her bowel and bladder control continue to strengthen throughout this year.

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  • She can make friends
    11 / 11 She can make friends

    Peer group relations are more important to her now. She enjoys being with other children and you may find that she becomes bored, fractious and moody when she spends too much time on her own.

    On the other hand, don’t be surprised to find that she and her friends bicker frequently, though do your best to encourage sharing.


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