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Developmental Milestones 2-3 year olds

Posted by Amanda Jacobs on

Developmental Milestones 2-3 years

Let's look at the main developmental milestones for 2 to 3 years old. 

Developmental Milestones: 2 - 3 years

As your independent child runs from room to room, climbing, jumping, and chatting away, you'll notice many more wonderful changes are on their way.  

Between the ages of 2-3 years, these are the milestones you should expect to see:

  • Their vocab is increasing no end and by 24 months, they can say around 50 everyday words (but can probably recognize many more) like “telephone” and “door” and “spoon”.
  • By 3 years, they can say an astonishing 900-1000 words, with an understanding of around 1500 words!
  • They are turning into little conversationalists. Instead of just saying "toy", they'll be using pronouns and forming longer sentences, like; "I want toy Mommy".
  • They can now understand simple two-step directions such as “Pick up your toy and put it in the box”.
  • It’s not called the “terrible twos” for nothing. In their quest to be independent, your child will become more defiant. Temper tantrums are still a thing and while they’re still unable to control their emotions, they can now express their emotions like “sad” and “happy”.
  • Children are now starting to include other kids in their games (as opposed to just parallel play) and will show empathy when another child is upset.

  • They’ll have made big strides physically too and can now kick and throw a ball, stand on tiptoes and run. They’ll also be able to climb on and off furniture without help!
  • As they become adept on their feet, their walking becomes more steady with bigger strides.
  • As they get stronger and more coordinated, they'll be able to run, hop, turn corners and walk backward with confidence.
  • By 2 ½, your child will have almost all her 20 baby teeth, the second molars come in at around 20 to 30 months.
  • Their fine motor skills are developing nicely, and they can now turn the page of a book one page at a time, as well as fold a piece of paper in half and draw straight lines, circles and a cross.
  • By 2 ½, they’ll be able to use a pair of scissors to snip at corners!
  • Their towers are getting taller and they can now stack up to 9 large blocks. 
  • Their memory recall is developing and they’ll talk about recent past events and about other people who they’ve seen or spent time with.
  • They are happy to play on their own for short periods, letting their imaginations run wild as they create make-believe scenarios with their toys. 
  • The best of all? Kisses! Your children can now shower you (and their teddy bears) with hugs and kisses!


The Best Activities for Kids: Age 2 to 3 years


Big Kid Skills

We know that it’s easier and faster to do it yourself, but let your child assert his independence. He’ll enjoy getting himself dressed and should be able to manage large buttons by now.

Helping out with dinner is a great opportunity for him to bond with you, develop his fine motor skills, learn to follow directions, and practice counting. Let him count the number of ingredients you’re using, or pass you stuff from the counter, and pour ingredients into a bowl. Be patient as he makes a mess or drops things or takes a while to get it right. Lots of smiles and encouragement will go a long way to developing his confidence and self-worth. 


Park Time

Go to the park and supervise her while she climbs on the play structures, swings on the swings, slides down the slides, and plays with other kids. Let her safely explore new areas and objects around her as she runs and jumps and skips around.



Continue working on her hand muscles and cognitive skills by giving her ½ inch beads to string and stacking building blocks. She’ll enjoy using different colors for drawing and painting. Try placing some objects on a piece of paper for her to draw around or use sidewalk chalk outside.

Simon Says is a great game to play with her to help her learn to follow instructions while developing her gross motor skills. Start off with basic commands for her to copy which can increase in complexity as she’s ready.


Skoolzy’s Recommendations:

Skoolzy's Rainbow Color Scissor Tongs

Learning toys 2-3 year olds

Introduce your child to toddler scissors with these brightly colored scissor tongs. Perfect for developing her fine motor skills, pincer grip, and finger dexterity. Beginners can use the plastic tongs to pick up objects, which can simply be removed to transform them into safety scissors as they get older. The easy-grip plastic handles open and close just like scissors!


Skoolzy's 32 piece Peg Board Stacking System with pattern card

Learning toy 2-3 year olds

This is a fantastic toy for all ages. Your child can stack the pegs for some fine motor skills practice, and continue to use them as she gets older to develop her counting skills, and for match and patterns games as she learns her shapes and colors. 


Skoolzy Nuts & Bolts Set

Learning toy toddler nuts and bolts set

Your child will use her fine motor skills as she turns and twists the nuts and bolts to screw and unscrew them. She'll enjoy matching and sorting the shapes and colors as she figures out how the parts fit together. 


Skoolzy's Jumbo Lacing Beads

Learning toys toddlers lacing beads

Dexterity, hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, color sorting, shape matching, and patterning - are just a few skills your child will work on as they thread the beads through the string. Whether it's a mishmash of shapes and colors or a carefully organized pattern, we know it'll look awesome! 


Skoolzy's Rainbow Butterfly Sorting, Matching, Counting Game

Learning toy 2-3 year old

These brightly-colored butterflies are a great educational toy that presents a fun learning opportunity for your growing toddler. This set will strengthen fine motor muscles as they build the sorting garden by interlocking the petals together. As they get older, they can practice their colors and match the different butterfly shapes. They can also learn to count and use the number cards to create simple math equations. 


Developmental Milestones 2-3 years

Download and share our Developmental Milestones Checklist for 2-3 year olds

Other Milestones you might want to look at:

DEVELOPMENTAL MILESTONES: 18 months to 2 years old


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