Baby Banner

1 to 2 Years of Age

What an incredible year this is. Right before your very eyes, your baby has become a toddler. A little person who walks, talks and lets you know what is on her mind. Neatness is not part of a toddler's life. When your child drops her spoon, tries to feed herself or tips over her dish, she is preparing for life, not being naughty. Provide your child with safe places to learn all these skills. To make your life easier, do things like placing a mat under her highchair so messes are easier to clean up.

Children at this age like playing with other children. However it is much too early for them to understand the meaning of taking turns or sharing. Scolding them will not help, instead try getting them interested in something else.

You will find your toddler at this age likes simple songs and rhyming games. They love hearing the same story over and over again. Repetition is important as it helps them learn.

Try the best you can to keep your toddler's day predictable. This helps provide a sense of security and stability to your child's life. Avoid loud or angry situations whether on television or real.

Physical Development

Characteristic 2-Year Milestones:

  • Can climb stairs using both feet on one step
  • Runs more than walks
  • Can jump with both feet together
  • Can throw and kick a ball
  • Can stand and walk a few steps on tiptoe
  • Can pedal a small tricycle
  • Dances to music
  • Uses a spoon to eat and handles finger foods well
  • Can build a tower by stacking five or more blocks
  • Likes to use play dough and large crayons
  • Enjoys taking things apart and putting them together (be certain pieces are at least 1 1/2 to 2 inches across)
  • May demonstrate an interest in toilet training

To stimulate development, you can:

  • Teach your child how to go up and down stairs safely, how to jump, and walk on tiptoe.
  • Provide various soft balls. Toss the ball to your child showing her how to catch it or roll it to her.
  • Play music with different rhythms. Clap to or dance with your child to the rhythm of the music.
  • Encourage your child to feed himself with a spoon and provide a variety of finger foods.
  • Provide shape boxes and boards or simple puzzles with knobbed pieces (two to three large pieces).
  • Encourage your child to assist in dressing herself. Talk about the items of clothing and what she is doing as she is getting dressed.

Intellectual and Language Development

Characteristic 2-Year Milestones:

  • Has a vocabulary of several hundred words, including names of toys and things in his house
  • Asks for things he wants such as a toy or food
  • Uses phrases or sentences of two or three words
  • Responds to questions such as "What is your name?" "What does the dog say?"
  • Shows a preference between objects, foods or toys
  • Likes to listen to and participate in finger plays, rhymes and songs
  • Likes to be read to, look at pictures in a book, and respond to questions about the pictures
  • Is learning the concepts of soon and wait

To stimulate development, you can:

  • Frequently talk to your child about simple everyday things such as items, activities and sequence of events.
  • Expand upon words the child says to enlarge her vocabulary. If the child says "ball," you might say something like, "The ball is round and big."
  • Teach your child rhymes and songs.
  • Read books to your child every day. Ask him to point to objects in the pictures and to name what he sees in the pictures. Let him turn the pages.
  • Play simple games with her. For example, place several different but familiar items in front of her and ask her to find the teddy bear.

Social/Emotional Development

Characteristic 2-Year Milestones:

  • Shows signs of independence by using "me," "mine" and especially "no" a great deal
  • Is possessive, has difficulty sharing and wants his way in everything
  • Refers to herself by name and tries to do numerous things by herself
  • Shows anger by hitting, biting or becoming physically aggressive in some manner
  • May be stubborn and resistant
  • Enjoys parent and other adult attention, and responds with affection by hugging or kissing
  • May become attached to a blanket or toy
  • Likes to be with other children for brief periods

To stimulate development, you can:

  • Talk to your child about his actions or feelings. Calm him if he is irritable or resistant to guidance. Praise him when he is cooperative.
  • Cuddle and hug your child frequently, speak soothingly, tell a story, sing a song to her and play simple games.
  • Take your child shopping or running errands with you so that he can experience his environment.
  • Let your child do things for herself and help with household chores. Talk to her about what she is doing. Be patient and allow the time.
  • Make opportunities for your child to be around other children.
  • Encourage laughter and giggles.

Appropriate Toys

2-Year Old

  • Soft balls of various sizes and colors
  • Shape boxes, shape boards, and simple puzzles with large knobbed pieces
  • Picture books with colorful pictures and limited text
  • Blocks, stacking toys, snap beads and large peg boards
  • Play dough and large crayons
  • Boxes and containers for filling and emptying
  • Cuddly dolls and stuffed animals
  • Small wagon or other pull toys
  • Music for listening or for motion (dancing)
  • Small tricycle or other pedal toy
Nav Bar