Development (2 - 3 Years)

Ways to Encourage Development (2 - 3 years)

Muscle Skills

  • Child feed himselfHave safe play area outdoors and indoors for using large muscles (running, climbing, throwing and jumping).
  • Allow tricycle riding supervised and in safe area. Begin the “helmet” habit. Have children wear bicycle helmet when riding to protect against head and brain injury.
  • Supervise coloring and painting.
  • Good toys and games are blocks, toys to climb on, dress‑up clothes, items to play house with, and colorful picture books.
  • Can begin toilet training.

Gross Motor Skills

  • Play with balls.
  • Allow toilet training to proceed at child’s pace.

Language Skills

  • Singing
  • Wordless books encourage children to tell the story. Adult listens, and adds details or pronounces correctly what child says.
  • Read books aloud, at least one every day.
  • Encourage children to recount everyday events and details.

Social and Emotional Skills

  • Model social skills.
  • Help child to use words to solve social problems.
  • Ignore negative behavior whenever possible.
  • Allow choices about many daily events.
  • Encourage child to express feelings verbally.
  • Play simple turn‑taking games such as tag, musical chairs and Simon says.

Thinking Skills

  • Simple puzzles.
  • Books with interesting, age-appropriate stories.
  • Art projects with many textures, colors; large paintings.


Developmental Tasks (2 - 3 years)

Muscle Skills

  • Running and stopping, stepping up or squatting.
  • Stands on one foot.
  • Jumps in place with both feet.
  • Rides tricycle (helmets are recommended).
  • Throws ball overhand.
  • Stacks more blocks, up to eight cubes, or builds bridges.

Language Skills

  • Follows two‑step directions (“Get the book, and put it on the table”).
  • Names five to six body parts on himself/herself.
  • Takes part in simple conversations.
  • Answers simple questions.
  • Uses two- to three-word sentences regularly.
  • Uses plurals.
  • Asks lots of questions.

Social and Emotional Skills

  • Helps with simple tasks, such as picking up toys.
  • Washes and dries hands.
  • Dresses with supervision.
  • Separates from mother easily.
  • Plays interactive game (tag).
  • Asserts individuality.
  • May be negative or demanding.
  • Likes rituals.
  • Likes to feed himself (but still spills).

Thinking Skills

  • Making choices.
  • Establishing individuality.
  • Beginning to grasp cause, and cause-and-effect relationships.
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