Developmental Milestones: 2 Year Olds

What are some of the developmental milestones my child should reach by two years of age?

Movement milestones

  • Walks alone
  • Pulls toys behind her while walking
  • Carries large toy or several toys while walking
  • Begins to run
  • Stands on tiptoe
  • Kicks a ball
  • Climbs onto and down from furniture unassisted
  • Walks up and down stairs holding on to support

Milestones in hand and finger skills

  • Scribbles spontaneously
  • Turns over container to pour out contents
  • Builds tower of four blocks or more
  • Might use one hand more frequently than the other

Language milestones

  • Points to object or picture when it’s named for him
  • Recognizes names of familiar people, objects, and body parts
  • Says several single words (by fifteen to eighteen months)
  • Uses simple phrases (by eighteen to twenty-four months)
  • Uses two- to four-word sentences
  • Follows simple instructions
  • Repeats words overheard in conversation

Cognitive milestones

  • Finds objects even when hidden under two or three covers
  • Begins to sort by shapes and colors
  • Begins make-believe play

Social and emotional milestones

  • Imitates behavior of others, especially adults and older children
  • Increasingly aware of herself as separate from others
  • Increasingly enthusiastic about company of other children
  • Demonstrates increasing independence
  • Begins to show defiant behavior
  • Increasing episodes of separation anxiety toward midyear, then they fade

Developmental health watch

  • Cannot walk by eighteen months
  • Fails to develop a mature heel-toe walking pattern after several months of walking, or walks
    exclusively on his toes
  • Does not speak at least fifteen words by eighteen months
  • Does not use two-word sentences by age two
  • Does not seem to know the function of common household objects (brush, telephone, bell, fork,
    spoon) by fifteen months
  • Does not imitate actions or words by the end of this period
  • Does not follow simple instructions by age two
  • Cannot push a wheeled toy by age two

Thanks to the American Academy of Pediatrics for this content, available at: Healthychildren.org

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