Two year olds are finding and testing their own independence. That’s why when you try to step in, this developmental stage— frequently involving tantrums—is referred
to as the “The Terrible Twos.” But from two to three, your child will experience great leaps intellectually, socially and emotionally. It is an exciting time to watch and help your child explore the world.
- Read books Not only is reading books a great time for cuddling with your child, but you will also be introducing words and stories—an important part of language development.
- Pretend play Children at this age love to imitate the world around them— it is their way of understanding how relationships, roles and society work. Pretend play boosts your child’s imagination—whether it’s playing “Prin- cess,” “Wild Animals” or “Kitchen.”
- Take a walk Two year olds are just getting a handle on being good walk- ers, and it’s fun for them to take charge and explore their world on their own two feet. Play “Follow the Leader” as you walk around your neighbor- hood or in a park. Pick up leaves and flowers and point out neat things to see. Stand on one foot and have your child practice balancing.
- Sing Sing and teach childhood tunes and nursery rhymes like “Pio Pio,” “Itsy Bitsy Spider” or even “Happy Birthday!”
- Fiddling with Fingers Get child scissors and teach your child to cut out a circle on a piece on paper. Have your child sit on your lap and button your shirt or help them snap up their own coats. Make a cereal or bead necklace—stringing is an excellent activity.
- Sharp! Make sure pencils or crayons do not go in the mouth, as they are sharp, dirty and can be a choking hazard. Keep knives and scissors in unreachable drawers.
- Broken toys Throw away toys that have broken or missing parts, as they can lead to cuts or choking.
- Stay away from water Never leave your child alone near water—it can be anything from a bathtub, pool, lake, hot tub or ocean. Drowning happens silently and quickly.
- Beware of burns Keep a clear distance from a hot stove. Turn pot han- dles in while cooking. Latch oven doors with safety locks. Don’t have your child on your lap if you are drinking hot liquids.
- Bedtime Children at this age are still sometimes transitioning from crib
to toddler or twin-sized bed, so it is important to make sure that the floor around the bed is cushioned and free of objects that might hurt your child if they fall out of bed at night.
- Poison Hide and safety lock all medicines, cleaning solutions and poisons. If you suspect that your child has ingested something poisonous, call Poi- son Control immediately at 1-800-222-1222.
BETWEEN TWO AND THREE YEARS OLD
- Understands basic concept of time (before, after)
- Counts and moves objects (like blocks or toys)
- Understands size (small, big)
- Concentrates for longer periods of time
- Plays cooperatively with other children
- Is possessive of objects, may need security object (blanket, favoritestuffed animal)
- Learns to use potty
- Walks backwards, up and down stairs
- Follows two-step direction (“Take off your shoes. Put them in the closet.”)
- Uses plural (one balloon, two balloons)
- Answers questions (with appropriate answers)
- Understands some pronouns (he, she, they, his, hers, ours, theirs)
- Begins to think about consequences