What Most Toddlers Do by This Age
- Copies others, especially adults and older children
- Begins to enjoy playing with other children
- Shows more and more independence
- Begins to show assertiveness at times saying “no” to adult requests
- Plays mainly beside other children, but is beginning to include other children, such as in chase games
- May have rapid mood shifts
- Finds things even when hidden under two or three covers
- Begins to sort shapes and colors
- Completes sentences and rhymes in familiar books
- Plays simple make-believe games
- Builds towers of 4 or more blocks
- Might use one hand more than the other
- Follows two-step instructions such as “Please pick up your shoes and put them in the closet.”
- Names items in a picture book such as a cat, bird, or dog
Language and Communication
- Points to things or pictures when they are named
- Knows names of familiar people and body parts
- Says sentences with 2 to 4 words
- Follows simple instructions
- Repeats words overheard
- Points to things in a book
- Stands on tiptoe
- Kicks a ball
- Begins to run
- Climbs onto and down from furniture without help
- Walks up and down stairs holding on
- Throws ball overhand
- Makes or copies straight lines and circles
What Families Can Do
- Be calm and comforting during and after your toddler’s temper tantrums.
- Be consistent with what your toddler can and cannot do.
- Use words to describe your toddler’s emotions – “You are happy when we visit the library.”
- Give your toddler lots of hugs and kisses and give praise for good behavior.
- Praise good behaviors rather than focusing on punishing bad behaviors.
- Arrange play dates with other children; have lots of toys to play with because toddlers have trouble sharing.
- Encourage your toddler to have empathy – to hug or pat another child who is sad.
- Give your toddler simple tasks to do to help around the house, such as sweeping and helping with dinner.
- Play with blocks and take turns building towers and knocking them down.
- Provide materials for art project using crayons, paint and play-dough.
- Help your toddler with simple puzzles with shapes, colors or animals; name the pieces as they are put in place.
- Talk to your toddler about the things you are doing and seeing together.
- Teach your toddler to identify and say body parts, animals and other common things.
- Use words to identify feelings.
- Encourage your toddler to say the word rather than pointing to something he/she wants.
- Tell stories, read and encourage pretend play.
- Sing songs and repeat rhymes together; take turns inserting goofy words such as “Row, Row, Row your —-.”
- Ask your toddler to carry small items for you once he/she walks well.
- Kick a ball back and forth, and once your toddler can do this, encourage him/her to run and kick it.
- Visit parks, playgrounds and large indoor play spaces where your toddler can run and climb on playground equipment.