2 Years

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

Problem Solving

  • 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.

Developmental Milestones