Helpful 2-year-old Language Development Activities
It’s time to clear the shelves and put fragile or electronic items out of the way. Your 2-year-old toddler loves to explore the environment, but will probably be climbing on furniture, (and out of the crib) walking up and down the stairs, standing on tiptoes to further his reach, and running around most obstacles! Therefore, it is now time to establish clear rules and boundaries.
It’s your child’s third year! Where does the time go?
2-year-old Development: Gross Motor Skills
- Your 2-year-old loves to be active!
- Go outside to run, jump and play!
- Kick balls and play modified games like hockey, football, and soccer.
- Encourage ball throwing and catching to promote coordination skills.
- Play with large-wheeled toys that she can push, pull, or ride on.
- Go to the park and begin to explore the playground equipment. Remember that some children will be very daring and need constant supervision, while others will need adult support and encouragement to venture onto the playground and use the equipment.
- When you’re outside, check out worms, bugs, leaves, grass, and nature that surround her. Explore, investigate, and play! He/ she is likely very curious about his/her environment. Talk about what you see and discover!
2 year-old Development: Fine Motor Skills
- Notice how your child has perfected the fine pincer grasp and will find the tiniest things to share with you.
- She will eat with a spoon and may use a fork.
- He will likely extend his concentration to build towers of 4 or more blocks, still revels in the surprise of the tower toppling over!
- Your 2 year-olds development will likely be demonstrated by his ability to hold a pencil or crayon in a preferred hand using an improved grip. Please remember to let your child’s fine motor skills develop through play.
- He will enjoy finger play activities like: “Eensy, Weensy Spider.”
- She proudly draws circles, lines, and dots on a page and can sometimes make the ‘V’ shape!
- Chances are, he will enjoy playing with Duplo and other age-appropriate building toys.
2 year-old Development: Activities for Hand Preference
During this third year, if your child has not determined a hand preference, here are some observations you can make.
- Hold a small ball in front of your child…in the middle, not off to one side or the other. Ask her to throw it at you using one hand. Which hand did she use?
- Place the ball in front of your child. Ask him to kick it to you. Which foot did he use?
- Play with a toilet paper tube. Show your child how you can look through the middle of the tube. Place the tube in front of your child. Ask him to pick it up and look out through it. Which hand did he use? Which eye did he use?
Let’s Try Drawing!
If a right or left-hand preference is clear, you may gently encourage him to use that hand while drawing or coloring. If the child has not established a preference,… keep observing daily tasks (e.g., holding a spoon, drinking from a cup, picking up toys, moving handles, building with blocks, playing with balls, eating a snack) and the encourage using the hand that he uses most frequently.
- Remember that each 2 year-olds development occurs at different rates. Your child may be faster or slower to learn certain skills, but they all get there in the end.
2 year-old Development: Observe your child’s emotional and social growth.
- She will play more with other children, but generally, the play is still “among friends.” She may include others in games like “chase.”
- He may be reluctant to share his toys.
- Your 2-year-old will likely try to help someone, especially a younger sibling, when they are sad, frustrated, or crying.
- Parents often notice that their toddler is beginning to identify and share his feelings… (e.g., anger, happiness, fear). Controlling emotions is still difficult. Comfort objects like blankets or teddy bears help your 2-3-year-old cope with new situations or strong emotions.
- Encourage your child to try new things in a secure environment without fear of failure.
The ability to reason, understand and solve problems is called intellectual or cognitive development.
- Developmental Milestones for 2 year-olds include toddlers thinking in new ways.
- 2-year-old development includes beginning to understand the consequence of actions. (cognitive skill)
- A 2-3-year-old toddler will begin to look beyond a cover to find objects that are hidden. (developing object permanence – cognitive skill)
- She will develop listening (and auditory memory) skills by asking her to follow simple two-step directions. (i.e., “Please get your coat and put it on the hook.”)
- He can respond to simple questions.
- A 2-3-year-old will enjoy copying simple language tasks that a parent, a familiar adult, or another child has modeled for him.
- He likes to name things and may tell what they do. (e.g., “Truck. The truck honks its horn.”)
- Toddlers often repeat a few nursery rhymes. (auditory memory)
- Her vocabulary will increase with book language, music, and hearing you talk about his world.
- She can name body parts and point to them.
- Music and singing songs are enjoyable activities. (auditory skill development)
- These auditory skills are part of Auditory Processing.
Visual Discrimination and Communication
- Your 2-year-old will enjoy simple puzzles and may try to thread large beads. (visual skill/fine motor)
- Favorite books become obvious as a parent is asked to read them over and over again!
- A 2-year-old will point to find objects or animals in a book.
- Parents report that their toddler may continually ask questions, “Who?”, “What?”, “Where?”… as he attempts to make sense of his world. (communication skills)
- He may enjoy playing make-believe games. (i.e., Making meals at a play kitchen)
- She will link two or three words to communicate her needs. (speech development)
- Books that identify and sequence daily events often become favorite stories. (e.g., bedtime, getting dressed, snack time)
- Visual Discrimination is an important skill for early literacy development.
Read stories and talk about what is happening.
- Think about the story and pictures out loud! (e.g., Point to the dog behind the tree. Why do you think the cat is up on the fence?) This activity will help your 2-year-old toddler’s development of vocabulary and understanding of concepts like “positional words.” (e.g., up, down, under, over, beside, behind, in front)
Check out this YouTube Video:
Two-Year-Old Child Development Stages & Milestones| Help Me Grow MN
Have you ever felt overwhelmed as a parent? I know I have! If you are interested… check out some verses that helped me!