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What are the developmental stages of kids from 2 to 3 years old?

The terrible twos? Perhaps children at this age developed a reputation for being terrible because they like to try to accomplish basic tasks independently, often refusing help from you. A child at this age can be very stubborn and want to do things her own way, like getting dressed, feeding herself, potty training, and washing hands. This is important for your child’s development, and there’s no harm in letting her try. Also, since your child can now speak in two- to four-word sentences, she has the ability to express her feelings and frustrations.

Communication and language skills include:

  • Follows two-part requests such as “Please get the book and bring it to me”
  • Understands differences in meaning such as “up-down” “go-stop,” “big-little”
  • Has a word for almost everything
  • Uses simple 2- to 4-word sentences to talk about and ask for things
  • Often asks for or directs attention to objects by naming them
  • Can say name, age, and sex, and uses his/her own name to refer to self
  • Uses pronouns such as I, you, me, we, they, and some plurals
  • Uses plurals in a generalized way, for example, foots
  • Names parts of the body
  • Expresses feelings verbally
  • Becomes aware of how numbers sound and can count up to five
  • Uses size words correctly, such as big and little
  • Can be understood by most people outside the family

Cognitive and intellectual skills include:

  •  Better understands the similarities and differences of shapes and sizes, and can sort groups of objects into sets
  • Participates in a wider range of activities such as exploring outdoor playground equipment, climbing on rocks, investigating contents of kitchen cabinets, thumbing through books.
  • Is able to recognize and solve problems through active exploration, including trial and error
  • Can make mechanical toys work
  • Plays make-believe with dolls, animals and people
  • Completes simple three- or four-piece puzzles

From Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children by Jennifer Trachtenberg.

Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children

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Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children

When kids start going on TV binges or devouring fistfuls of cookies, it's easy to say, "They'll grow out of it." More likely, they're acquiring bad habits that could lead to childhood obesity and...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.