All toddlers have their own timetable, but you can watch for certain developments in your 2-year-old. Celebrate with your child as he reaches or nears these milestones.


- Figures out simple mechanical toys

- Completes puzzles of three or four pieces

- Sorts objects by shape and color

- Knows names of body parts

- Finds things hidden under two or more layers

- Finishes sentences in familiar books, songs, and nursery rhymes

- Follows two- and three-part commands


- Runs with more coordination

- Learns to kick a ball

- Jumps

- Walks up and downstairs with alternating feet, while holding on

- Pedals a tricycle

- Throws overhand

- May be able to stand on one leg

- Stacks blocks three or higher

- Unzips large zippers

- Turns handles; opens lids

- Uses a cup with one hand

- Begins to hold a crayon more like an adult‘s finger positioning

- Most are potty-trained by age 3


- Understands most spoken words

- Vocabulary rapidly increases, to about 300 or more words by age 3

- Sentences become longer than two to three words

- Repeats words and phrases he overhears

- Uses pronouns (I, we, you)

- Understands physical relationship words (“on,” “under,” “behind”)

- Says name, age, and gender

- Uses some plurals (babies, toys)

- Begins to speak clearly enough for strangers to understand


- Very responsive to people (watching them, imitating)

- Pretend play mimics real-life emotions

- Shows affection for familiar playmates

- Plays with other children (for example, chase), rather than just side-by-side play

- Employs basic turn-taking

- Understands the concept of possessives (mine, his, hers)

- Quick to show emotions, especially happiness and frustration

- Shows defiant behavior (doing things after being told not to)

- Dislikes major changes in routine


CDC's Developmental Milestones. Available at:

“Caring for Your Baby and Young Child, Birth to Age 5 (5th Ed)” by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

“The Wonder Years: Helping Your Baby and Young Child Successfully Negotiate the Major Developmental Milestones” by the American Academy of Pediatrics.