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Milestones - 2.5-3 Years

The Milestone Guide
- 2.5-3 Years -

Speaking in full sentences, asking questions that demonstrate real clarity and complexity of thought … these are a few of the markers of development during the second half of a child’s third year. Things are becoming more clearly defined in the mind of a child this age, and it shows in how they communicate and interact with the world around them.

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Balance & Coordination

Your toddler isn’t falling down much anymore! She can climb into a chair with no help, go up and down stairs (make sure she holds the railing!), and even jump off a low step or stool. Encourage her to do all these things in a safe environment to help her continue developing!

Fine Motor

Your little one is getting better at using her arms and legs. She can pick toys up on the floor without sitting down, she can even throw and catch a ball, although she’s no pro athlete yet – she won’t throw or catch with any consistency. Play catch regularly to help her develop those skills!

Gross Motor

Your little guy is exploring all kinds of movement. He’s hopping about, climbing stairs (one foot at a time), rolling around, and he has no trouble with sloping terrain (like ramps), which might have been tough earlier on. He’s navigating obstacles like a pro, going under tables, over ottomans, even crawling through narrow tunnels with ease. Try using cushions and larger toys to to build an obstacle course for him!

Curiosity & Discovery

Get ready to answer a lot of questions! Your toddler is going to be asking them non-stop – and that’s a great thing. She’s curious about almost everything within her notice and wants to explore the unknown. Her curiosity drives her to experiment with everything – so keep a close eye on her, both for her safety, and the safety of your stuff!

Imagination & Creativity

Making-believe and storytelling are some new skills your little one is acquiring. He can follow a simple plot – which means you can start reading more complex picture books to him – and he’ll happily spend time using his toys to act out little narratives of his own. Don’t be surprised if one day he insists he’s a dinosaur and wants to do everything the way a T-Rex would.

Thinking & Problem Solving

Pattern recognition is a growing skill, laying the foundation for a deeper understanding of mathematics later on. Your two-year-old is learning to match objects with other similar objects, and sort ones that are different from each other into groups. She understands size and can readily sort small toys from large ones.


Your toddler is getting smarter! He can count to five and he understands up to a thousand words. He understands spatial relationships like on top or inside, and his memory is fantastic: he’ll tell you what’s on the next page of his favourite books. If he’s left alone with a book or magazine, he’ll flip through it, mimicking the act of reading. Though he might be able to recite the alphabet in song, he probably can’t visually identify too many letters, although he may be able to reliably draw the first letter of his name if you teach him. Try it!

Self-Expression & Confidence

Your toddler enjoys copying other people’s actions. It’s one of the main ways she learns how to do new things or how to behave in certain situations. It’s likely by now that she’s started dancing when the mood strikes her, or trying out new creative ways to move like tumbling and walking in a silly way. The way she interacts with art media like clay and crayons changes depending on her mood.

Listening & Communication

Your little guy is becoming a good communicator. His increasing command of language allows him to be understood easily, and he’s starting to use sentences with proper grammar and syntax. He can answer questions that are a bit more complicated, like “Where did you find this?” or “How did you make that?” He also understands others’ emotions from their tone or in the mood of a song.

Recommended Toys

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