Developmental Milestones Skills for 24-36 Months

Parents, check out this quick list of milestones for toddlers 24-36 months old (2-3 years old). 

Social and Emotional

qImitates adults and peers
qExpresses affection openly (hugs family members)
qExpresses a wide range of emotions (happy, mad, sad, silly etc.)
qTakes turns in games
qUnderstands possession concepts (mine, his/hers)
qEasily separates from parents
qCooperates with other children
qHas trouble telling the difference between real and imaginary

Speech and Language

qFollows 3-part commands
qAsks questions (who, what, where)
qAnswers questions (yes/no, who, what, where)
qUses 4-5 word sentences
qUnderstands most requests and most of what is said to him or her
qExperiences a large growth in vocabulary and is able to use a variety of words to name common objects, action words, pronouns (I, me, we) and familiar people (more than 800 words)
qSpeech is mostly understood by strangers
qUnderstands position words in, on, and under


qSelf feeds finger foods
qAppears to hear well
qAppears to see well
qUses fork and spoon with some spilling and reminders
qDrinks from open cup


qSorts object by shape, color, and size
qCompletes 3-4 pc. Puzzles
qUnderstands concept of “two” (e.g. “get two cookies)
qPretend plays with dolls, animals, and people
qNames some colors correctly
qKnows own name, age, and gender
qBegins to have a clearer sense of time (e.g. daytime, nighttime)
qFollows 3-part commands
qUnderstands concepts of “same” and “different

Gross Motor

qRuns well and is able to change speed
qKicks a ball
qAble to walk on tiptoes
qAble to walk backward
qBalance on one foot
qWalks up stairs one foot at a time
qJumps with two feet off floor
qJumps off bottom step
Fine Motor
qAble to place an object in a container with good control and with wrist extended
qHolds crayons in fingers with thumb pointed toward tip
qCopies a side to side line and up and down line
qBegins to work fasteners
qStacks a tower of 6 blocks and is able to copy a tower of 6 blocks
qCuts with scissors across paper or on a line.

Each child develops at his/her own pace. Do not be alarmed if your child does not follow this exact sequence. If you have concerns about your child’s development, contact your doctor.

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