Two-Year-Old Child Development

All children develop at different speeds but this page will give you a guide to what your child might be doing right now at age 2. 'What to Expect, When?' is another useful and downloadable guide, which helps you know what to expect in terms of how your child is learning and developing.

Social skills

  • Your child might enjoy playing with a friend or sibling and share their toys, but they are more likely to prefer playing on their own, alongside another child or friend. They will probably watch what their friend is doing and still keep an eye out for you, or whoever is looking after them

Reading with your child

  • When you share a story book with your child, they may be able to point out and say what something is

Find out more about reading to improve your child’s health and reading together.

Talking and communicating with your child

  • Your child may be able to have a two or three-sentence conversation with you
  • Your child may tell you what they are doing, what they like and don’t like
  • When you are talking to someone else, your child may listen for a short while but they will soon lose interest and try and get your whole attention
  • Your child may talk to themselves in the third-person, for example, ‘Lucy does it’, as they sense themselves as being a separate person
  • Your child may be getting very independent and may begin to ask lots of ‘why?’ questions. Sometimes they want an explanation, however sometimes they just do not know any other words to express their interest about something and just want to talk to you

It can be frustrating and repetitive, but you should always try to answer their questions and be patient. You might try answering a ‘why?’ question with one of your own questions. By doing this you might get a better understanding of what they are really trying to find out or talk about.

Many parents worry about their child’s speech, but do not be concerned if you cannot always understand what your child says at this stage. The important thing is that they want to talk.

Find out more about talking to your child.

This helpful online tool from iCAN enables you to check how your child's language is developing from 3 months through to age 11.

For further information on talking and communication you can visit Afasic, The Communication Trust, and The British Stammering Association.

Eating, drinking and nutrition

  • Your child may be confident in using a spoon and fork to eat with and will be well used to a variety of food stuffs
  • Your child may be drinking from a cup or beaker
  • At this age some children can be fussy when it comes to food and you child may refuse to eat food that they previously enjoyed. Keep trying with new tastes and textures, as it does take some time for children to accept different flavours and tastes

You may be eligible for Healthy Start vouchers to buy milk, fruit and vegetables for you and your child.

For further information on healthy eating and nutrition you can visit NHS - Start4life and NHS - Change4life.

What can you do to help your child’s development?

Get physical

  • You can take your child to the park, or out for a walk. Your child will like to run, jump and climb on play equipment. This helps to develop their motor skills (an action that helps your toddler use their muscles)

Find out more about getting active with your child.

For further information on exercise you can visit NHS - Start4life and NHS - Change4life.

Help them express their feelings

  • If they have a tantrum, you can calm your child down by listening and understanding what’s upset them

Play with your child

  • Play is the main way your child will learn and their imagination will grow by playing with you and their toys

Find out more about home learning and suggestions for play activities.

What else should I be aware of when my child is 2?

Your child will be offered a health and early education review called the Shared Review between the ages of 27 and 30 months. This is an opportunity to ask any questions you have, or raise any concerns about your child's development and learning. In the meantime, if you have any concerns about any aspect of your child’s development you can contact your local Health Visitor (their details should be in the ‘Red Book’ that you child received at birth) or your local Children's Centre.

Other sources of information

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