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2-2½ years old


Two-year-olds are full of energy, enthusiasm, exploration—and growing independence. With so many new skills, your child can’t wait to use them! Check out our terrific toys for twos, plus playtime ideas for fun crafts and activities to help your toddler discover the joys of accomplishing new things.

    Build with blocks and tuck a stuffed animal into bed
    Know the difference between safe and dangerous
month tile

How your 2 to 2 ½-year-old might play now:

He knows the difference between safe and dangerous

She's becoming more social with other kids

Good eye-hand coordination means he can build with blocks and tuck a stuffed animal into bed

Children develop at their own pace and reach milestones at different times. The highlights mentioned in this website are approximate guidelines only. If you have any questions about your child's development, consult your healthcare provider.

Toys and Playtips

Help your child learn more:

Read picture books to your child about the playset’s theme—like farm life, animals and crops. Talk about what a farmer does and how farms provide us with food.

On the grow. If you have a garden, call on your "little farmer" to help with planting, weeding, or harvesting. Even if she's just sitting next to you digging, she'll feel important and this experience will help her understand what farmers do.

Sound practice. Reinforce your child's recognition skills by helping him practice sounds he hears—if you start, it's likely that your child will soon join in. Then challenge his memory and thinking skills by showing him an animal or a car and asking him to make that sound.

Field trip. It helps your child make connections when you can relate a learning concept to things within her own range of experience. Make an effort to show your child the real thing: visit a zoo or a farm. When you're in the car together, point out different vehicles.

Chore time. Prompt problem-solving and thinking skills by giving your child little chores to do. “Let's put the animals in their stalls for the night. Are they all in the right places?”

Help your child learn more:
  • “Let's make spaghetti!” Help your child get started by offering suggestions. “Can you cook the sauce?" Use what comes with your play kitchen as a guide, or safe items from your own kitchen as props. Your 2-year-old will think it's great if you make something in the play kitchen and then prepare the food in your kitchen; you'll add realism and richness to the play.
  • Kid cookbooks. Get some children's cookbooks with simple directions and colorful photos and make a meal together.
  • Keep it clean. Cooking together is a great time to teach your child about good sanitary practices. "Before we start, we always wash our hands so we don't get germs in the food." Also talk about the need to cook food thoroughly, keep your hair back, etc.
  • Challenge new skills. As memory skills and ability to follow directions emerge, give your child opportunities to try them out at other times, like when you're grocery shopping. "I noticed how good you are at making spaghetti in your kitchen. Can you help me find everything we need to make it for dinner?"
Help your child learn more:

A world of play. Help your child set up an inviting play environment, with enough room to spread out as she plays.

Make a play mat together. Use a long roll of paper or poster board, and paint or draw streets and yards. Ask your child to think of names for the streets, the village square, the town beach, etc. He may want to model it after his own neighborhood, a favorite vacation spot or another familiar place.

Tell me about it. Encourage your child to tell you a story about what she's acting out with her dolls and accessories. This will help her put imaginative thoughts into words and give her confidence in expressing ideas.

Help your child learn more:

Read picture books about different types of vehicles and what they're used for. Talking with him is especially important at this stage, when he's building receptive language.

Encourage listening to directions (keep them simple at this age) and get her thinking about problem solving. Create little stories and assign small jobs to complete. "Can you drive the truck over to the door and unload the boulders there?"

Let him haul things around in his vehicles, or use them to transport people from place to place to foster understanding of each vehicle's purpose. Tell him how helpful he is, and you'll really bolster his confidence.