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Stages and Steps of Development Two to Three Years

At this time your child should be able to put 2 to 4 words together to make simple sentences. They will be able to point at, and name objects as well as ask simple questions. People who are normally with them should be able to understand most of what they are trying to communicate. Word meanings will become clearer as they understand the difference between words like up or down, and wet or dry. Your child should be able to follow simple two part instructions such as Pick up your napkin and throw it out. Of course getting them to actually do it is the true test at this defiant stage as any parent of a toddler can attest to! Continue talking with your child about different objects, pictures, and tasks.

When they ask you a question always answer them and explain your answers. You are modeling speech and communication skills as well as making them feel important. If you do not understand what they are saying ask them to repeat it, this shows that you are paying attention to them as well as giving them practice with their communication skills. To expand on their vocabulary and communication skills ask questions and offer choices that require more than just a yes or no answer. For example, say Is that ball blue or yellow? or Would you like to have milk or juice with your breakfast? During reading time, include books that have one or two simple sentences per page and colorful illustrations. Start pointing to words as you reed so that your child can begin to understand that you are reading words, and that you are reading from left to right.

Your child should be allowed to help select books. At this age they already have special interests such as animals, fire trucks, or a particular character. Help them feel important and special by making a deal out of shopping or going to the library for a new book that interests them. Also continue to sing songs and rhymes. Introduce word games to help build your child's vocabulary and communication skills.

Encourage your child to use descriptions of more than one word while playing your games. For example, This is a blue ball, rather than, a ball. As he or she progresses they can go on to, This is a big blue ball. You could put some objects into a box and have your child pull out each object one at a time and name them. Play a simple game of I Spy by saying things like I see a blue bouncy thing we like to play with, can you guess what it is? To practice word meanings play games that can help illustrate this concept.

Ann example, use blocks and ask questions like, Is the block on, or off the table? Or just use everyday situations with questions like, Is the towel wet or dry? Also continue to participate in games and activities previously talked about. offers free educational courses in an easy to follow format in various subjects. To view a free online course covering the subject of this article, please visit


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