Toddler Developmental Milestones

When babies begin to walk they are called toddlers. In fact, during their toddler stage (from about the age of 12 months to 2 years) most children will experience dramatic progress in variety of areas, such as language development, physical development, and cognitive development. In fact, as your child becomes increasingly independent, you will likely also notice that she will be more inclined to assert herself. However, because toddlers are still lacking the necessary verbal skills to express themselves totally, they can often become frustrated and difficult to please � hence the term, �terrible twos�.

But in addition to those less-than-glamorous moments parents of toddlers can expect to go through, there are also lots of exciting developmental milestones you should be looking out for. That is why we have composed this guide to helping you track you toddler�s development.

Development 12-23 months 24-35 months
Physical Development
  • Grow less dramatically than in infancy
  • Eat less, but more often
  • Most can walk along by 16 months and backwards by 22 months
  • Better control for self-feeding
  • Able to drink from a cup with help
  • Can stack blocks
  • Can hold a pencil
  • More active than ever before (walking, running, climbing stairs, etc.)
  • Can stand on their tip-toes
  • Has interest in taking things apart and putting them back together
  • May start to show interest in potty training (discomfort with dirty diapers)
  • Social/Emotional Development
  • Seek independence in activities
  • May throw temper tantrums when they don�t get their way
  • May play beside, but not with, other children (difficulty sharing)
  • Begin to express feelings of jealousy, love, pride, regret and fear
  • May experience separation anxiety from parents
  • Difficulty remembering rules
  • Rapid mood swings
  • May take an interest in fantasy or role-playing games, but not with others
  • Still very self-involved; difficulty playing/sharing with other children
  • Strongly imitate behavior of adults
  • Can become easily frustrated
  • Still need assurance, but are generally more confident than one-year-olds
  • Cognitive Development
  • Becoming increasingly curious
  • Point to desired objects
  • Can imitate animal sounds
  • Able to name familiar people, body parts and objects
  • Able to combine two words to form simple sentences
  • Use the words "me", "mine" and "no" frequently
  • Have short attention span
  • Can hold a pencil and scribble
  • Able to follow simple two-step instructions (i.e "Get your toy and put it here")
  • Can use three or more words in combination
  • Increasing ability to express themselves emotionally
  • Can memorize simple songs and rhymes
  • Still have limited attention span
  • Starting to think before acting
  • Asks why
  • Activities to Stimulate Your Toddler�s Development

    To encourage your toddler�s development, you can try out the following activities. But keep in mind toddlers love repetition � so they will likely be asking you to do it over and over again!


      12-23 months
    • Roll a ball for them to catch
    • Let them build with blocks
    • Talk about their reflection in the mirror
    • Dance to music
    • Play hide-and-seek
    • Give them a toy then can push and pull
    • Read to them � show them picture books and talk about the pictures
    • Once your child shows an interest in an object, talk about it with her (what is its size, shape, color, texture, etc.)
    • Talk about the consequences of her actions (i.e. "if you eat that, there will be nothing left")
    • 24-35 months

    • Encourage physical activity (running, jumping, climbing), especially outdoors
    • Sing simple songs with them and incorporate movement
    • Play patty-cake
    • Tell them simple, short stories
    • Allow them to play in a sandbox
    • Provide them with stackable blocks and other objects
    • Give them objects they can take apart themselves and put back together
    • When reading, ask them to name pictures � give help when needed
    • Have lots of props available for dress-up
    • Have paper and (washable) crayons/paint/chalk available for art projects
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