Developmental Milestones Toddlers
Ages 2-3 Years Old

This developmental milestones toddlers page lists below, although not an exhaustive list, the key abilities and processes that can be reasonably expected from a 2-3 year old in seven developmental areas.

As we discussed on the developmental milestones main page, children develop in specific ways but at their own pace.

Some of  young preschoolers may still be developing their older toddler skills. Toddlers are defined as children from ages 18 months to 3 years old.

Looking for more resources to help you with toddlers - visit my Toddler Time page.

Development Milestones for Toddlers

Keep in mind, these are a guide to help you develop activities that are appropriate for this age group.  It does not mean that 2-3 year olds should have these things mastered. These items are what you should be providing opportunities for them to develop.

Toddler Time Social Development

  • Enjoys singing and trying to copy fingerplays with others.
  • Greets familiar people.
  • Engages in simple games in small groups.
  • Helps with clean-up activities when prompted.
  • Takes turns when prompted.
  • Gives attention to stories for 5 minutes or more.
  • Copies adults and peers.
  • Understands "mine", "his", "hers" and "yours".

Cognitive Development

Development Milestones for Toddlers
  • Attempts to draw faces.
  • Understands what "one" and "two" means.
  • Can name familiar objects.
  • Counts to three by rote.
  • Classifies objects by general categories.
  • Counts up to 3 objects.
  • Beginning to identify colors.
  • Knows own gender.

Emotional Development

  • Able to recover quickly after transitions or changes in routines.
  • Separates from parent easily.
  • Sows wide range of emotions.
  • Can dress and undress self.
  • Shows affection for family and friends without prompting.
  • Shows concern for a friend who is crying.

Physical Development:  
Large/Gross Motor Skills

  • Runs easily.
  • Pedals a tricycle.
  • Balances on one foot for 2-3 seconds.
  • Can hop on one foot at least one time.
  • Walks up and down stairs alternating feet.
Development Milestones for Toddlers

Physical Development:  Small/Fine Motor Skills

  • Beginning to draw vertical and horizontal lines.
  • Beginning to draw circles.
  • Builds with blocks and other building toys using at least 6 blocks or toys.
  • Can work toys that have buttons, moving parts and levers.
  • Draws or copies two lines that cross.
  • Puts together 4 piece (or larger) puzzles.

Communication and Language Development

  • Gives own first name and age.
  • Follows 2 step directions without distraction.
  • Beginning to understand "in", "on", "under".
  • Can name familiar objects.
  • Has conversations consisting of 2-3 sentences.
  • Can name friends and family members.
  • Uses pronouns in conversations (I, me, we, you) and some plurals (dogs, cats, etc.)
  • Can be understood 75% of the time by strangers.

Creativity Development

  • Beginning to take on characteristics and actions of role play.
  • Can pretend with imaginary objects.
  • Uses language for creating and sustaining plots during play.


As with all milestones, remember that there can be a 6 to 8 month window with typical development. This means that children may exhibit skills 6 yo 8 months before or after the age the skills are listed under.

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