Developmental Milestones at 2 ½ Years

Here’s a look at what a child typically does at 2 1/2 years of age:

Social / Emotional Milestones

  • Plays next to other children and sometimes plays with them
  • Shows you what he or she can do by saying, “Look at me!”
  • Follows simple routines when told, like helping to pick up toys when you say, “It’s clean-up time.”

Language / Communication Milestones

  • Says about 50 words
  • Says 2 or more words together, with 1 action word, such as “Doggie run”
  • Names things in a book when you point and ask, “What is this?”
  • Uses pronouns such as “I,” “me” or “we”

Cognitive Milestones (learning, thinking, problem-solving)

  • Uses things to pretend, such as feeding a block to a doll as if it were food
  • Shows simple problem-solving skills, such as standing on a small stool to reach something
  • Follows 2-step instructions, such as “Put the toy down and close the door.”
  • Shows he or she knows at least 1 color, such as pointing to a red crayon when you ask, “Which one is red?”

Movement / Physical Milestones

  • Uses hands to twist things, like turning doorknobs or unscrewing lids
  • Takes some clothes off unassisted, such as loose pants or an open jacket
  • Jumps off the ground with both feet
  • Turns book pages, 1 at a time, when you read to him or her

Concerned About Your Child’s Development?

All children are different and develop at their own pace. If your child has not yet reached some of these milestones, it doesn’t necessarily mean something is wrong.

Still, you know your child best. And developmental delays or disorders are most successfully treated when caught early.

If you have concerns, don’t wait. Talk with the healthcare provider if you think your child:

  • Is not meeting milestones for his or her age
  • Has lost skills he or she once had, or is not doing something you’d expect him or her to be doing

Or if you have concerns about:

  • How your child plays, learns, speaks, acts or moves
  • Other things your child does

SOURCE: These developmental milestones, established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics, provide a general idea of what most children (75% or more) do at this age.

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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