Teaching for 2 year olds

21 Important Things to Teach Your 2 Year Old


  • Share
  • Tweet

At this age, children are like little sponges, picking up every bit of information about the world around them. The majority of things that your two year old learns will be through play and normal social interaction.

Everyday occurrences can provide numerous learning activities for your two year old. However, there are plenty of everyday skills and tasks that you can start teaching your toddler.

Being at home with two toddlers for awhile and just trying to make it to nap time, I realized that maybe I wasn’t teaching them enough. Between meal times, clean up, and just trying to prevent any bodily injuries, actual learning can seem to fall on the back burner.

This post may contain affiliate links which I would receive a small commission should you make a purchase.

Get A Year of Activities for Your Child FREE!

Sign up Here

Two Year Olds Can Learn Through Play Activities

As a pediatric occupational therapist, I know that children can learn a significant amount of knowledge through their everyday play.

Toys and gadgets may be teaching them things like cause-and-effect, problem solving, and new language. They’ll also be developing key skills like hand-eye coordination and independence.

Both structured and unstructured play are important to develop these necessary skills. Most of what they learn, you won’t even realize that you’re teaching them!

However, if you’re not in the education field, you may be unsure of simple ways to teach your two year old or ways to incorporate new learning into everyday activities.

What You Can Teach Your Two Year Old

Below are a bunch of skills and concepts that you can help your 2-year-old to understand. Practice and exposure is the best way to develop new skills with your child.

Below is a list of learning activities for two year olds for the whole range up to 3. Not exclusively once they turn two.

Always remember that every child develops at their own pace so don’t worry too much if your child doesn’t know all of these concepts yet. This isn’t a list of what they should know at this point, but rather a guide to help you understand what they may be capable of learning at this age.


Your 2-year-old should have gained a slew of new vocabulary words in the past year. Now they’re learning how to put these words together to form 2-3 word phrases, short sentences, and questions. Here are some of the common words, phrases, and concepts that your two year old may be able to say and understand:

  • Action words to help them communicate (more, go, come, want, up, down, etc.)
  • Manners (please, thank you)
  • Names of body parts
  • Animal sounds and names of animals
  • Names (their own first and last name, and names of family and friends)
  • Vehicles (cars, trucks, firetruck, airplane)
  • Household objects (names of certain food, utensils, furniture, clothing, etc that they use daily)
  • Colors and Shapes
  • Sizes (big, small, tall, short)
  • Direction words (below, above, next to, on top, underneath, etc. although this may still develop more later)
  • Weather (sunny, rainy, cloudy, windy, snowy, hot, cold, etc.)

Before they turn 3, they should have a pretty extensive vocabulary. If your child has several words, help them to group words together if they’re not doing so on their own. For example, if your child says “more,” repeat after them, “more Cheerios?” and have them repeat the two words together. If they say, “want water,” repeat after them, “I want water?” and have them repeat that as well.

Adding on words to their current vocabulary will help them speak in longer phrases and sentences.

If your child is not continuing to gain more words throughout the past few months, consult your pediatrician. Here are more tips to get your toddler to talk here.


At 2, your child should definitely get the concept of “reading” a book. Of course, they won’t actually be reading the words, but they will most likely grab a book and snuggle in the corner of the couch to flip through the pages.

Make sure they understand how to read the book from front cover to back cover and the right way to hold it. They will simply look at the pictures at this age, but as they get later in their 2’s, they’ll start to recognize that there are letters and words on the page that actually mean something.

When you are reading to them, be sure to use your finger to follow along with the words on the page so they start to associate the letters with what you’re saying. At this point, you can stop making up your own words or just describing the pictures on the page and actually read word-for-word. This way, your toddler will get the concept that a story is being told.

Have your toddler describe the pictures to you and you can even ask them questions about the pictures or the words that you just read. Questions like, “What color is the girl’s dress” or “Which one is bigger, the lion or the snail?” are appropriate at this age.

They’ll still benefit most from board books where they can easily turn the pages, but may start exploring books with thinner pages. Some favorite types of books around 2 years old are Lift-The-Flap Books, Touch-and-Feel Books, and Play-A-Sound Books.

They’ll love books with lots of pictures, their favorite characters and objects, or silly books. Check out my list of the Best Books for 2 Year Olds here.

Related Post: The Outstanding Benefits of Reading to Babies and Toddlers


Your two-year-old is probably begging to do things on their own so give them these opportunities to learn, understand, and make mistakes (within limits, of course).

Of course they may not have perfected the skill yet, but the only way a child will learn these new skills is by doing it by themselves. You can help them to complete the task once they’ve already tried it on their own.

They should be increasing their independence in areas like:

  • Dressing: choosing their own clothes, taking on/off shirt/pants with help, underpants/pull-up with help, shoes, and socks, and even learning the right way to put on items (backwards or forwards)
  • Feeding: using utensils with some spills, choosing their meals and snacks, opening containers, drinking from a straw cup regularly, and practicing with an open cup with supervision. I love these OXO utensils for 2 year olds as they have a good gripper and can really pierce the food, but if your toddler wants to be even more like mom and dad, these ones are great toddler utensils also.
  • Brushing teeth and hair:  Teach them how to brush back and forth on their own and using a cup to rinse. My toddlers LOVE using an electric toothbrush like this one, especially the ones with their favorite characters.
  • Cleaning up: wiping up messes, putting toys away, bringing dishes, cups, & utensils to the sink when done, throwing away their garbage, and using a handheld vacuum to clean
  • Hygeine: Blowing their nose, washing their hands, using a washcloth to wash themselves in the tub. Make washing hands and standing at the sink much easier by using stools and sink faucet extenders.
  • Transitions: Getting in and out of the car on their own, going up and down the stairs, ending one activity and moving to the next without complaining, turning on/off lights when entering/leaving the room

Be sure to model and show your childhood to do these skills the right way so that they don’t keep practicing something the wrong way.


Using their imagination opens up a world of fun and play for your toddler. This skill typically comes naturally as they copy and imitate what they see in the real world, in books, or on tv. They will use a combination of imagination and reality to copy the things they see daily, like these:

  • Cooking in a play kitchen with pots and pans
  • Hosting a tea party for their dolls and stuffed animals
  • Feeding, burping, and changing a baby doll with play spoons, bottles, and diapers
  • Talking on the phone with a play cell phone
  • Playing doctor with a doctor or nurses kit
  • Going shopping with a shopping cart and fake food
  • Driving a car
  • Sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming the floor


These are great fine motor learning activities for 2-year-olds. At this point, they should have moved past scribbling and be able to make some intentional marks on the paper, including a straight line down, straight line across, and maybe even attempt a circle. Of course, these may not be perfect, but they should get the concept of making intentional marks.

They’ll love coloring pictures, but getting them used to making marks will help improve their drawing and writing down the road. Print out pictures of their favorite characters or get a coloring book from their favorite tv show.

Also, you can draw or print out pages with letters so they can trace and get familiar with the alphabet.

I highly suggest these finger crayons for the young ones.  They are perfect for little hands and promote a good grasp when holding the crayons.

If you’ve already started using markers, you have probably discovered that toddlers and markers aren’t a good match (unless you want a mural on your wall), so these Crayola Mess-Free Coloring Sheets are my absolute favorites!

The markers come out clear if they are used on any other surface besides the paper. On these special sheets, they’ll turn a color so your toddler sees the masterpiece that they are creating. They have so many characters available so I’m sure you can find a pack that your child will love.


Your 2 year old may be able to count to 10 (with some errors at times) from memory and maybe even higher with more practice. They can also work on recognizing and identifying those numbers and counting objects.

You can practice counting with so many different, everyday objects:

  • count each step while you’re walking up the stairs
  • count the number of French fries on their dinner plate
  • count the number of toys in their bin

Numbers are everywhere so be sure that they are counting whenever they can.

The concept of one-to-one correspondence (one object is one number) comes later, but many toddlers can get the idea early on. Just show them how to point to each object as they count it and correct them if they start saying 2 numbers as they count one object or skip over objects when counting.

Related Post: 19 Activities to Introduce Counting to Your Toddler


Your child may already know many of the letters of the alphabet. They may be able to recite the ABC’s from memory (with some errors and help as needed). Now you can work on recognizing letters, as well as the sounds they make.

When talking about a letter, for example M: say M says mmm for mom. Always have them repeat you to etch it into their memory.

Be sure to have your child look at both uppercase and lowercase letters when learning. Most children are taught all of the uppercase letters first, however, the lowers case letters are the ones that they will see more often when they read or see words.

These name puzzles from Bloom Owl are a great way to get your child learning the letters of their name. They’ll love playing with the puzzle as they start to recognize the letters they see all the time.

By far my favorite resource for having your child learning letters and letter sounds is the Leap Frog shows on Netflix. They include Letter Factory, Phonics Farm, and more. If you have Netflix you can access these shows! My 20 month year old was reciting all of the letter sounds because he loves this show so much!

Related Post: Sticker Activity for Learning Letters


Building helps to improve your child’s hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness. They’ll be able to use their imagination and creativity to create masterpieces and then knock them all down when they’re done.

This Melissa & Doug Alphabet block set is great for small hands to stack. Two year olds also love Mega Blocks as they are perfect for stacking, putting together, and taking apart. My kids are obsessed with Magnetic Tiles and Bristle Blocks for building too.

These toys and learning activities for two year olds encourage imaginative play and let them problem solve and investigate the world around them. Tell them to build a robot, a tall building, or a table. They’ll love trying to come up with ways to make these items.


Puzzles are a great activity for fine and visual motor skills (hand-eye coordination). Having to fit a piece into it’s correct spot by turning and manipulating it is great for visual-spatial awareness.

Your 2 year old may still enjoy doing inset puzzles with knobs or pegs, which allow them to easily match shapes and items and fit the pieces in a spot. If they seem to have moved past simple inset puzzles, they may be ready to start with interlocking puzzles.

If you want to try out some more complicated interlocking puzzles try these to start. Also the name puzzles mentioned above are great to also enhance letter learning at the same time.


Two-year-olds are known to be pretty wild so you probably won’t need much coaxing to get them active. However, make sure they’re getting plenty of physical activity to learn new gross motor skills. These include:

  • Jumping
  • Running
  • Climbing
  • Pedaling a tricycle or ride-on toy
  • Throwing/catching/kicking a ball

The best way to get them active is to give them lots of outdoor time. Take them to playgrounds to climb on the equipment as they offer so many opportunities for enriching gross motor skills. Take them for a walk and point out all the sights you see.


Children love rhythm and music so get them singing, dancing, and exploring their bodies with music. Put on music for them to dance to, sing along to their favorite songs with a microphone, or make their own music with toy instruments like maracas, xylophone, tamborine, etc.

You can also make musical ‘instruments’ with so many household objects, like shaking pill bottles, banging wooden spoons, or filling plastic Easter eggs or water bottles with uncooked beans or rice.

Songs are also the best way for little ones to learn and memorize new concepts. Therefore, you can sing songs like the ABCs, head, shoulders, knees, and toes, or Old McDonald to learn letters, body parts, and farm animals, respectively.


Around 2 is the typical age that most parents decide to start potty training. Between 2 and 3, many children will be fully capable of using the toilet.

You can start gradually by introducing the potty and have them sit on it during different periods of the day when you know that they usually go.

Be sure to wait until they’re ready and don’t force it on them. You can start slow and steady with gently potty training to get them familiar or dive all in on a 3-day potty training binge.

Here are some great tips on potty training your toddler here.


This is something that may not come until closer to 3 and of course your two year old will not be able to tell time. However you can still teach them a basic sense of how much time is remaining or when time is over.

For example, when you say “5 more minutes left to play until dinner time” or “go brush your teeth in 1 minute,” They still won’t have a true sense of how long these increments of time are, but you can try to make them aware that 1 minute is quick, compared to 10 minutes or 20 minutes.

Before they fully have a sense of time, try setting an audio or visual timer when you need to show them when time is up. For example, when you say clean up in 5 more minutes, set a timer for 5 minutes to ring when it’s time.

We love the Time to Wake clocks for my toddlers. They let them know when it’s time to call for mom or get out of bed by simply turning a different color when it’s almost time to get up or when they should leave their room.

This is a great visual way for them to “see” and understand time.


Of course, safety is a crucial lesson to teach your child. This is the age where they will probably have no fear or understanding of dangerous situations. The following practices need to be taught and don’t just come naturally to your little one:

  • not running away in public
  • not running out into a parking lot
  • stranger danger
  • staying close to mom or dad
  • being cautious when crossing streets
  • holding hands when in public or outside
  • sun safety: applying sunscreen, wearing hats

Speaking of safety for your little ones, the Whystle App is a great resource for all parents to have that tracks all safety information that’s important to your family. This includes product recalls for toys, food, and more that could promote dangers into your home. Download this app free on your phone and then there’s a free trial for the subscription so you never miss an important safety warning.


Understanding how to properly treat others is a valuable trait to instill in your child. This goes for respecting both adults and other children. It’s important to teach your children how to use polite words and actions to show manners.

At this age, they are starting to test their boundaries and explore new ways of getting what they want. Instill rules for respecting others even through times of frustration.

  • Saying excuse me when needing someone to move or get their attention
  • Patiently waiting for a parent to finish talking to another parent before chiming in
  • Saying please and thank you shows consideration and appreciation
  • Making eye contact when speaking to others
  • Apologizing when you do something wrong
  • Share their toys or items that belong to them
  • No pushing, hitting, biting, or pulling hair to hurt others in any way


Teaching your child to practice good hygiene and healthy eating is great to start young.  Build-in their hygiene routine throughout the day and they will become accustomed to this regimen. Eating healthy foods early on to set them off for a healthy diet for the rest of their life. These include:

  • eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and proteins. Avoid: processed foods, unhealthy snacks, and sweets
  • washing hands after meals and potty
  • brushing teeth morning and night
  • bathing daily
  • keeping their clothes and body clean while they eat or play
  • covering their mouth when they sneeze or cough
  • blowing their nose into a tissue
  • wiping their own privates after going potty

Complying with:

  • brushing and combing hair
  • cutting fingernails and toenails
  • cleaning inside ears with a child safety q-tip

Related Post: How to Get Your Picky Toddler to Try New Foods


Toddlers are very ego-centric (only care about themselves). It’s totally normal for them to only think about how things will affect them. This almost always leads to inappropriate behaviors as they learn what behaviors get them what they want.

Don’t always give in to every cry and teach them that sometimes they can’t get everything that they want. Don’t always give them the cookie that they’re begging for or the new toy at the store. If they must get the object that they desire, make them earn it.

Teach your 2-year-old how to act appropriately to avoid tantrums in public. Try putting rules in place when you are out so they know what is expected of them. Always have a way to redirect or distract them when you see a tantrum starting (using something else they are interested in). Lastly, just avoid situations that could set them off.

This is a great article about Tips for Cry-Free Shopping with Your Toddler


Your child probably already has some routine in place throughout their day. However, you want to ensure that they are consistently doing what is asked of them so that they could even do it on their own if needed. The more structure that your child has in their day, the more they will start to understand time and a daily schedule.

I love using a routine or responsibility chart (like the blue/green one on the right) so my toddler can have a visual cue of everything that is expected of her. Use one with pictures instead of just words, (like this Mickey Mouse chart), so your toddler actually understands what it’s for.

Here are some examples of day-to-day routines that you can create a specific pattern for:

  • Bedtime: Brush teeth, go potty, wash hands, put pajamas on, read a story, go to sleep
  • Morning: Go potty, wash hands, brush teeth, get dressed, eat breakfast
  • Before naptime
  • Pre-dinner wind-down time
  • Cleaning time

Related Post: Why Your Child Needs a Daily Routine and How to Make One



A toddler has a very limited attention span (unless of course, they’re watching their favorite television show). It’s only reasonable to ask them to focus on a task for around 4-6 minutes at this age. However, it is important for them to be aware that once they start a task they should finish it to completion.

My daughter loves to grab a puzzle and put in 3 pieces and walk away or sit down and read 2 pages and then walk away.

The goal of teaching your child to stay on task is to complete what they start. Here are some tips:

  • While playing with your child, make sure that they complete the entire activity, ie. puzzle or read through the whole book, before they get up and run around.
  • If they’re coloring or building a tower, keep them engaged in that one activity for as long as possible before you let them move on to the next.
  • During mealtimes make sure they remain seated and finish their meal before getting up and playing.
  • Make sure they clean up one activity before moving on to the next


Little kids LOVE to help grown-ups. They want to do everything that you’re doing because they’re starting to gain this growing confidence and independence. Invite them to perform tasks that they may not be able to do independently, but that they can help you with.

  • Get the mail
  • Take the trash out
  • Refill the toilet paper roll dispenser
  • Help with cooking: mixing, adding ingredients
  • Carrying in bags or groceries
  • Fill the dog bowl
  • Entertain a younger sibling


Technology or screen time should be limited for toddlers to 1 hour a day, but it is important for your child to learn how to use these devices. The fine motor skill of swiping, clicking, and sliding to nagivate through tablets and smart phones are something that your 2 year old can easily learn.

Ipad educational games like ABC Mouse are great to sharpen a lot of the educational skills listen above, as well as practice using a tablet or smart phone. My toddler loves ABC Mouse because of the wide variety of games and fun. She’s learning how to trace letters, numbers, make new sounds and words, etc. They’re giving a FREE 30-day trial now so sign up while you can!

Leapfrog Laptop is also a fun interactive computer that toddlers can easily use and learn on.

Most of these skills can be accomplished at some point while a child is two (24-35 months old), but every child develops at their own pace. This article is not intended to skew your mind into thinking that your child MUST know these concepts.

However, if you are looking for learning activities to do with your child, ways to engage their mind, or knowledge to teach them, these are some great tips. Your child is NOT behind if they can’t adequately do all of these things, but if you are concerned, please speak to your pediatrician.

Have fun teaching your two-year-old and enjoy watching them blossom this year. They’ll be growing and developing before your eyes so don’t blink! Here are some more great learning activity ideas to do with your 2 year old.

Related posts:

26 things you should be teaching your 2-year-old


There’s a whole host of exciting things you can teach your 2-year-old. 

Your child will have come on leaps and bounds since becoming a toddler and there’s a whole lot more to come after they turn two. 

At this stage your child will be extremely mobile – although still tripping here and there – and very chatty with lots of questions. 

I loved this stage with both of my children, as they were still keen for lots of cuddles with their mum but also wanted to try a lot of new things. 

Plus the conversations you have with a child at age two are pretty hilarious! 

This article will talk about the things you should be doing with your two-year-old at home, or when out and about at the playground for example, to help them learn new skills and improve their wellbeing.  

In the early years children do their learning through play. So all of these things should be done with fun at the very centre of it. 

Most of these things to teach your 2-year-old have ideas for what to actually do to help with this, but keep them in mind in anything that you do. 

There are probably many opportunities, for example, to teach your child independence in your own unique daily routine. 

So I hope these give you some great ideas for encouraging your two-year-old’s development, while also having a lot of fun too!

You may also like: 50 toddler crafts

40 things to do with your toddler at home

This post contains affiliate links.


By the time your child is two they may well be counting to 10. Start encouraging them to learn numbers 1 through to 20, but of course keep doing so at your child’s own pace. 

Encourage them to keep practicing this by using numbers and counting in play. If you’re playing with blocks then ask your child how many they have in one pile. Add another block and ask how many there are now. 

Use numbers in your conversations regularly and they will become more confident with their counting. 

It’s also great to show them what numbers look like when written down. A number puzzle can help with this so that they get a sense for reading numbers. Also point out any numbers written down in a book when reading together. 

New words 

Speech is the foundation of so much learning for children. 

By now your two-year-old will likely be using around 50 words and be putting together short sentences with two or more words. From the age of two to three your child will begin to use 200 words regularly, according to Mayo Clinic.

Your child is probably already using the words mummy, daddy and no quite a lot. Now you can start to broaden their vocabulary by exposing them to new words frequently.  

A lot happens with language development from age two so you can help to nurture that by encouraging them to speak often.  

I found that reading books with my kids regularly was particularly useful in their language development. My children’s nursery key workers frequently remarked that it was clear both kids read a lot at home, and this has been hugely useful for helping my eldest daughter when learning to read. 

Ways to help your child learn new words include: 

  • Talk to them about everything and anything – when you’re cooking tell them what ingredients you have and what you’re doing with them. 
  • Ask your child questions and respond to what they say. 
  • Read books together every day. Discuss what is happening in the story and pictures with your child, and ask what they think. 

The alphabet 

Your two-year-old may have already started to learn the alphabet. Now is a good age to help nurture this so that they recognise the letters when written down and can recite the alphabet in order. 

One great way to teach the alphabet is with song. You can sing it to them or find a video on YouTube of the alphabet song like this one.  

At school your child will be learning to read and spell using phonics and it’s never too early to start using phonetic sounds with your little one. This is basically the sound the letter makes when used to spell a word. There’s a great introductory video to that for parents here. 

Colouring sheets with letters on can really help your child to become familiar with the letters of the alphabet too. 

There are some cool free alphabet colouring pages for you to download here.

Finding and making patterns 

Recognising patterns is another useful and important skill. This helps children to understand the world around them. 

These don’t have to be complex patterns, even recognising simple repetition like where you have square, circle, square circle, drawn on a page helps them begin to understand about patterns. 

Patterns help kids to make predictions about what comes next, so it’s a logic and reasoning skill.

Finger painting is another great way they can explore patterns. Encourage them to make different marks in a row and get them to repeat those marks. It may turn messy but they will love it!

A love of reading 

Enjoying books and being exposed to reading regularly has many benefits for children of all ages. 

At this age it helps to foster a love of reading, shows children new words with a fun way of explaining their meanings in context and promotes the ability to sit still and listen (which is a skill!). 

Understanding language and being exposed to a wide range of words from an early age has been proven to be extremely beneficial for childhood learning. It’s the building blocks of going on to learn other subjects when your child is at school.

This study found that children who were read to from an early age can help children’s language abilities and concludes reading should begin “the sooner, the better”.

It is wonderful to now see my six year old thoroughly enjoying books in the evenings before she goes to bed. I still read her a bedtime story but she also reads independently and that is wonderful to see. Reading should be fun!

Some great books for two-year-olds include: 

  • The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson 
  • Guess How Much I Love You 
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar 
  • Peepo 

How to tell a story 

Your child will be encouraged to do this once they start school but it’s a fun thing to start with them right now. 

Part of their English studies in the first couple of years of school is that stories have a beginning, a middle and an end. 

So have a conversation with them about their favourite book. Ask them if they have thought about a different ending to that story, or share an idea you have for a different ending. 

You could also make up stories for your kids – my two absolutely love this – and then encourage them to make up their own stories. Ask questions as they go prompting them about what happens next. 

Having a conversation 

Basic communication is a great skill to encourage at this early age.  

Speak to your two-year-old regularly and ask them questions, listen to their responses and then respond. 

Even simple exchanges about what their favourite foods are or what their favourite colour is help to build their confidence with language and expressing themselves. 

How to dress themselves 

To you your two-year-old is still your baby – and that probably won’t change even when they’re 22!

However now is a good time to encourage them to dress themselves, and they will probably love doing it. 

If they’re not that keen then you can encourage them to do this by offering them choices of clothing. Lay out two outfits and ask them which one they want to wear and then encourage them to put the clothes on themselves. 

Make this easier for them by choosing clothes that they can put on simply – so nothing with buttons at the back or very small buttons that they may struggle with. Help them with tricky bits but praise and be really enthusiastic when they manage to do bits of it themselves.  

Problem solving 

Your child isn’t ready to solve complex problems just yet but they can start to develop these skills through simple activities. 

Things like puzzles, building blocks and crafts can help them to figure out how to find solutions to problems. 

You could also challenge them to sort out their toys into piles by colour or try this colour sorting game. 

If they have blocks, such as Lego, you could challenge them to build a bridge for the Lego characters to cross. 

How to play independently 

Independent play is a valuable skill. It encourages your child to use their imagination and helps nurture their creativity and confidence. 

You can encourage your toddler to play independently by doing the following: 

  • Create a space that is safe for them to play in alone. Of course you won’t be far away, but a playroom that’s full child-proofed is a safe place for them to choose how they want to play independently. 
  • Placing out toys that they can play with alone. Blocks, dolls and imaginative toys such as tea sets are a great choice. 


A two-year-old is never going to be the world’s most patient individual. Chances are your two year old loses their patience on a daily basis! 

However you can start to encourage patience. It can help to have a routine so that your child has boundaries of what to expect and when, for example they know when snack time will be and that they can’t have a snack before that time. 

It can help to have a clock on the wall, or a timer to make it simpler, to encourage your child to wait when you need them to. 

The key with kids at this age is accepting they are learning, praising them when they get it right and keeping their cool when they have a bad day. It’s all about repetition and consistency of message. 

Good manners 

Saying please and thank you is such an important part of social etiquette and your toddler is not too young to learn this. 

To help teach your toddler good manners try to do the following: 

When reminding your toddler to use good manners do so in a positive way, so that it’s not like you’re scolding them when they forget.  

Lead by example. Say please and thank you to your toddler in your interactions with them. 

  • Praise then they get it right.
  • Keep gently reminding them. 
  • Practice at home. 

Body parts

Learning the different body parts is an important part of language development and understanding of their own bodies and how they work. 

You can try singing songs about the parts of the body, such as Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. 

Keep repeating the names of their body parts to your child and point them out on yourself too. 


Teach your child about the different types of shapes using puzzles or blocks. 

A shape sorting toy can be a great way of introducing shapes in a fun way. 

Repetition is the key, so keep saying the shapes and showing them examples as you see them. Challenge your child to spot the different shapes in the world around them when you’re out and about. 


Encouraging curiosity and a sense of adventure is also an important lesson for a 2-year-old.  

Take them to different places and let them explore by climbing, touching and looking at new things. 

Places to encourage your child to explore include: 

  • Zoo
  • Farm 
  • Swimming pool 
  • Playground 
  • Woodland

Safety and spotting danger 

I am a parent who says the word “careful” way too often. I have to stop myself from doing it so much!

It’s important to strike a balance between telling your child about potential dangers and allowing them the freedom to take some, acceptable, risks. 

For examples dangers you should be educating your toddler about include: 

  • How to cross the road safely. 
  • Using their scooter or bicycle – wear a helmet and cycle on the pavement. 
  • Speaking to strangers. 

However it’s also important to allow your child to explore their boundaries, within a safe environment. At two your child may be trying to climb up everything at the playground, even the things slightly beyond their reach. Strike a balance between keeping them safe and letting them explore. 

Sharing with others 

Your two-year-old is not going to get this one right very often! My four-year-old is still terrible at sharing. 

But it’s a lesson to keep trying to reinforce gently with them. They learn how to socialise and deal with conflicts with other kids best by playing with other kids. 

This is why some childcare or group kids activities can really help them to develop this vital skill. 

Music and rhythm 

Music inspires children, provides great fun and helps them be more creative. 

It’s thought exposure to music also helps with brain development, and songs with rhyming help with language. 

Some great ways to inspire your child with music include:

  • Sing nursery rhymes together 
  • Listen to different types of music and talk about how it made them feel 
  • Play music and dance together 
  • Make up a song that you sing to them (I used to have one I sung at bedtime)
  • Explore musical instruments – there are tons of toddler friendly toys that are musical such as bells, rattles, shakers, drums and keyboards.  

Helping out 

Giving your child small chores to do around the house is a great way of encouraging independence and responsibility in your child. 

Chores your two year old can help with include: 

  • Putting their dirty laundry in the laundry hamper. 
  • Making their bed
  • Tidying their room
  • Putting away their toys once they’re done
  • Fetching a clean nappy for a younger sibling 
  • Taking their finished plate into the kitchen after dinner 

Table manners and skills 

Your toddler may not be very skilled with a knife and fork now but they can learn good table manners. 

This includes staying seated until they are finished, keeping the food on their plate, keeping their mouths shut when they chew and using cutlery. 

Encourage them to eat with a fork or a spoon rather than their hands wherever possible. 

Also remind them to sit up, without putting their feet on the table. 

It can really help to sit down as a family and eat at least one meal all together. This helps your child learn how to sit and finish a meal together. Doing this every day so it becomes routine. 

If your child is a fussy eater then encourage them to try new things. This can be made easier by using the familiar to introduce the unfamiliar. So with a dish that they like, add a new vegetable or a different meat and see how they get on.

What their name looks like written down

This will help your toddler particularly if they are going to childcare where they may have a peg or a drawer. But it’s an important skill to have anyway as it helps nurture their reading and understanding of the alphabet. 

Help them do this by writing their name down for them. Have it on a banner in their room – you can get some really pretty ones to add a bit of decoration to their bedroom – and point it out to them regularly saying that’s your name. 

Use printable colouring pages with letters from your child’s name and encourage your child to colour them in, then place them in the right order to spell out their name.  

Completing a task 

Toddlers do not have huge attention spans but it’s worth encouraging them to stick with a task until it is finished. 

This may require a lot of encouragement and interaction from you but it helps them learn how to concentrate. 

Keep the tasks short and easy. A task might be creating a picture of themselves or making a mosaic on a piece of paper with stickers. 

Water confidence 

Bathtime is probably one of your two-year-olds favourite parts of the day. 

You may already be taking your toddler to swim classes, or to a pool, regularly. Continue to nurture this by taking them swimming whenever you can. They may not be swimming alone without armbands for another couple of years yet but helping them to feel confident in the water is really important. 

This includes showing them it’s OK to be splashed in the face sometimes. Help them get used to this by encouraging them to lower their mouth to the water and blow bubbles.

Names of fruit and vegetables 

Your child may well need no encouragement when it comes to getting excited about food! 

Help to nurture an understanding of healthy eating and a balanced diet by getting them interested in vegetables.  

Show them raw vegetables and explain to them what you’re doing as you cook them. 

Teach them the names of the fruits and vegetables so that they learn those new words. 


At age two your child will either be beginning or about to begin potty training, see below. 

It’s important to encourage good hygiene practices at this age, and repetition makes it become a part of the routine so they do it without even being asked. 

Encourage your child to wash their hands before dinner and after using the bathroom. 

Make this easier for them by adding a stool in front of the sink so they can reach the taps themselves. Teach them about how to use the hot and cold tap so they can use the water safely. 

Potty training 

Some parents might begin potty training before age two but most parents begin to potty train between two and two and a half, according to the NHS.

This is one of those milestones that can be a breeze or a bumpy ride for parents.  

Some kids are ready and just pick it up within a few days. Others take a little longer to be ready for potty training. If your child is late to potty training, please understand this is totally OK!

My youngest was not ready until she was three and a half. We finally got there after a few false starts. 

You may want to read my posts about how to know when you’ve started potty training too soon and tips for getting started with potty training. 

Developmental activities with a child 2-3 years old


A child at 2 years old: what is he like
Basics of development
Logical and mathematical thinking
Oral speech
General and fine motor skills
Intellectual abilities

Acquaintance with 00 When a baby turns two years old, he begins to actively explore the world around him, so parents ask themselves the question: how to develop a child at 2 years old correctly? Various tasks for children of this age develop many children's abilities, including speech, social, tactile, creative skills, etc.

A 2-year-old child: what is he like

Children from 2 to 3 years old are very active. They cannot sit still, they definitely need to try everything and go everywhere, because they are eager to find out how the world works around them. But, despite this, children at this age are more attentive than at one or a year and a half.

Two year olds absorb an incredible amount of new information like a sponge, and this is fertile ground for early development. There is no need to buy expensive toys. It is enough to carefully observe the interests of your baby, try to answer his questions, explain everything that he sees around. But do not overdo it: oversaturation with new knowledge can lead to a refusal to perceive it. nine0003

2-3 years of age is considered to be a transitional period, from a model of behavior of an early age to the manifestation of one's "I". Very emotional, the baby still hardly holds attention to one thing, but if he is interested, he can enthusiastically engage in 15-20 minutes. Make good use of this time!

Development Fundamentals

For a two -year -old, the key activity is the game. Through play activities, mental, mental and social development occurs. On the other hand, the game cannot be aimless. In order for every minute to bring benefit to the child, it is necessary that the classes be aimed at development:

- logical thinking;
- oral speech;
- attention;
- fine motor skills;
- intellect;
- the surrounding world.

Logical and mathematical thinking

Mastering space and time. Hide some toy and invite the child to find it, helping with hints ("Let's look in the closet / under the table / bedspread ...").

We distinguish the time of day. nine0020 You can talk about this topic during the day, for example, at breakfast, tell the baby what time of day it is, and before going to bed, ask what he was doing in the morning, afternoon and evening.

Learning to count. It is better to start studying mathematics not with abstract numbers, but with things understandable to the kid. Count everything around: steps, steps, fingers, toys). Teach your child to show his age on his fingers.

Putting puzzles together. This is a difficult task, so you can't do without the help of an adult. Choose pictures from 2-6 elements. Of the two paths “difficult puzzle - mom help” and “easy puzzle, but on your own” - prefer the second. nine0003

Learning to compare. Studying the concept of "a lot-little", lay out two piles of buttons - the child must determine which is more and which is less.


Reading . Take a book by age, with large print and pictures. Discuss the plot of the story with your child as you read. Ask questions, praise for the correct answers, give hints if the baby is having a hard time.

Puppet theater . Not only special dolls are suitable for him, but also toys familiar to the baby. The first performance is staged by an adult, showing an example, then we connect the child. Entrust him with the main role or tasks of the director. nine0003

Finish the sentence game . Start saying the phrase, and the baby will finish it. You can illustrate situations from life: “There is a red one here ...”, “This girl is dressed in ...”.

Expanding vocabulary . A two-year-old understands more words than he can pronounce. Speak with him all the events of the day, even “what you ate”, “whom you played with”. This lesson improves pronunciation, teaches the baby to share his thoughts with his family.


Find item . Any place will do: in nature, on the street, in line at the clinic, at home. Ask the child to show a white car on the road, find the character in the picture. The main thing is to be interested!

Find the common feature . Arrange items according to a common feature, for example, with the same pattern, color, shape. It is important that the objects are diverse: a mitten, a saucer, a picture in a book.

We build according to the drawing . There are a lot of games with drawings for this. Buy an age-appropriate set (2-6 pieces) and let your little one build a tower or house on their own. nine0005

General and fine motor skills

Modeling . Choose high-quality plasticine of different colors, which can also be successfully memorized in the game.

Application . This case will not only strengthen the fingers, but also deepen creative thinking.

Dressing and undressing . Let the baby dress up the toy on their own or get ready for a walk.

Water games . It is most convenient to play with plastic children's utensils. Let your child play around in the water with the toy teapot and cups. nine0003

Hand washing . Teach your child to wash their hands without the help of an adult, after a walk and before eating. At the same time, he will master the skills of hygiene.

Angler game . Need balls or small toys. Throw them into the water (most convenient when bathing) and invite your baby to catch them with a spoon.

Intellectual ability

Music . Teach your baby and yourself to the classics, using them as a background while reading fairy tales and creative activities. Praise for wanting to dance. nine0003

Drawing . A two-year-old is already drawing quite consciously, trying to draw herself, her family, using circles, lines, squares. He learns to paint over the drawing without going beyond the contours. Draw together! Let the baby finish drawing your schemes of the sun or the animal himself.

Role play . Encourage your child's initiative in composing a play scenario with dolls or real people. Plots can be taken from life: go to the store while at home, send the doll to the doctor, school or kindergarten. It is important that the baby is the main one in the game. nine0005

Getting to know the world around us

Learning about animals . We talk about animals, we name parts of their body, cubs, what they eat and where they live. We tell you what role an animal or bird plays in nature, whether it matters to a person.

Watching nature . It is important to explain how rain, snow and other weather phenomena occur.

Studying the flora of the area . On the street, pay the child's attention to the plants, tell them what they are called. nine0003

Learn fruits and vegetables . Learn the names of familiar foods with your baby. Check in everyday life by offering to take an apple or a banana from a plate.

Distinguishing materials . Tell us what the objects around us are made of. They are wooden, metal, paper.

Working with a child is not difficult! Some games can be used even while walking, others require preparation. However, such exercises will become a powerful basis for the further development of the baby. He will be better aware of the world and strive for new knowledge. nine0005

Educational activities for children 2–3 years old

At the age of two or three years, a child actively explores the world around him, learns to talk and communicate with adults and peers. During this period, his personality begins to form. Therefore, parents need to pay special attention to the development of speech, thinking, social skills.

Contents of the article:

  • Classes for the development of logical and mathematical thinking
  • Lessons for the development of speech
  • Gross and fine motor activities
  • Classes on the study of the properties of objects
  • Getting to know the outside world
  • Output

Classes for the development of logical and mathematical thinking

The thinking of two and three year olds is clearly effective. The ability to think logically implies the ability to analyze, compare and generalize. You can develop logic and teach your little one basic math skills with the help of the following exercises. nine0003


Take a handful of buttons or other small items and divide them into two unequal piles. The child must determine which pile has a lot of buttons, and which has few. If he does not see the difference between the concepts of "a lot and a little", explain to him what it is.

The second variation of this exercise is the value comparison. Take several objects or toys of different sizes. Ask the baby to show where the small objects are and where the large ones are.


Children at the age of two or three are not yet familiar with numbers. It is better to master the counting skill on surrounding objects or on the fingers. Teach your child to show his age on his fingers, tell him how old he will be in a year, two, three.

It is convenient to use counting sticks or any other items for counting. Climbing the stairs with your child, count the steps, passing houses - windows, walking along the alley - trees or lampposts.

✅ Hidden Object

Hide a toy in the room and ask your baby to find it. Help him by suggesting places to search - under the sofa, behind the armchair, in the closet, etc. Then you can switch roles - the child hides the toy, and you are looking for it. nine0003

Speech development classes

Between the ages of two and three, children experience a significant leap in their speech development. Their vocabulary is replenished very quickly. Having become acquainted with a new word, children bring it into their vocabulary and begin to actively use it. Simple exercises will help develop speech skills.


The best way to develop speech is reading. Buy picture books for 2-3 year olds. Choose poems, fairy tales, nursery rhymes. It is useful for a child to listen to both prose and poetry. nine0003

When reading a fairy tale, ask your child questions about the plot. If he finds it difficult to answer, help him. Explain the meaning of each unknown word. Look at the illustrations in the book and discuss with your child.


This fun activity encourages speech development and voice training. Sing with your baby children's songs with and without musical accompaniment. Children quickly memorize rhyming lines and a motive, and sing along with adults with pleasure.

✅Composing proposals

Think of the beginning of a sentence and ask your child to continue it. For example, "Mom bought today in the store ..." or "Black runs down the street ...".

✅ Discussing the events of the day

Discuss the events with your child every day. For example, “You and I went to the park today and fed the ducks in the pond. And in the evening, my grandmother came to visit and brought a delicious pie, ”etc. If the baby goes to kindergarten, ask him to tell you how the day went, what he did, what interesting things happened. nine0003

✅Describing objects

Take an object and ask the child to describe it, asking leading questions (What color is it? Is it big or small? What does it look like? What is it for? etc.).

At 2–3 years old, children still do not pronounce words well, many of them abbreviate and distort. Be sure to correct your child when they speak incorrectly. Of course, he still does not know how to pronounce all the sounds, so a clear pronunciation will not work. But still, try to teach the baby to speak as correctly as possible. nine0003

Classes for the development of attention

At such an early age, attention is involuntary. This means that the child does not yet know how to concentrate it by willpower. His attention is attracted by what is of interest (a bright toy, the sound of music, people around him). Attention, like other mental processes, can and should be developed.

✅Search for an object

Take a picture with a story and ask the child to find a certain object or character in it. The same exercise can be performed outdoors. Ask the baby to show a flower, a red car, a cat, a girl in a green jacket, etc.

✅Looking for similarities

Take an object, such as a book, and ask your child to look around the room for things similar in shape to her. It can be a phone, a tablet, a picture on the wall. You can search for objects that are similar not in shape, but in color, size and other features.

✅Finding the Missing Item

Take some toys, place them on the table and ask your child to look at them carefully and memorize them. Then he should turn away or leave the room, and at this time you remove one toy. The task of the child is to determine which toy has disappeared. nine0003

Classes for the development of gross and fine motor skills

Finger motor skills are directly related to cognitive processes - speech, memory, thinking. Therefore, it needs to be developed. There are many exercises for this.

✅ Games with small objects

Invite your child to sort the buttons by size, string large beads on a string, roll the balls in his hands. Be careful not to put a small object in your mouth, nose, or ear.

✅Construction set and mosaic

Buy your child a construction kit or a mosaic for toddlers and build with him. This exciting activity strengthens the small muscles of the hand, makes the fingers more dexterous, trains attention and imagination.


Sculpt with your child various figures from clay, plasticine or salt dough. To make the lesson more interesting and exciting, read a fairy tale or watch a cartoon, and then try to make a character you like. nine0003

✅Finger games

Not only babies love to play finger games. Toddlers aged two or three love them too. Teach your baby to fold fingers into different shapes:

  • fold your thumb and forefinger into a ring and bring it to your eyes - you get glasses, and if you use all your fingers - binoculars;
  • clench the hand into a fist and stick out the index finger and little finger - these are the horns of a goat;
  • "Step" with your index and middle fingers on the table, representing the legs. nine0224

Invite your child to show their imagination by inventing and putting together unusual shapes from their fingers.

Gross motor skills are developed by ball games, cycling, jumping, wall bars and any physical activity. Teach your child to fasten and unfasten buttons, Velcro, hooks on clothes, put on and take off things on their own.

Classes for the development of intellectual abilities

Reading, music, creativity, solving logical and mathematical problems contribute to the development of the intellect of the crumbs. nine0003


Invite your child to draw a house, himself, mother. Set a theme for the picture, tell the child what details can be added to it. For example, a house can be surrounded by trees, the sun and clouds can be depicted in the sky.

✅Role-playing games

Make up a story, choose the right toys and play it out with your baby. For example, a doll is sick: you need to put her to bed, take her temperature, give her medicine in a spoon.


Listening to classical music has a positive effect on the mental development of children, as well as instills in them a sense of beauty. It is useful not only to listen to music, but also to dance to it. This has a positive effect on both mental and physical development.


Collecting puzzles trains attention, thinking, memory. Buy your child large puzzles with a small amount of detail and a clear image. First collect them together with the baby, and then invite him to do it on his own. nine0003

✅Sorting items

Shuffle the cards with different items and ask the child to sort them into categories, eg vegetables, fruits, clothes, furniture.


Solving riddles trains the intellect well. The main thing is to select tasks that are age-appropriate and understandable to the child.

✅Sunny bunny

On a clear day you can play with sun bunnies. Take a mirror and start letting bunnies on the ceiling, floor, walls. Then give the mirror to the child and let him try it himself. Coordinate his movements, suggesting how to catch a ray of the sun and direct it in the right direction. nine0003

Classes to study the properties of objects

Learning the properties of various objects develops the thinking of the baby, helping him to understand how and for what this or that thing can be used.

Teach your child to compare objects according to the following criteria:

  • size - big, small, tall, low, long, short;
  • state - hard, soft, liquid, warm, cold;
  • shape - round, square, rectangular, etc.; nine0224
  • flowers.

Anything can be used as a "learning tool".

  • Pour cold water into one glass and warm tea into the other and ask your child how they differ (color, temperature, taste).
  • Sew some cloth bags (you can use old socks) and fill them with sand, beans, small stones, balls, etc. Let the child try to feel what is in each bag.
  • nine0329 Buy a sorter - a special container with slots in the form of different geometric shapes and a set of matching inserts. The task of the child is to choose the right figure for each hole.
  • Invite the baby to feel different materials - leather, fur, silicone, wood. Let him tell you how they differ (fluffy fur, smooth skin, etc.).

Getting to know the outside world

The scope for exploring the outside world is very wide:


North Coast Community Services
710 Fraser Street, Prince Rupert, BC V8J 1P9
Ph: 250.627.7166 | Fx: 250.627.7482

© All Rights Reserved | powered by ExpressionEngine