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2 year developmental milestones

  • 1-5 Years
  • Child development and growing up
Toddler sitting at a child's table holding a football. A smiling adult is also sitting at the table and playing with the other soft toys on the table.

There are some key physical and communication milestones you will expect your 2 years old to reach. These milestones should be treated as a rough guide, as each child is unique and will develop at their own pace. It is often unhelpful to compare a child to other children or their siblings.


Last reviewed: 1 November, 2023

At around 2 years old you can expect your child to be able to:

Physical

  • kick a ball by moving their leg forward or walking into the ball
  • run and stop without bumping into things or falling over
  • jump with both feet leaving the floor at the same time
  • walk up or down at least two steps by themselves (they may hold onto the handrail or wall)
  • steer toys like a toy car or buggy around objects
  • drink from a cup with no lid
  • hold a spoon the right way up
  • flip switches on and off
  • turn pages of a book by themselves without help (they may turn more than 1 page at a time)
  • string small items such as beads or pasta onto a string
  • play with a cuddly toy or doll by pretending to care for it for example cuddling it, feeding it, putting it to bed

Read our information on activities to do with your 2 year old

Communication

  • enjoy playing pretend and roleplay
  • name well known objects
  • correctly use words like ‘me’, 'I', ‘mine’ and ‘you’
  • correctly put 2 to 3 words together
  • follow simple directions such as "find your coat" or "close the door"
  • put things away where they belong such as putting the toy back on the shelf

Read more about your child's communication

Encouraging development

Activities and games you can explore with your toddler:

  • messy play, water play and sand play
  • sorting boxes
  • hammer and peg toys
  • simple jigsaw puzzles
  • model toy building such as wooden building blocks
  • picture books
  • crayons
  • glove puppets
  • playing pretend and imaginary play
  • copying each other
Young toddler sitting on the floor building a house from plastic blocks.

Toddlers do not need lots of toys or devices to have fun or to encourage development. Toddlers have very active imaginations. Playing with old cardboard boxes or homemade playdough are great alternatives.

Possible development concerns

Sometimes development can be slower than you expect, or you may notice something different about your child or young person. It's normal to feel worried but there is lots of support out there. 

Contact your health visitor if you notice your toddler is:

  • not able to walk independently
  • not able to walk up and downstairs holding on

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Need more specific support for your child?

If your child needs more help or has additional needs, you can visit our specific section for extra support.

Child development and growing up for additional needs

Information

Who can help

If you have any questions or concerns about your toddler's development, a health professional in our team will be able to offer advice and support.

You can Call Us on 0300 029 50 50 or Text Us on 07520 649887 to start a conversation.

Open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm (excluding bank holidays).

Information for babies aged 2 years old

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