From the age of 2 to 3 years old, there are a lot of changes that occur in a child. They start to develop intellectually and their needs change. Children at 2 ½ years old reach specific developmental milestones, or things most children can do by a certain age, including ways to play, learn, speak, and behave.
Everyone has heard of the terrible twos. But why are they called that? This is the age of testing boundaries, specifically those of the parents. Between the ages of 2 and 3, children begin behaving differently as they discover new emotions. Children throw tantrums to deal with these new emotions that they do not know yet how to express through words.
How do you fix this?
The best way to control the terrible twos is by setting a schedule. Many children misbehave because of lack of structure. By setting a schedule, it gives your child much-needed stability in a time of change for them.
To stop tantrums, provide positive reinforcement for good behavior and negative reinforcement for bad behavior. When they are behaving, give your child attention and praise. When they misbehave, limiting attention will cease defiant behavior such as tantrums. Not every new behavior is bad though. 2 ½ and 3-year-olds love being showered with affection. Unlike when they were younger, they are now at a point where they can kiss you and return hugs to you!
Language and Speech
At 24 months, a child generally has a vocabulary of 50 words. Between 24 and 36 months, their vocabulary grows and they start to put short sentences together. Only about 50 percent of what a child says at this age will be understandable. But if your child is not speaking or still only “babbles”, they may have a speech delay that needs to be addressed.
2 ½-year-old children start learning a lot of new things. From learning colors to an increased vocabulary, children start to become more mature and independent.
Here are just a few learning skills that children will learn between the second and third year.
- Identifying simple pictures such as a dog, cat, flower, or toy.
- Identifying family members in pictures.
- Pointing to body parts such as eyes, nose, or ears on command.
- Learning how to use common items such as a hairbrush, toothbrush, or crayon.
- Putting on clothes by themselves
- Going to the potty
You can stimulate a child’s learning by having them put away clothes in a laundry basket, pick up their toys and sort them in separate bins, or have them color pictures of specific items.
Children between the ages of 2 and 3 are very active. They want to play outside and with toys. The two most important things to do for your children is teaching them how to share and providing them with your attention. A child’s personality is still developing so lack of attention and playtime could negatively affect their comprehension of play and affection. If you teach them how to share at a young age, they are likely to use that the rest of their lives.