What to expect: Your toddler at 2-3 years

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Created on Oct 11, 2023 · 3 mins read

Your little one is continuing to grow rapidly at this stage. Socially, physically, and emotionally, they will face new challenges and pick up new skills all the time. This is when their specific personality traits will really start to shine through, how exciting! For a guide, here are a few of the ways they will be developing.

Social and emotional

Playing with other children instead of playing near each other will be a step. Simple make-believe games will entertain them for hours. This is where they will learn further interactions and social roles. Compassion, rule-following, and cooperation will be easier to understand and perform. Their attachment to you is very strong and they will show distress when you leave them. This might make you feel like they are constantly demanding your attention but stay calm and collected as much as you can! They may also start to show signs of guilt or remorse for bad behaviour.

Start using these times to have simple conversations about respect and fairness. Their personality around friends will start to shine through so be aware of how they play. Have open talks about their emotions and how they make them feel, they will show signs of distress which is when you can help their little minds find some ease and reassurance.

Language and understanding

Exploring all different types of materials like sand, playdough, and water will be a hobby. Counting numbers will start now while they can begin following two or more directions. They can identify boys or girls in photos and recognise more objects by pointing. Building towers with toys and using symbolic play are part of their playtime now. While doing any activity they can typically use 2 to 3 words together, such as “I eat now”. Simultaneously, welcome to the never-ending question phase. Your head might start to explode with the incessant response of “why” that comes after anything you say. Keep them happy by encouraging them to speak and responding with helpful answers. It might feel impossible at times but your little one is starting to understand the world and are endlessly curious!

Pronouns, prepositions, simple sentences, and phrases are used at this age. Meanwhile, they will start singing, dancing, and making music more – your own front-row concert every day! They may demand you to read stories out loud before bed which can be a great bonding time after a long day. Finally, they’re likely to copy your actions and words constantly, so be aware of your little parrot!


While they continue to walk, kicking and jumping will become new skills. When you play with them they might try to balance on one foot, run into balls to kick them, and squat down to pick up toys without using their hands to rise back up. They can open doors by themselves and get dressed with some assistance, so their fashion choices are beginning! Lastly, they will draw circles and lines in scribbles with pencils and self-feed with utensils and a cup.

These are just a few of the changes to expect during this developmental year. Have fun with their growing personalities and encourage their new skills with lots of playtime and plenty of cuddles. They look up to everything you do and are always watching as you’re their first teacher!

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