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Childhood milestones age 2

Child development: Your 2 year old

At 2, your child is developing in leaps and bounds, but not just physically - also in his or her ability to speak, play, learn and interact with others. Your child should have already developed "gross" motor skills such as walking and grasping objects. He or she should be understanding cause and effect - such as ringing a bell causing a noise - and also understand that objects are permanent and don't "disappear" just because you can't see them. There should be the beginnings of self-identity.

This guide gives some idea of what to expect by the time your child reaches his or her second birthday, but it's important to remember that children don't develop according to a fixed timetable. The speed at which children mature can be highly variable and your child may reach some stages earlier or later than others of the same age without there being reasons to be concerned.

Age 2: Physical development

By the time your child reaches the age of 2, you should notice some huge advances in his physical development. No longer the helpless newborn, your child should be mobile, capable of standing on tiptoes, walking backwards, and walking up and down stairs while holding on. He or she may even begin to run. Your child should be climbing up and down on furniture on his or her own. You should notice your child being able to kick or throw a ball. If there are signs of bladder control, your child might be ready for potty training by 18 months - however, it could also be another year or so before your child is ready, so don't rush it.

Age 2: Cognitive and language skills

This category covers a child's ability to learn and think and involves problem-solving. Between 12 and 18 months, your child may start to say and understand words, learning between six and 20 recognisable words. By the age of 2, your child may be speaking at least 50 words and linking two words together such as "no juice". By the age of 2, your child should be able to find hidden objects, even when covered by two or three layers. He or she should be able to build a tower of four to six bricks, begin to sort shapes and colours, and can play simple make-believe games. At this age your child might favour one hand more than the other. Your child should be able to name items such as a cat, dog or bird in a picture book, and even complete sentences and rhymes in familiar books. Expect your child to point to objects or pictures when named as well as know the names of familiar people and body parts. Your child should be able to say sentences of two to four words, repeat words overheard in a conversation and follow simple instructions such as "Pick up your jumper and put it on the chair."

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