Children's Development Two to Three Years
While reading this information, please keep in mind that all children are unique. While the sequence of development is practically the same for all children (for example, most children learn to crawl before they learn to walk), each child's rate of development is different. There is a wide variation in normal development. Some children reach developmental milestones earlier than others. Some reach them later than others. Rarely does a delay in reaching a developmental milestone mean that there is a problem. In most cases, delays turn out to be normal. Remember that premature infants generally reach developmental milestones later than other infants of the same birth age. Parents with any questions or concerns about their children's development should contact their children's health care provider.
Highlights in Physical Development
- Hands/Grasp. By two years of age, most children can turn the pages of a book one at a time. Children this age are often learning to twist or turn objects with their hands. As a result, they may be able to turn a doorknob to open a door. As children approach three years of age, they get increasingly better at using their hands. At two years of age, most children will probably use a crayon by holding it in a fist-like grasp, and as children approach three years of age, they will begin to use a more mature grip (between the thumb and first two fingers) of a crayon or pencil. They will probably begin to draw pictures, too, instead of scribbling. By three, many children will be able to use scissors, and they may be able to perform tasks like threading beads onto a string. Between two and three years, most children can take off their clothes, such as pajamas or pants, by themselves.
- Standing/Walking. During the period from two to three years, most children become very mobile, and they begin to use this new mobility to explore the world around them. Many children this age love to climb up and down furniture, and also in and out of objects such as big boxes. It is also at this time that many children will begin to run. Some can even walk up and down stairs alone, while holding onto a rail.
Reprinted with the permission of the Center for Effective Parenting. © 1998-2004 The Center for Effective Parenting. All Rights Reserved.
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