2 YEARS OLD It is the ter­ri­ble twos, but there’s so much to cel­e­brate about this age group, too.

Two-year-olds are no­to­ri­ously tem­per­a­men­tal, but there’s much to cel­e­brate about this age, too. DR RICHARD C. WOOLF­SON high­lights the im­por­tant mile­stones to look out for.

Young Parents (Singapore) - - Contents -

Your two-year-old is ca­pa­ble of so much more than she was even a few months ago. Here are some of the main mile­stones that you are likely to see at this age:

Her hand grip is stronger

Her abil­ity to pass and re­ceive items man­u­ally im­proves, and she can pick up an item, pass it to­wards you and then let go once you have taken hold of it.

She can also do the same ac­tion in re­verse. Ini­tially the ob­ject might slip from her grasp at the change-over stage, but it steadily im­proves.

She en­joys mu­si­cal in­stru­ments

When you give her a toy drum or tam­bourine, she likes to use it to make a noise while you sing to her.

The chances are that her beats on the drum will be ran­dom, rather than rhyth­mi­cal, to start with, but she gets bet­ter with prac­tice. Mov­ing her hand in time to mu­sic is very chal­leng­ing for her.

She has a big­ger vo­cab­u­lary

She uses a wider range of words in her ev­ery­day speech, and when she hears you use dif­fer­ent words, she starts to do the same as well.

Try to make the lan­guage you use with your child ba­sic but var­ied. In­stead of us­ing the same words each time, of­fer al­ter­na­tives that have the same mean­ing, for in­stance, “huge” in­stead of “big”.

She likes pre­tend play

Now that her imag­i­na­tion is more ad­vanced, she starts to en­gage in pre­tend play, in which she puts on a hat, or clothes, or a uni­form. Your child thor­oughly en­joys this sort of ac­tiv­ity be­cause she can pre­tend to be a dif­fer­ent per­son – chances are she’ll dress up as an adult.

She’s cu­ri­ous about puz­zle play

She is al­ready fa­mil­iar with in­set boards and there­fore feels con­fi­dent enough to at­tempt un­fa­mil­iar ones with an in­creas­ing num­ber of pieces. Give your two-year-old her first jig­saw – this should con­sist of only two pieces, which eas­ily fit to­gether and which are a good size for her small hands to ma­nip­u­late.

She has en­hanced re­call

She likes me­mory chal­lenges. For ex­am­ple, let her see you place a news­pa­per on the kitchen table.

A few min­utes later, when you are both in an­other room, pre­tend that you can’t re­mem­ber where you left it and ask your two-year-old: “Do you know where the pa­per is?” She thinks for a mo­ment, then brings it to you.

She’s de­vel­oped early jump­ing skills

When your tod­dler was younger and tried to jump, she lit­er­ally couldn’t get her feet off the ground. Now, she man­ages to launch her­self into the air and land safely on the same spot.

At first, the gap be­tween the soles of her feet and the floor is min­i­mal, but it grad­u­ally in­creases.

When she was younger and tried to jump, she lit­er­ally couldn’t get her feet off the ground. Now, she can launch her­self into the air and land safely on the same spot.

She’s more ac­tive

Your lit­tle one is more ad­ven­tur­ous dur­ing out­door play, and she has great fun tack­ling large play equip­ment in the park.

How­ever, she still likes you to stay close to her when she climbs higher than be­fore – your pres­ence makes her feel safe and se­cure, and gives her the con­fi­dence to ex­plore fur­ther and higher.

She can be toi­let trained

By now your child prob­a­bly has good bowel and blad­der con­trol dur­ing the day, and she is pleased that she now wears pants “like a big girl”.

Give her plenty of re­as­sur­ance when she oc­ca­sion­ally wets her­self ac­ci­den­tally. Her bowel and blad­der con­trol con­tinue to strengthen through­out this year.

She can make friends

Peer group re­la­tions are more im­por­tant to her now. She en­joys be­ing with other chil­dren and you may find that she be­comes bored, frac­tious and moody when she spends too much time on her own.

On the other hand, don’t be sur­prised to find that she and her friends bicker fre­quently, though do your best to en­cour­age shar­ing.

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