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What are Developmental Milestones for 2-3 Year Olds?

What are Developmental Milestones for 2-3 Year Olds?

Developmental milestones are age-specific tasks most children can do at a certain age. These milestones are a significant marker in your child’s growth and development, and they include physical, language, cognitive, social, and emotional development. These physical or behavioural signs indicate progress in certain areas of development, and it will determine whether you seek help and guidance if you have concerns about your child’s development.

Developmental Milestones for 2-3 Year OldsAs parents, witnessing our children grow and develop is one of the most rewarding experiences, especially during the first five years. Children grow and develop so much in these critical years, including the toddler years, from ages 2 to 3. At this age, children undergo significant developmental milestones for 2-3 year olds that shape their personalities, cognitive abilities, and social skills.

During these years, toddlers will experience a huge change in their development, such as thinking, learning, and emotional changes, which will help them explore and make sense of their world. It’s essential for parents to recognise key milestones and know when to seek guidance if they have concerns about their child’s growth and development. 

Developmental milestones for 2-3 year olds

By the age of 2-3 years, most toddlers should be able to:

Physically: Walk, run, climb, kick, jump, climb steps one at a time, squat to play and rise without using hands, move about to the music, turn a page one at a time, hold a crayon/pencil using a digital pronate grip, draw or scribble, self feeds using utensils, drink from a cup, and dress with limited help.

Social and emotionally: Play with other children and use simple make-believe play, prefers same-sex playmates and toys, starts to become independent, uses non-violent conflict resolution, shows strong attachment to a parent (or main family carer), gets frustrated, shows distress and protest when they leave and wants that person to do things for them, begins to show guilt or remorse, demands adult attention, starts to understand the differences between fantasy and reality and their fears are real.

Cognitive: Builds tower of five to seven blocks, lines up objects, recognises and identifies common objects and pictures by pointing, enjoys playing with sand, water, and dough and exploring these materials, uses symbolic play (for example, a block could represent a car), begins to count with numbers, recognises similarities and differences, can follow two or more directions.

Language: Clearly says ‘no’, uses two of three words together, explosion of vocabulary and use of correct grammatical forms of language, refers to self by name and often says ‘mine’, labels own gender, copies words and actions, makes music and likes to listen to a story.

When should you seek help?

Parents should seek help regarding developmental milestones for 2-3 year olds if their child is:

  • Not interested in playing on their own or with other children.
  • Struggling on their feet – falling over and being clumsy.
  • Finds it hard to use small objects, such as placing a lid on a texter or placing blocks together.
  • Not understanding simple instructions. Example – ‘can you put your shoes on’ or go and get your hat’.
  • Not using many words but rather makes sounds or points to an object to get things.
  • Not interested in food.
  • Not interested in others.

Developmental Milestones for 2-3 Year Olds

How can 360 Kids assist?

At 360 Kids, we have trained Early Childhood Practitioners (ECP) who specialise in child development and family engagement through developmental milestones and are at the forefront of our 360 Kids program.

At 360 Kids, we understand the importance and positive impact of early intervention and support, which is why our goal of Early Childhood intervention is to promote the optimal development and well-being of these children and to provide them with the necessary skills and support to reach their potential.

Our ECPs come from a variety of backgrounds and training, such as developmental teachers, early childhood teachers and workers, psychologists, and social workers. Our ECPs provide support and intervention to children with a disability or developmental delays, can deliver a variety of assessments and work alongside other allied health professionals to ensure comprehensive interpretations of results occur.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has an early childhood approach which is about giving children the best possible start in life. If a child is younger than six and they do not meet the definition of developmental delays, however, you have concerns about your child’s development. Then you should reach out to your doctor who will connect you with an early childhood partner.  


National 360 is a registered NDIS provider that offers a wide range of allied health services throughout Australia. Getting started is easy. To access our early childhood supports, complete a referral or enquiry form, and our friendly customer service team will guide you through the process and assist you with the paperwork. 

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