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Normal Development: 2 Years Old

Physical Development

  • Is constantly in motion.
  • Tires easily.
  • Runs and climbs.
  • Walks up and down stairs alone.
  • Starts to walk on tiptoes.
  • Can build a tower of 3 to 5 blocks.
  • Goes from random scribbling to somewhat more controlled movements.
  • Can button and unbutton large buttons.
  • Develops greater independence in toileting needs (still needs some help).
  • May have trouble settling down for bedtime.

Emotional Development

  • Gets upset and impatient easily.
  • Shows anger by crying or striking out.
  • Gets frustrated when not understood.
  • Wants own way.
  • May assert self by saying "no".
  • Goes back to baby behavior at times.
  • Is upset when daily routine changes.
  • Has sharp mood changes.

Social Development

  • Likes to imitate others.
  • Becomes more interested in brothers and sisters.
  • Knows gender.
  • May have an imaginary playmate.
  • Enjoys playing among, not with, other children.
  • Does not share.
  • Claims everything is "mine".
  • May scratch, hit, bite, and push other children.

Mental Development

  • Is much more interested in language.
  • Uses child grammar.
  • Uses 3- to 5-word phrases by end of second year.
  • Understands more words than can speak.
  • Likes to "do-it-myself".
  • Cannot be reasoned with much of the time.
  • Cannot choose between alternatives.

Each child is unique. It is therefore difficult to describe exactly what should be expected at each stage of a child's development. While certain attitudes, behaviors, and physical milestones tend to occur at certain ages, a wide spectrum of growth and behavior for each age is normal. These guidelines are offered as a way of showing a general progression through the developmental stages rather than as fixed requirements for normal development at specific ages. It is perfectly natural for a child to attain some milestones earlier and other milestones later than the general trend.

If you have any concerns related to your child's own pattern of development, check with your health care provider.

Written by Donna Warner Manczak, PhD, MPH and Robert Brayden, MD.
Published by McKesson Provider Technologies.
Last modified: 2006-10-05
Last reviewed: 2006-04-27
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright 2006 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All Rights Reserved.
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