Development Milestones of a 2-and-a-Half-Year-Old

By Lisa Walker
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Milestones for this age group indicate where he might be both physically and mentally. Remember, milestones are just guidelines and all children develop at their own pace.


At the age of two and a half, most children will start to put words together to make short sentences. PBS's The Whole Child website says this usually happens between the ages of two and three. A child in this age range may now be able to name objects as he sees them and/or point to objects as you name them. Encourage this behavior while reading your child books by asking questions such as, "Where's the car?" You will need to be a bit careful about what you say now, as children at the age of two and a half can often start to repeat words they hear. He will understand a lot of what you are saying and should be able to follow simple instructions such as, "Go and fetch your shoes."

Fine Motor Skills

Your refrigerator door will soon be adorned with artwork. Between the ages of two and three, your toddler is likely able to hold a crayon and use it to make deliberate marks on paper. The website Ask Dr Sears suggests you may even see recognizable objects in your child's drawings. She may have enjoyed playing with play-dough up until this age, but now she may try to eat it less. Additionally, she'll be able to use her fingers and hands to manipulate it into the shapes she wants. PBS's The Whole Child website says she is likely able to turn the pages of books one at a time -- possibly faster than you are able to read them!

Gross Motor Skills

At this age, your toddler is likely to cause you to have your heart in your throat as he experiments with lots of new physical skills. The website says he may be able to walk up stairs while holding onto a rail. Walking will develop into running -- often straight into furniture -- and he will learn to leave the ground by jumping on two feet -- maybe on your bed or couch! Between the ages of two and three, most children master the art of kicking a ball and balancing on one leg.

Cognitive Development

The question "why?" is often a favorite for toddlers of this age. It may drive you mad, but this constant questioning represents an important milestone in her cognitive development -- she wants to find out more about the world around her and has found a way of getting this information. You may notice your toddler is now able to organize objects into groups depending on their size or color -- you can use toy bricks or cars to encourage this development. The website Healthy Children says this is the age when toddlers really start to understand make-believe, so you may notice a lot more pretend play. She is also likely to know her own name and age and may have a basic understanding of the past and the present.

About the Author

Lisa Walker began her journalism career in local newspapers. She later joined Teletext to work on its website and analogue and digital TV services. Walker spent time as a qualified childminder whilst raising her own two children and now enjoys a career writing and editing for various websites, including parent website