What Should My Two and a Half Year Old Be Doing?

Updated on April 23, 2011
M.P. asks from West Lafayette, IN
7 answers

so i don't think my two and a half year old daughter is behind by any means. i'm just curious what she should be doing? it was easy to keep up with what she should be doing when she was in daycare, but now that i'm a sahm, i'm not sure what she should be working on. She can say her ABC's, count to 14 (the weird number is because of hte book tumble bumble. they tipytoe on 14 feet), is having a little trouble with her colors, speaks in full sentences, but is sometimes hard to understand because she tries to talk really fast and isn't good at enunciating. she understands everything i tell her, so has no problems with instructions or anything. i just want to know if she's on track or if i should be working with her on stuff. oh yeah, she's also learning to dress herself now, and working on fork and spoon usage, she still prefers to use her hands.

Thanks in advance for any information anyone can give me.

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answers from Sacramento on

It sounds to me like she is right on track! At this age, she needs to be doing a lot of physical play, running around outside, having FUN! Simple toys like play-doh, wooden blocks, and even silly things like tin foil or paper towel rolls (the cardboard part inside) can be fun toys that will spark her imagination and allow her to play creatively. She can "help" you cook, or when you're cleaning the house, give her a little dust cloth and let her help you with dusting. Let her match up the socks when you do laundry. Being read to is also very important. Academic development is not so important at this age, but a fun reading readiness game you can play with her is putting her name printed very large on a piece of paper (and other family members' names on other pieces of paper) - tape all the papers to the wall at her level, and have her "find" her name. My daughters always got a kick out of that game. You can also make copies of her "name paper" and have her color it (scribble on it! LOL). My daughters LOVED when we would turn off all the lights, I'd give them a flashlight apiece, and we would play John Phillips Souza marching band music (or you could do other music, too, but something about marching music really speaks to toddlers!). They'd march around with their flashlights, singing. It was so funny. Anyway, those are just some ideas, but it sounds to me like she is doing really well and you're teaching her a lot! Good job, mama! :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

She should be PLAYING! As long as she is doing that you are A-Okay! :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Omaha on

Go to www.healthychildren.org and you can find developmental milestones for every age. All children develop at their own rates, so if you are wanting to help your daughter at home look at what can be expected for most 2 year olds. Then also look at the milestones expected of a 1 year old and 3 year old. This will give you a well rounded idea of where your daughter's skills and abilities are at. It will also give you some ideas for activities to do at home with her. Good luck and have fun!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

When I read your subject line I thought to myself = Having Fun of course. Playing with play-doh, finger painting, blowing bubbles, playing outside, visiting the library stuff like that.

As far as your question that is hard to answer since she is ONLY 2 ½ . She ‘should’ be talking, walking, sleeping, eating healthy, socializing with kids her age, laughing, drinking out of a cup, able to climb stairs stuff like that but all kids develop at their own rate.

My son didn’t start talking in sentences until he was 2 ½ so he was delayed. Otherwise according to his ped he was right on track.

Have fun with your precious daughter!



answers from New York on

All kids develop at their own rate. I had one daughter who could read chapter books at age 4, the other was still having difficulty at age 6.

As long as she isn't showing any signs of developmental delays, there's no need to worry. Just let things come naturally.

I found ways to work learning concepts into your everyday activities. Teach opposits at the playground, UP the stairs, DOWN the slide. Count as you put the toys away in the toy box, or while she's helping you in the kitchen. Do alphabet and number puzzles. Sing songs. Color and draw pictures.

One of the most important things you can do is READ!

Have fun!



answers from Austin on

My understanding is that it's the social skills that they look for in regards to whether or not they are ready for school. Everything else they teach in the classroom.



answers from Lafayette on

read to her...puzzles, imaginative play (dolls, stuffed animals, doctor, etc.), helping to clean up and put everything away in organized bins will help with sorting, categorizing and thinking skills...outside time (there are many good books on the value of outside play)...minimal screen time...free art time...sounds like you are doing great. Give her a good foundation and the speech and academics will come.

Next question: Do You Recommend Play Doh for a 14 Month Old?