Developmental Milestones of Children Ages 1-3 - post

Developmental Milestones of Children Ages 1-3

image in article Developmental Milestones of Children Ages 1-3The first three years of a child's life are a time of remarkable #growth-and- #development. During this period, children undergo rapid changes that lay the foundation for their future physical, cognitive, social, and emotional well-being. Understanding these developmental milestones is crucial for #parents, caregivers, and #educators, as it helps them provide the necessary support and stimulation to foster #healthy development. This article delves into the key #developmental-milestones for children aged 1-3, offering insights and practical advice on what to expect and how to encourage progress in these formative years. For additional information, register for one of ChildCareEd’s online training courses Baby Steps to Milestones or Milestones: By Leaps & Bounds

Cognitive Development Milestones

Cognitive development milestones are benchmarks representing significant steps forward in a child's brain development, including thinking, learning, exploring, and problem-solving skills. These milestones help indicate if a child is progressing at a good pace. 

1-2 Years

During this stage of life, most children over one year of age should be able to:

  • Identify similar objects
  • Imitate adults' actions and #language
  • Learn through exploration
  • Point out familiar objects and people
  • Understand words and have some sort of response to them
  • Follow commands and simple directions

2-3 Years

During this stage of life, most children over two years of age should be able to:

  • Identify their own reflection in a mirror
  • Imitate complex adult actions they see on a daily basis (e.g., cleaning, playing house, doing laundry, taking care of pets)
  • Name objects from a picture book
  • Sort objects into categories (e.g., animals, flowers, food)



Gross Motor Skills

Gross motor skills involve the large muscles in the body and include activities such as walking, running, and climbing. These skills are crucial for the physical development of #toddlers aged 1-3. 

Gross motor skills are essential for toddlers as they navigate their environment and gain independence. Here are some key milestones for children aged 1-3:

  • Jumping in Place: By the age of 2 to 3 years, children can typically jump in place with both feet.
  • Climbing: Toddlers can climb up and down a toddler slide, which helps them develop coordination and balance.
  • Pedaling a Tricycle: Around this age, children can start pedaling a tricycle, which enhances their leg strength and coordination.
  • Walking Up and Down Stairs: With assistance, toddlers can walk up and down stairs, an activity that requires balance and strength.
  • Standing on One Foot: Children can stand briefly on one foot with support, which is a precursor to more advanced balance skills.
  • Walking Backwards: Walking backwards is another milestone that demonstrates improved coordination and spatial awareness.

These milestones are indicative of the typical development of #gross-motor-skills in toddlers. However, it is important to remember that children develop at their own pace. Some may achieve these milestones earlier or later than others. If there are concerns about a child's development, it is advisable to consult a #healthcare provider. To understand typical vs atypical development further, register today for ChildCareEd’s Typical & Atypical Development in ECE training.



Speech and Language Development

Speech and language skills include the progression from babbling to forming words and simple sentences, as well as understanding and following simple instructions. 

Speech and Language Development Milestones Ages 1-2 Years

  • Babbling and First Words: Around the age of 1, children typically start to babble and may say their first words. Common first words include "mama," "dada," and simple nouns like "ball" or "dog."
  • Understanding Simple Instructions: By 18 months, many children can understand and follow simple instructions such as "come here" or "give me the toy."
  • Increasing Vocabulary: By the age of 2, children often have a vocabulary of about 50 words and start to combine two words to form simple sentences like "more milk" or "big truck."

Speech and Language Development Milestones Ages 2-3 Years

  • Expanding Vocabulary: Between the ages of 2 and 3, children’s vocabulary rapidly expands to about 200-300 words.
  • Forming Sentences: Children begin to form more complex sentences, typically consisting of three to four words. Examples include "I want juice" or "Mommy go work."
  • Understanding and Using Pronouns: They start to understand and correctly use pronouns such as "I," "you," "me," and "we."
  • Following Multi-Step Instructions: By age 3, children can follow two- to three-step instructions, such as "pick up your toys and put them in the box."
  • Remembering Rhymes and Lyrics: Many 3-year-olds can remember and recite simple rhymes or lyrics from songs.

Key Milestones for 3-Year-Olds

  • Vocabulary Size: Should be able to say about 500 to 900 words.
  • Sentence Formation: Speaks in four- to five-word sentences.
  • Clarity of Speech: Speech can be understood by others, even those who do not interact with the child regularly.
  • Politeness: Uses "please" and "thank you" appropriately.
  • Self-Identification: Refers to self by using their own name.
  • Color Naming: Can name basic colors.

Tips for Encouraging Speech and Language Development

  • Engage in Conversations: Regularly talk with your child, ask questions, and encourage them to #express themselves.
  • Read Together: Reading #books aloud and discussing the stories can significantly boost vocabulary and comprehension.
  • Sing Songs and Rhymes: Singing nursery rhymes and songs helps with memory and pronunciation.
  • Play Interactive Games: Games that involve following instructions or naming objects can be very beneficial.
  • Provide Positive Reinforcement: Praise your child for their efforts in speaking and using new words.



Emotional and Social Development

Emotional and social milestones for children ages 1-3 include the development of self-awareness, #empathy, and the ability to interact with peers and adults.

Emotional and Social Development Milestones Ages 1-2 Years

  • Self-Awareness: Around the age of one, children begin to develop a sense of self. They start to recognize themselves in mirrors and photos.
  • Attachment and Bonding: Strong attachment to primary caregivers is evident. Children may show distress when separated from parents and joy upon their return.
  • Basic Emotions: Toddlers express a range of basic emotions such as happiness, sadness, anger, and fear.
  • Parallel Play: Children engage in parallel play, where they play alongside other children but do not yet interact directly.

Emotional and Social Development Milestones Ages 2-3 Years

  • Empathy: By age two, children start to show signs of empathy, such as comforting a crying peer.
  • Social Interaction: Interaction with peers becomes more frequent. Children begin to engage in simple games and activities with others.
  • Independence: A growing sense of independence is noticeable. Toddlers may insist on doing tasks by themselves.
  • Emotional Expression: Emotional expression becomes more complex. Children can express frustration, excitement, and jealousy more cl #early.

Common Emotional Challenges

  • Separation Anxiety: Common in the early years, separation anxiety can cause distress when a child is away from their primary caregiver.
  • Tantrums: As children struggle to express their emotions verbally, tantrums can become a frequent occurrence.
  • Fear of Strangers: Fear of unfamiliar people is typical and can be a source of anxiety for young children.

Supporting Emotional Growth

  • Consistent Routines: Establishing consistent daily routines helps children feel secure and understand what to expect.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Encouraging positive behavior through praise and rewards can reinforce good social interactions.
  • Modeling Behavior: Parents and caregivers should model appropriate emotional responses and social interactions.
  • Open Communication: Encouraging children to express their feelings and validating their emotions helps them develop emotional intelligence.

Impact of Parental Neglect

  • Emotional Intelligence: Lack of emotional support can hinder the development of emotional intelligence, making it difficult for children to understand and manage their emotions.
  • Social Skills: Neglect can #lead to poor social skills, as children may not learn how to interact appropriately with others.
  • Behavioral Issues: Children who experience #neglect may exhibit behavioral problems, such as aggression or withdrawal.



By understanding these milestones and actively engaging in children’s development, parents and caregivers can help lay a strong foundation for future learning and well-being.


Courses & Classes related to Alabama

Online Trainings

In-person/blended trainings

Need help? Call us at 1(833)283-2241 (2TEACH1)
Call us