Your 2-Year-Old

Physical Health and Growth

He might love going to the doctor, or he might dread it. But one thing is certain: When you take your toddler for a check-up, he’s learning all about the importance of good health and self-care. In fact, there are many experiences in his life that strengthen this knowledge — like bathing, eating and playing! He’s ready to explore feeding and washing himself. So, it’s good that his fine and gross motor skills are ready, too! Even playtime gives him a chance to learn more about his body and how it works. He’s learning all the time — from imaginary visits to doctors and dentists to figuring out how to use his expanded small and large motor skills to play games and solve puzzles.

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Watch Me Brush My Teeth!

Have you seen your toddler brush her baby doll’s teeth? Or has she “taken her to the doctor” for shots? That’s because she’s exploring and understanding what it means to be healthy and safe. And she’s also aware of the joy of food in her life! Offer her a grilled cheese or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and she’ll choose what she prefers. Her own health and well-being are becoming more important to her!

Look for signs of learning at your child's care.

Do the children wash their hands? Blow their noses? Throw their trash away? Do they do these things naturally, with just a few reminders? And are they free to express their physical needs in the classroom?

I Am Aware of Myself and My World.

Have you played a game of “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” with your toddler lately? If not, it might be time to try! He’ll love the idea of showing you how much he knows about his body parts. And when you’re outside together, be sure to stop and smell the roses…literally. He’s discovering the world through his senses, and he needs time to touch, smell, hear, taste and listen to things to understand how they fit into his ever-expanding world.

Look for signs of learning at your child's care.

Classroom materials and curriculum should engage all five of the senses. Look for dance parties, varied textures, and diverse music!

I Can Hop Like a Bunny!

Give your toddler an age-appropriate puzzle and watch her shine! Her little fingers are getting better at grasping and placing small things. And her large motor skills are improving, too. Can she stand on one foot like a flamingo? Hop like a bunny? Encourage her to try!

Look for signs of learning at your child's care.

The classroom should have opportunities for both fine and gross motor skill development. Are there climbing areas and places to run? Do you see puzzle tables and art supplies? And does the schedule allow time for these activities?

Bath Time is Learning Time.

When your toddler takes a bath, let him take the reins. Give him a washcloth and a bar of soap, and teach him how to clean himself. He might miss some spots for now, but you’re there to take care of the rest. And he’s learning how to take care of himself!

Look for signs of learning at your child's care.

Is personal independence nurtured in a respectful way? Notice whether children are asked before they are touched or picked up. Inquire about bathroom responsibilities, too. Children should be active participants, whether using the toilet independently or helping in diaper changes.

All children learn and grow at their own pace and in their own way. For more information about the skills and milestones for your child's age check out our developmental milestones resource page. If you continue to have concerns or questions please give us a call at 1-800-299-1627.