Your 2-Year-Old

Science

For a two-year-old science helps to make sense of the world. He can feel, touch, and taste things to create a sensory experience in any setting. Looking around, he can observe what’s happening on the ground and in the sky. With the weather, he can delight in the rain and shiver in the snow. He can learn that each of his body parts has a name. Most of all, he’s discovering that he can solve some of his most pressing problems through simple trial and error. Your toddler is a little scientist on a journey of discovery. His insatiable curiosity keeps him coming back for more – more questions, more answers, more exploration, more knowledge!

2018 International Day of the Girl: Great Books about Work

I’m a Problem Solver.

Soft. Hard. Cold. Hot. Messy. Fast. These are just a few of the words your toddler might use to describe how things look, feel and react. But she doesn’t always have time for small talk. After all, she’s very, very busy exploring! Did her ball roll under the couch? She’s devising a way to get it back. Does she want a cookie but can’t figure out how to open the package? Give her time. She’s an explorer, and explorers find a way!

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

Listen for words describing different objects in the school environment. ("Bring the big red ball, please.") Look at the kinds of sensory materials your child might encounter. ("Would you like to use these finger paints?") Notice whether the children are encouraged to seek simple solutions to challenges they encounter.

I Like to Dig in the Dirt.

He doesn’t care about dirt under his fingernails. Nope, all he just cares about discovery! Give your toddler a plastic shovel and a piece of the earth, and see what he can find. Will it be a rock? A worm? A shell? Stay tuned…he’s busy working. And when his head isn’t facing the ground, he’s looking up to see what’s in the sky. Way up there, he may see clouds, airplanes or twinkling stars. He understands rain and snow, hot and cold, and he isn’t too shy to share his preferences with you!

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

Look for books about the Earth, the sky, the seasons and the weather. Notice whether the children engage in science-based activities. Are they creating art with fallen leaves? Are they experimenting with lighting? Are they observing and talking about the weather?

My Body is an Amazing Machine.

She’s known about legs for awhile now, but she just noticed the part that helps her bend and move. A knee! And her arm has a part that does something similar. An elbow! Your toddler is learning about the complexities of her body – from teeth to belly button to heels.

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

Listen for songs about body parts. Look for books about the natural world and creatures – from butterflies to trees to sloths. Make sure there are activities that help explain life and the science behind it.

I Can Figure It Out.

He might be fascinated with a tool belt and everything it contains. Maybe he’s extra-interested in a tool bench and all the hardware stored within. But what really motivates your toddler is using tools to build something new or to solve a problem. Have you watched him try to unbuckle his own seat belt? Or use one toy to retrieve another that’s just out of reach? You can almost see the wheels in his head spinning with discovery!

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

Do you see any play-dough masterpieces? Perhaps the children work on a simple meal with an adult. If the facility has the equipment, are there simple cooking and baking activities?

I Have Lots of Questions.

Why is the sky blue? Why is the grass green? How do birds fly? Why do dogs drool? She has lots of questions about her world, and her curiosity knows no bounds. She might try to figure things out on her own, or she may come to you with her most intriguing questions. Watch her manipulate her environment with her hands, her toys and her tools and delight in the operation of her expanding mind!

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

Listen to how children’s questions are received. Are teachers patient and willing to explain, or do they respond with judgment and negativity? Is curiosity supported, or is it considered a nuisance? Children and families should all be encouraged to ask questions and participate in classroom activities.

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.