Patient & Family Education Materials

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Developmental milestones 2 to 3 years

As children grow, so do their skills. While not specific to your child, this education sheet can help you know what skills your child is likely to develop at this age.

Children develop at their own rate, learning some skills much quicker than others. Progress also starts and stops. As some skills are learned, your child might go back to an earlier stage in some other areas for a time. If you have any questions or concerns about your child's development, talk with your doctor or nurse practitioner.

Gross motor skills

— skills that use large muscles (legs, arms, trunk, and neck)

  • jump in place with both feet
  • climb up and go down a toddler slide
  • pedal tricycle
  • walk up and down stairs when one hand being held by an adult
  • stand briefly on one foot when one hand being held by an adult
  • walk backwards

Fine motor skills

— skills that use small muscles (hands and fingers)

  • stack 1-inch blocks, six high
  • hold crayon with thumb and fingers
  • string large beads on a stiff string
  • snip and cut with a scissors
  • imitate vertical and horizontal lines, and circle
  • copy vertical and horizontal lines and circle

Self-help skills

—  skills that help children become more independent

  • use a fork and spoon with spilling
  • wash and dry hands with supervision
  • brush teeth with assistance
  • use toilet consistently (a few accidents at times)
  • dress and undress self with help
  • put own things away, helps with clean up and putting things away

Cognitive skills

— mental skills (thinking, learning, problem solving)

  • engage in pretend and imaginative play
  • match shapes
  • understand the concept of "I"
  • play side by side with peers
  • sort colors
  • identify body parts and their functions
  • complete 3- to 4-piece puzzles

Speech skills

See the education sheets, "Speech and language development: 24 to 30 months," and "Speech and language development: 30 to 36 months."


This sheet is not specific to your child, but provides general information. If you have any concerns about your child's development, please ask your doctor, nurse practitioner, or therapist.

Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota
Patient/Family Education
2525 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404

Reviewed Rehab 6/2015 © Copyright


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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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