Developmental Milestones at 24 months:


What to Expect

  • Kids use 150-300 words. Children use 2 pronouns (e.g. I, me, you, mine).
  • Kids follow directions like “Get your coat.”, “Put the block on.” without accompanying gestures.
  • Kids choose among common objects when asked (e.g. “Find the comb.”, “Where’s the baby?”).
  • Kids enjoy playing with other children. Children show increasing interest in books and may “read” to stuffed toys.
  • Kids use two-word combinations most of the time. (e.g. “more cookie”, “hi mommy”, “no cookie”).
  • Kids speak clearly enough to be understood about 2/3 of the time.
  • Kids point to familiar actions/activities in pictures (e.g. sleeping, eating).
  • Kids take turns during conversations with you.



18 Months 

  • Copy simple actions
  • Smile at self in mirror
  • Engage in parallel play with others
  • Exhibit verbal turn-taking
  • Use 20 or more words - no, up, more
  • Begin to put words together - 2 words: no more
  • Use new words every week
  • Answer questions: What's this? with real words: ball
  • Understand more words than can speak.
  • Say these sounds: b, p, m, t, d, g
  • Follow simple instructions without cues
  • Point to body parts - three
  • Use toys for pretend play
  • Refer to self by name

24 Months 

  • Use 150- 300 different words
  • Use pronouns: I, me, you
  • Combine two words in sentences: me go, more juice
  • Speak clearly to be understood - intelligibility 70%
  • Point to familiar actions in picture books: sleeping, eating
  • Follow directions with concepts - on, off, in
  • Choose correct object out of three when asked
  • Practice changing tone of voice - intonation like an adult.
  • Say 'bye' 'please' etc

Encouraging Language Development at Two

  • Routines are important: Talk while you are doing your everyday routines and activities. When you are doing the dishes or the washing you can think about the sentences  you use like “Put the sock in.” and “Take the shirt out.” Extend on these sentences and use all your routines to introduce, repeat or stress vocabulary.  Children want to learn more and more at this point.  Encouraging them to communicate can become fun.
  • During meal time, dressing time and bath time, talk to children about things they show interest in. Give them the words that they need, now that they are talking. You can repeat short sentences such as  “Put your shoe on.” and “Take your shoes off.” during dressing time.  Introduce adjectives and emphasise them in their daily activities so they start to learn and understand concepts.
  • Songs: Children at this age love to sing songs and participate in the song. Get digital copies of songs and play them in the car and in the hourse. After you have sung the song or rhyme many times with children, wait for them to fill in the words at particular points during the song - this is giving them an opportunity to join in. Sing the songs slowly at first and stress words and use animation to help them become engaged in the song.
  • Great songs: Incy Wincy Spider, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, I Like the Flowers, Five Little Monkeys, Popping Popcorn, Row Row Row your Boat .....
  • Books: Children at this age are becoming more interested in books and should be encouraged to talk about what they see on the page. Family photo albums are also favourites. Library story times provide wonderful opportunities for children to hear different stories and to understand that visits to the library can provide great adventures.
  • Repetitive Shared Booksa great way to emphasise vocabulary - I went Walking, Brown Bear, Brown Bear. Read the books over and over and pause at points to let the children finish off the sentence.  Use an animated voice and put lots of expression into the activity.
  • Reading books with children every day will help their language develop.
  • Real Life Contexts: You can use books to relate back to real life experiences.  Make it so that children can understand new words and repeat new words often. This is a great way to start getting children to develop social thinking where they are learning about others and how others are feeling as well.  Ask about the characters in the stories - How did the bear feel?  What is the mouse feeling now? etc
  • Family photo albums are also favourites - add language, stress language, repeat language.
  • Library story times provide wonderful opportunities for children to hear different stories and to understand that visits to the library can provide great adventures. Make this a part of your week.  Find the nearest library.  You can often borrow toys from libraries as well.
  • Sentences: Children at this age are using short sentences, so this is a great time to encourage sentence use. When you use short sentences you are giving children a model of language that they will eventually be able to use (eg. "We can go for a walk.” “I like to eat apples.”). Children will not repeat these sentences the first time they hear them, but when they hear them over and over again, they will start to say similar sentences or create their own. Children need to learn action words (verbs) to be able to make short sentences (e.g. “The car goes fast." "The car goes really fast." " The dog is big." "The kitten is little."
  • Modelling: Use correct grammar, but keep your sentences short. If you emphasize (stress) the words and phrases that you want children to learn, it will help them to use those words and phrases. Repeat many of the words and songs you are sharing with children. You might think you have sung the song enough, or said the word lots and lots of times. 
  • Speech Sounds: Children will not say all speech sounds correctly. Speak clearly, so they will hear how speech sounds should be produced. Don’t correct them, when they say a sound incorrectly. Repeat the sound the correct way, so they will hear it.


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