Age 2.5 Years

Following are information, activities and resource links for the five main areas of development for children ages 2.5 years old.

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5 Areas of Development


Communication Skills

  • Understands location phrases (“on the table”)
  • Responds to simple questions (“Are you thirsty?”)
  • Puts 2-3 words together
  • Can answer simple questions (“What does the dog
  • Uses negative phrases (“No want that.”)

Fine Motor Skills

  • Holds pencil between thumb and forefinger, can
    draw lines, copy a circle and cross
  • Starting to flip a switch off and on
  • Turns pages in a book one page at a time

Gross Motor Skills

  • Likes rough and tumble play
  • Likes to climb but may need help getting down
  • Balances on one foot for 1-5 seconds

Personal Social Skills

  • Likes to be with other children
  • May not understand others have feelings
  • Mood can change in a second, may throw a
    tantrum or get upset when they do not get what
    they want

Problem Solving Skills

  • Groups objects by category
  • May recite numbers but may not count objects yet
  • Can pay attention to only one thing at a time
  • Noticing what comes “first, next, last” when
    routines are followed
  • Child may not like changes in schedule, can be
    confusing to them


Communication Activities

  • Use descriptive language (wet, heavy, dirty, bumpy,
  • Have your child follow longer directions (“Get your
    shoes and bring them to me.”)
  • Ask your child simple questions (“Where are your
    shoes?”) and help him answer
  • Expand your child’s sentences by adding one more
    bit of information (Example: “Mommy go bye”;
    “Mommy’s going to work; Bye bye”)

Fine Motor Activities

  • Draw large shapes on paper, color in the shapes
  • Using a large paint brush and bowl of water, have fun
    “painting” the house, fence or garage door

Gross Motor Activities

  • Place a piece of wide tape on the floor to practice
    “walking a tightrope”
  • Play “follow the leader”, crawl, tiptoe, bunny hop, walk
    backwards, under tables, around chairs, over pillows,
    walk slow or fast with big and little steps

Personal Social and Problem Solving Activities

  • Show child how to group things in one, twos, threes
  • Give child empty egg cartons to use for “pockets” to
    sort coins, buttons, different color objects
  • Encourage dressing without help, let your child
    choose own clothes
  • Give your child a washcloth and dishpan of water to
    wash a “dirty” doll and toy dishes
  • Count everything! Count as your child brushes teeth,
    sets the table, climbs steps