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Developmental Milestones in Children Aged 2–5 Years

Developmental milestones refer to how your child is supposed to learn, play, speak, or act at a certain age and offer important cues to assess his/her overall well-being.

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Child Development Stages and Baby Milestones

Child development refers to how your child is supposed to learn, play, speak, or act at a certain age and offer important cues to assess his/her overall well-being. Baby milestones can be classified into 3 categories –

a) Motor development
b) Language development
c) Social and emotional development

Child growth and development takes place at a rapid rate in their first year. Child development isn’t restricted to just physical growth but also the language, and social and emotional development. Child development and child development stages are easily identifiable skills that a baby can perform.

Generally babies tend to go through all the child development stages, but no two babies go through them at the same time. Refer to the below checklist to assess the stages of growth and development in your child.

Developmental Milestones in Children Aged 2–5 Years
Age 2 Years
SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL MILESTONESLANGUAGE/COMMUNICATION MILESTONESLEARNING, THINKING, AND PROBLEM-SOLVING MILESTONESPHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT MILESTONES
SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL MILESTONES
  • Copies others
  • Gets excited being with other children
  • Shows increased independence
  • Shows defiant behavior
LANGUAGE/COMMUNICATION MILESTONES
  • Points to things or pictures when named
  • Knows the names of familiar people and body parts
  • Can say sentences with 2–4 words
  • Can follow simple instructions
  • Repeats words overheard in conversation
LEARNING, THINKING, AND PROBLEM-SOLVING MILESTONES
  • Can find hidden objects even from under 2-3 layers
  • Begins to distinguish between shapes and colors and can sort them from one another
  • Can complete sentences and rhymes from familiar books
  • Plays simple make-believe games
  • Can build towers of four or more blocks
  • Might use one hand more than the other
  • Can follow two-step instructions such as “Pick up your toys and put them in the closet.”
  • Can name items in a picture book such as a cat, bird, or dog
PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT MILESTONES
  • Can climb on and get off from the furniture without help
  • Can walk up and down the stairs with support
  • Can throw ball overhand
  • Can make or copy straight lines and circlesं
Developmental-Milestone-2
Age 3 Years
SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL MILESTONESLANGUAGE/COMMUNICATION MILESTONESLEARNING, THINKING, AND PROBLEM-SOLVING MILESTONESPHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT MILESTONES
SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL MILESTONES
  • Copies others
  • Is affectionate toward friends without prompting
  • shows concern for a crying friend
  • Takes turns in games and understands the idea of belonging – “mine” and “his” or “hers”
  • Shows variations in emotions
  • Does not have separation anxiety from mom and dad
  • May get upset with major changes in routine
  • Can dress and undress himself/herself
LANGUAGE/COMMUNICATION MILESTONES
  • Can follow 2–3 steps instructions
  • Can name most familiar things
  • Can understand words like “in,” “on,” and “under”
  • Can say the first name, age, and gender
  • Can name a friend
  • Can say words like “I,” “me,” “we,” and “you” and some plurals (cars, dogs, and cats)
  • Can communicate using 2–3 sentences
LEARNING, THINKING, AND PROBLEM-SOLVING MILESTONES
  • Can operate toys with buttons, levers, and moving parts
  • Plays make-believe with toys and objects
  • Can do 3–4 piece puzzles
  • Copies a circle with pencil or crayon
  • Can turn book pages one at a time
  • Can build a tower of more than six blocks
  • Can screw and unscrew jar lids or turn the door handle
PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT MILESTONES
  • Runs and climbs well
  • Can pedal a tricycle
  • Can use the stairs using one foot on each step
Developmental-Milestone-3
Age 4 Years
SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL MILESTONESLANGUAGE/COMMUNICATION MILESTONESLEARNING, THINKING, AND PROBLEM-SOLVING MILESTONESPHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT MILESTONES
SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL MILESTONES
  • Enjoys doing new things
  • Enjoys role playing games
  • Is more creative with make-believe activities, but often cannot tell the difference between real and make-believe
  • Cooperates with other children and plays with them rather than by himself
  • Talks about his/her likes and dislikes
LANGUAGE/COMMUNICATION MILESTONES
  • Knows basic grammar rules, such as correctly using “he” and “she”
  • Can sing a song or rhyme from memory
  • Can tell stories
  • Can say the first and last name
LEARNING, THINKING, AND PROBLEM-SOLVING MILESTONES
  • Can name some colors and numbers
  • Has an idea of counting numbers
  • Starts to understand the concept of time
  • Remembers parts of a story
  • Understands the idea of “same” and “different”
  • Starts to copy some capital letters
  • Can play board or card games
PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT MILESTONES
  • Can stand on one foot up to two seconds
  • Can hop
  • Can catch a bounced ball most of the time
  • Can mash his/her own food
Developmental-Milestone-4
Age 5 Years
SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL MILESTONESLANGUAGE/COMMUNICATION MILESTONESLEARNING, THINKING, AND PROBLEM-SOLVING MILESTONESPHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT MILESTONES
SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL MILESTONES
  • Wants to please friends and be like them
  • Agrees with the rules most of the time
  • Likes to sing, dance, and act
  • Can distinguish between real and make-believe
  • Shows more independence (can go nearby to play by himself)
  • Is sometimes demanding and sometimes very cooperative
LANGUAGE/COMMUNICATION MILESTONES
  • Can speak clearly
  • Can tell a simple story using full sentences
  • Can use future tense, for example, “Papa will be here.”
  • Can say the name and address
LEARNING, THINKING, AND PROBLEM-SOLVING MILESTONES
  • Can count 10 or more things
  • Can copy some letters or numbers
  • Can copy a triangle and other shapes
  • Knows about things used every day
PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT MILESTONES
  • Can stand on one foot for 10 seconds or longer
  • Can hop and may be skip
  • Uses spoon
  • Can use the toilet on his/her own
  • Can swing and climb

As preschoolers have high nutritional needs at this stage of life, the overall child development and timely reaching of milestones is dependent on their balanced nutrition. So, ensure an adequate supply of nutrient dense food for their small tummies to prevent any delay in reaching these stages of growth and development and also milestones.