At age two years, your child should:
- Combine words in 2-3 word sentences such as "Me do it"
- Name common pictures in a book
- Follow simple directions such as "Put Pooh Bear in the rocking chair"
- Have around a 300-word expressive vocabulary
- Use "no" in a phrase such as "No, mommy"
- Ask for drink, food
- Ask "What's this?" and "Where's my?"
- Listen to simple stories with pictures
- Form some plurals by adding "s"; block, blocks
- Identify common body parts on request
- Stay with one activity for six to seven minutes
- Distinguish prepositions "in" and "under"
- Distinguish between "one" and "many"
At age two years, your child may:
- Say "no" when he or she means "yes"
- Begin to express feelings and attitudes
- Improvise her or her own syntax: "Look me no"
You can stimulate the speech and language development of your two-year old by:
- Being a good speech model
- Repeating new words over and over
- Asking many simple questions and letting your child tell you the answer
- Listening attentively as your child talks to you
- Talking about what you are doing, being careful to make no assumptions that your child knows all the words you use
- Reading books every day as part of your routine
- Expanding what your child says; if he or she says "more cookie," you say, "Jamie wants more cookies."
- Providing social activities that allow for your child to interact with peers
- Praising your child for his or her efforts when communicating to you about something he or she has done
Some specific activities are:
- Expose your child to different surroundings and the vocabulary that would be used in them. When you go on a walk, go shopping, plant a garden or clean the house, use vocabulary words to describe what is going on in each instance.
- Begin to talk to your child about new situations before they happen and while they are happening; then describe what happened when you are done.
- Have your child deliver simple messages for you. For example, you might ask your child to get an older brother for you, thus: "James, Mommy needs you."
- Help your child to listen and follow a sequence of instructions by playing games: "Pick up your book and then touch Mommy's nose." If your child always gets two instructions correct, then give him or her three at a time.
If you are concerned that your child may not be developing these skills as he or she should, you may seek the advice of a speech-language pathologist.