Age Appropriate Skills and Behaviors Drafted July 2007


Outcome 2: Thinking, Reasoning, Problem-Solving Skills and Behaviors



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Outcome 2: Thinking, Reasoning, Problem-Solving Skills and Behaviors
Two-year-olds enjoy using their senses to explore the world, and can solve simple problems with the "trial and error" method. They will practice an activity many times to master it, and can complete short-term, concrete tasks. Their budding language skills and desire to learn prompt many "why," "what," and "how" questions. This year typically marks the beginning of pretend play, where two-year-olds experiment with familiar objects and situations to process their experiences.6


  • Increases ability to sustain attention, especially when it directly influences an activity (e.g., repeatedly stacks blocks and knocks them down).6

  • Completes self-chosen, short-term, concrete tasks. Practices an activity many times to gain mastery (e.g., repeatedly moves magnetic letters on and off the refrigerator).6

  • Is able to participate in a broader array of experiences (e.g., exploring outdoor playground equipment, climbing on rocks, investigating contents of kitchen cabinets, paging through books), thanks to increased physical and cognitive skills.6

  • May ask many "why," "what," and "how" questions about a variety of sights, sounds, and experiences (e.g., asks, "Why mommy cry?").6

  • Continues to show enthusiasm and pleasure in daily explorations. Enjoys solving simple problems (e.g., successfully puts on own hat after several tries, then happily jumps up and down).6
  • Becomes more systematic in using language and physical approaches to solve problems, but may become stuck on one solution (e.g., tries numerous strategies for nesting a set of cups of graduated sizes, but may keep pushing harder to get a large cup to fit into a smaller one).6


  • Grows in abilities to recognize and solve problems through active exploration, including trial and error (e.g., tries to get a large pillow into a small container by turning it this way and that; eventually folds up pillow so it fits).6

  • Engages in simple pretend play with familiar objects and situations (e.g., puts doll to bed and lays blanket over her).6

  • Expands use of objects, art materials, and toys in new and unexpected ways (e.g., takes bath towels out of a closet and drapes them over chairs, crumples up paper in interesting shapes when pasting onto cardboard).6

Language skills for two-year-olds are blossoming. They can understand and say hundreds of words, but familiar adults may need to "translate" for others due to immature pronunciation skills. During the year, they pick up most parts of speech to form more complete sentences. They understand simple directions and many common phrases used in routine situations. Children this age rarely initiate conversations, but they answer adult questions more readily and need less prompting.6




  • At 24 months, understands 500 to 700 words; by 30 months, as many as 800 or 900.6

  • The average child has the capacity to acquire one or two words per day, given access to new words in his or her daily experiences.6

  • Learns a considerable number of words when adults name objects. During this year, begins to also infer word meanings from their context in adult conversations.6
  • Vocabulary words include many nouns (names of things, such as common objects and familiar people), and an increasing number of action words, descriptive words, pronouns and location words. Children also typically learn quantifiers (e.g., more, all, some) and question words (e.g., why, where, who, when).6


  • Understands a lot of common phrases used in routine situations.6

  • Follows one- and two-step directions involving very familiar objects and actions (e.g., "Get your hat." "Put your book back on the shelf.", "Take off your mittens and tuck them in your hat.", "Pick up the book and bring it here.")6

  • Understands simple explanations in routine contexts.6

  • Begins to mimic the spoken language styles of familiar adults.6

  • At 30 months, the average child says about 570 words.6

  • Continues to over- and under-extend the meanings of words (e.g., a child calls a cow "horsie"), but to a lesser degree for more frequently occurring items.6

  • From 24 to 36 months, pronunciation improves considerably, although certain sounds in certain positions in words are still hard for many children. Parents and caregivers may need to "translate" for others. Children at this age often enjoy chanting, repeating syllables over and over in a sing-song way to explore language sounds.6

  • Rarely initiates conversations.6

  • Takes turn in conversations when slot is left open by an adult's question. Child answers more readily now, but adult still must answer some of the questions asked.6

American Academy of Pediatrics




  • Finds objects even when hidden under two or three covers1

  • Begins to sort by shapes and colors1

  • Begins make-believe play1

  • Imitates behavior of others, especially adults and older children1

  • Points to object or picture when it's named for him1
  • Recognizes names of familiar people, objects, and body parts1


  • Says several single words (by 15 to 18 months) 1

  • Uses simple phrases (by 18 to 24 months) 1

  • Uses 2- to 4-word sentences1

  • Follows simple instructions1

  • Repeats words overheard in conversation1

  • Scribbles on his or her own1

  • Turns over container to pour out contents1

HELP



  • Symbolic play with similar but not real props—e.g. uses stick as a toothbrush (18-24 mo)3

  • Rights familiar picture—spontaneously rotates if upside down (18-24 mo)3

  • Obeys two part (related) command—e.g. “Take your napkin and wipe your face” (18-24 mo)3

  • Uses own name to refer to self (18-24 mo)3

  • Interacts with peers using gestures—predominantly aggressive, pushing, pulling, grabbing; pats, waves, sharing (18-24 mo)3

  • Experiences a strong sense of self-importance – the ‘me’ stage (18-24 mo)3

  • Explores cabinets and drawers (18-24 mo)3

  • Names two pictures—of familiar objects; on request or spontaneously (19-21.5 mo)3

  • Identifies three body parts (19-22 mo)3
  • Sorts objects—sorts mixed group of objects into three piles (19-24 mo)3


  • Assembles four nesting blocks (trial-error practice ok) (19-24 mo)3

  • Recognizes self in photograph—at least two pictures are available (19-24 mo)3

  • Matches objects to picture—identifies which picture from 3-4 is the picture of a similar object before him (19-27 mo)3

  • Understands personal pronouns, some action verbs and adjectives—two verbs, two adjectives, and the pronouns, you, your, me, my, and I; without gesture cues (20-24 mo)3

  • Uses nouns, verbs, modifiers—at least 20; includes some verbs and modifiers e.g. go, open, up, more, gone, dirty, this (20.5-24 mo)3

  • Uses two word sentences—not in imitation; e.g. ‘go bye bye’, ‘push car’, ‘doggie eat’; not ‘bye bye’, ‘good girl’, ‘all gone’ (20.5-24 mo)3

  • Series of hidden displacements; object under 1st screen (21-22 mo)3

  • Tells experience using jargon and words (21-24 mo)3

  • Points to five-seven pictures of familiar objects/people—recognizes outline pictures, e.g. dog, spoon, doll (21-30 mo)3

  • Names three pictures—familiar objects; spontaneously or on request (21.5-24 mo)3

  • Imitates four word sentences—e.g. if parent says “mommy is brushing her hair” may respond “Mommy is brushing hair?” (22-24 mo)3
  • Matches sounds to pictures of animals—2-3; spontaneously or on request; when asked ‘what does the animal say?’ (22-24 mo)3


  • Identifies six body parts (22-24 mo)3

University of Maryland




  • Can browse through a book one page at a time4

  • Vocabulary has increased to about 50 to300 words (healthy children demonstrate wide variations)4

  • Can organize phrases of 2 to 3 words4

University of Michigan, Developmental Milestones by the End of 2 Years:




  • Scribbles spontaneously5

  • Turns over container to pour out contents5

  • Builds tower of four blocks or more5

  • Points to object or picture when it's named for him5

  • Recognizes names of familiar people, objects and body parts5

  • Says several single words (by 15 to 18 months) 5

  • Uses simple phrases (by 18 to 24 months) 5

  • Uses two- to four-word sentences5

  • Follows simple instructions5

  • Repeats words overheard in conversation5

  • Finds objects even when hidden under two or three covers5

  • Begins to sort by shapes and colors5

  • Begins make-believe play5

Movement (used to get needs met)




  • Walks alone5

  • Pulls toys behind her while walking5

  • Carries large toy or several toys while walking5
  • Begins to run5


  • Stands on tiptoe5

  • Kicks a ball5

  • Climbs onto and down from furniture unassisted5

  • Walks up and down stairs holding on to support 5



Outcome 3: Taking Appropriate Action to Meet Needs (Feeding, Toileting, Signaling/Asking for Assistance)
American Academy of Pediatrics


  • Demonstrates increasing independence1

HELP



  • Gives up bottle (18-24 mo)3

  • Chews completely with rotary jaw movements (18-24 mo)3

  • Removes shoes when laces undone (18-24 mo)3

  • Sits on potty chair or on adaptive seat on toilet with assistance (18-24 mo)3

  • May be toilet regulated by adult—adult takes primary responsibility for ‘catching’; successful about 50% of time (18-24 mo)3

  • Unzips, zips large zipper—hold the base taut (18-21 mo)3

  • Explores cabinets and drawers (18-24 mo)3

  • Runs fairly well (18-24 mo)3

  • Moves on ‘ride on’ toys without pedals—mount and propel without assistance (18-24 mo)3

  • Walks downstairs with one hand held (19-21 mo)3
  • Washes and dries hands partially—by rubbing hands with soap (19-24 mo)3


  • Anticipates need to eliminate – uses same word for both functions—e.g. may say ‘pee pee’ for both (19-24 mo)3

  • Holds small cup in one hand—no spilling (20-30 mo)3

  • Opens doors by turning knob; purposefully to open, not just playing (21-23 mo)3

  • Helps with simple household tasks—e.g. dusting (21-23 mo)3

  • Puts shoes on with assistance (21-30 mo)3

  • May have definite food preferences—may change from day to day (23-25 mo)3

  • Unwraps food—removes wrappers, peels from some fruit (23-25 mo)3

University of Maryland




  • Can pick up objects while standing, without losing balance (often occurs by 15 months, and would be concerning if you don't see it by 2 years) 4

  • Able to communicate needs such as thirst, hunger, need to use the restroom4

  • Able to clothe self in simple clothes (frequently more adept at removing clothes than putting them on)4

  • Able to turn a door knob4

University of Michigan, Developmental Milestones by the End of 2 Years:




  • Turns over container to pour out contents5

  • Points to object or picture when it's named for him5

  • Says several single words (by 15 to 18 months) 5

  • Uses simple phrases (by 18 to 24 months) 5
  • Uses two- to four-word sentences5


  • Finds objects even when hidden under two or three covers5

Movement (used to get needs met)




  • Walks alone5

  • Pulls toys behind her while walking5

  • Carries large toy or several toys while walking5

  • Begins to run5

  • Stands on tiptoe5

  • Kicks a ball5

  • Climbs onto and down from furniture unassisted5

  • Walks up and down stairs holding on to support 5

PBS



  • Makes choices (e.g., food, clothes, toys, activities) based on preferences, sometimes in opposition to adult choices (e.g., child says, "No jacket. Want hat!").6

  • Continues to expand use of language to get help, but may refuse assistance even when needed (e.g., may say, "I need help!" when trying to get a little car into the garage, but then says, "Do it myself!" when help arrives).6



Outcome 1: Social-Emotional Skills and Behaviors

Three-year-olds need familiar adults nearby for security as they explore and play. As they develop more independence, children this age begin to have real friendships with other children. When conflicts arise with peers, three-year-olds will typically seek adult assistance. They are learning to recognize the causes of feelings, and will give simple help, such as a hug, to those who are upset. Three-year-olds can better manage their emotions, but may still fall apart under stress.



  • Continues to develop preferences for special adults. Uses familiar adults as secure bases for exploration and play (e.g., wants mom to stay at friend's house when invited over, even though he or she seldom looks for her during the afternoon).


  • Begins to develop and express a sense of individuality and personal preferences (e.g., says, "See my toys!").

  • Labels own feelings and those of others' based on their facial expression or tone of voice (e.g., looks at a picture in a book and says, "She's scared."). Understands, at least on a basic level, that feelings have causes (e.g., says, "Sammy is sad because he can't find his blanket.").

  • Shows progress in expressing feelings, needs, and opinions in difficult situations or conflicts, without harming self, others, or property (e.g., says, "I really, REALLY need that swing!") May still fall apart under stress.

  • Shows an interest in other children and copies what they do (e.g., Luke jumps off the couch; his neighbor Sonia does exactly the same, laughing). Plays cooperatively with another child for a time (e.g., pretends to talk on the phone with the child).

Begins to have real friendships, even though he or she may not understand the concept of friendship or that these relationships may not last (e.g. says, "My best friends are Nathan, Sharon, Enrique, Cassidy…" and all others in his or her class).

  • Gives simple help to peers who are in need, upset, hurt, or angry (e.g., hug, comfort object, pat, encouraging word). Such attempts to give aid may not take into account the other child's characteristics or needs (e.g., offers a crying classmate his or her own stuffed animal, even though the child has another comfort object).
  • Accepts compromise when resolving conflicts if it is suggested by an adult (e.g., mom says, "Jackson, you can use that swing as soon as Sheila gets off."). Seeks adults' help in resolving a conflict (e.g., goes to dad and says, "Jacob took my truck!"). Continues to learn simple alternatives to aggressive ways of dealing with conflicts (e.g., trades one doll for a desired one by saying, "You have THIS dolly, okay?").

American Academy of Pediatrics



  • Imitates adults and playmates1

  • Spontaneously shows affection for familiar playmates1

  • Can take turns in games1

  • Understands concept of "mine" and "his/hers"1

  • Expresses affection openly1

  • Expresses a wide range of emotions1

  • By 3, separates easily from parents1

  • Objects to major changes in routine1

  • Strangers can understand most of her words (any outcome, depending on context)1

  • Understands most sentences (any outcome, depending on context)1

  • Uses 4- to 5-word sentences (any outcome, depending on context)1

Creative Curriculum 3-5



  • Treats arrival and departure as routine parts of the day, e.g. says good bye to family members without undue stress; accepts comfort from teacher (I)2

  • Shows confidence in parents’ and teachers’ abilities to keep him/her safe and healthy, e.g. explores environments without being fearful; summons adults when assistance is needed (I)2

  • Identifies and labels own feelings, e.g. says, “I’m mad at you”; “I really want to paint today.” (I)2

  • Physically or verbally asserts needs and desires, e.g. continues to hold classroom pet another child wants; lets teacher know if another child refuses to give anyone a turn on the ride-on truck (I)2
  • Participates in classroom activities (e.g. circle time, clean up, napping, toileting, eating, etc.) with prompting; e.g. after cleaning up, goes to rug for circle time when the teacher strums the autoharp (I)2


  • Follows classroom rules with reminders; e.g. responds positively to guidance such as ‘speak with your indoor voice’ (I)2

  • Works/plays cooperatively with one other child, e.g. draws or paints beside peer, making occasional comments; has a pretend phone conversation with another child (I)2

  • Is aware of other children’s feelings and often responds in a like manner; e.g. laughs or smiles when others are happy; says a child is sad because her mom left (I)2

  • With prompts, shares or takes turns with others, e.g. allows sand timer to regulate turns with favorite toys; complies with teacher’s request to let another child have a turn on the tricycle (I)2

  • Accepts compromise when suggested by peer or teacher; e.g. agrees to play with another toy while waiting for a turn; goes to ‘peace table’ with teacher and peer to solve a problem (I)2

HELP


  • Answers questions with more than yes or no response; can answer what, who, where but usually not why (24-36 mo)3

  • Enjoys a wide range of relationships; meets more people—e.g. other children, family friends (24-36 mo)3

  • Relates best to one familiar adult at a time—has difficulty relating more than one adult at a time (24-36 mo)3

  • Feels strongly possessive of loved ones – e.g. may verbalize ‘my mommy’ or try to sit on parent lap when parent is feeding baby (24-36 mo)3

  • Engages best in peer interaction with just one older child, not a sibling (24-36 mo)3
  • Initiates own play, but requires supervision to carry out ideas—play with peers becomes more interactive; needs supervision to negotiate conflicts (24-36 mo)3


  • Frustrated if not understood—utterances have communicative intent (28.5-36 mo)3

  • Separates easily in familiar surroundings—unless history of trauma or has few positive separation experiences (30-36 mo)3

  • Demonstrates extreme emotional shifts and paradoxical responses—e.g. has ‘up’ and ‘down’ days (30-36 mo)3

  • Participates in storytelling—helps tell a favorite story by adding words; making comments and anticipating events (30-36 mo)3

  • Participates in circle games; plays interactive games (30+ mo)3

  • Insists on doing things independently–e.g. at mealtimes, dressing, and figuring out how to make a toy work (30+ mo)3

  • Begins to obey and respect simple rules—understands consequences; tries to please (30+ mo)3

  • Relates experiences more frequently using short sentences (34+ mo)3

  • Asks questions beginning with what, where, when—to seek information, initiate or maintain a conversation, e.g. What’s that? Where is baby? When see daddy? (34.5+ mo)3

University of Maryland



  • Acts out social encounters through play activities

  • Has some decrease in separation anxiety for short periods of time

University of Michigan, Developmental Milestones by the End of 3 Years:




  • Imitates adults and playmates
  • Spontaneously shows affection for familiar playmates


  • Can take turns in games

  • Understands concept of "mine" and "his/hers"

  • Expresses affection openly

  • Expresses a wide range of emotions

  • By 3, separates easily from parents

  • Objects to major changes in routine


Outcome 2: Thinking, Reasoning, Problem-Solving Skills and Behaviors

Three-year-olds increasingly know what they want and express their preferences. While playing, they are better able to ignore distractions and focus on the task at hand. They will even persist in completing something that is a bit difficult. Learning still happens primarily through exploring, using all the senses. Their growing language skills allow for more complex questions and discussion, and they can think more creatively and methodically when solving problems.
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