Language Development 2 to 3 years

From now on, your toddler accumulates vocabulary at a rapid rate. This is really the age that your child’s language development takes off. Language is the crucial axis of all intellectual development and further learning. Everything he has learnt, and will still learn, revolves around language. Never underestimate the important role you play in this vital part of his development.

By now he should be saying up to 200 -300  words, either in their single form, or by constructing the odd sentence with two to three words. He will begin to use words such as “mine” and “I” and “you” and “yours”.


Your toddler should be able to recognise and identify familiar objects and understand simple questions and commands, which he will be able to carry out. For example you would say, “Where are granny’s glasses? There they are, thank you, will you please pass them to granny? ”. When he speaks, don’t worry if his sentences are a bit muddled. As he progresses, he will make more sense, as he learns to use his words in the correct order.


By the time your toddler is two and a half, he can say who he is and name his body parts – for example, “Rowan’s tummy”. He may even be able to start using simple adjectives such as ‘big’ or ‘small’.


Your toddler’s listening skills will be improving, and he will love listening to stories (keep them short and sweet!). Don’t worry if he can’t remember the story later. Get used to having plenty of patience on tap, as this is the age when he will begin to ask, “What …?” and “Where …” and “Why…?” frequently! Follow his cue and ask him questions to encourage him to use his rapidly increasing language skills.


Research has shown that children of this age with talkative mothers have a larger vocabulary than children growing up hearing less of the spoken word. His receptive speech (what he understands) will still be far superior to his expressive speech (what he can say), so don’t stop talking to him all the time.


Ann Richardson  RN, RM

Private Nurse Practitioner
Dedicated to managing your well baby
Author and Parent Coach


011 465 3480/8



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