Playtime is important for learning cognitive, physical, social, and emotional skills. Learn how you can support your child’s development with learning activities for 2-year-olds.
As a parent, you want to provide the very best opportunities to your children. Because you are an attentive parent, you’re likely looking for solutions to support your child’s development as they master skills and move onto new ones. Activities for 2-year-olds can support their growth and development through forms of play.
2-Year-Old Child Developmental Milestones
If you’re unsure about what your child should be able to do at the age of 2, don’t worry! Your pediatrician will likely go over developmental milestones with you at your child’s 24-month well-child checkup. But in case you’ve forgotten, or you are just curious, here’s a few things to look forward to.
A 2-year-old often:
- Walks on their own
- Begins to run
- Climbs on furniture
- Scribbles pictures
- Builds block towers
- Points to familiar objects
- Says single words and simple phrases
- Follows simple instructions
- Engages in imaginative play
- Imitates others behavior
- Begins to establish independence
Remember every child is unique and reaches their milestones at their own pace. Those are only parameters of what is expected at this age. Milestones should help you observe your child’s development, know what stimuli they need, and contact your pediatrician in case you have any concerns about potential developmental delays.
Why Play Is Important
At early ages, children don’t learn by sitting for long periods of time, rather they learn through playing. For example, a child will navigate relationships with other people by acting them out in an imaginative scenario with their doll. They might imitate someone else’s behavior with their toys, too. If you listen carefully to your child when they play independently, you’ll notice that they are processing their world through play.
Playtime is your child’s single most important time to learn new skills. You can foster development skills by introducing learning activities for 2-year-olds. Your child will be able to use developmentally appropriate skills both with your help and independently.
Activities For 2-Year-Olds
If you are looking for developmentally appropriate activities for your 2-year-old, we have several suggestions for Kinedu cognitive and physical activities.
Cognitive Activities For 2-Year-Olds
My House is a Kinedu activity for 2 year-olds designed to help your child imitate others, which helps stimulate imagination. It will also help with their language production and memory. The way you play the game is by choosing a few toys or stuffed animals that your child has a connection with, as well as some other play items such as food or everyday objects. Give yourselves a large space to play on the floor, removing other distractions.
You can start by introducing the idea that one of the stuffed animals is a member of the household and show your child how the stuffed animal likes to do things that the member of the house does in real life, too. Encourage your child to take the lead in the game, giving them the opportunity to imitate and imagine one of their stuffed toys as another member of the household. You can use questions to help engage them further.
How Many Claps?
Another Kinedu activity you can play with your 2-year-old is How Many Claps?. You will need a variety of colored blocks, such as LEGO or DUPLO style blocks. Turn on your child’s favorite song and encourage them to clap along. See if they can find the rhythm.
Put all the blocks in the center of the floor. Start by picking a colored block and saying, “When I see a blue block, I clap once” being sure to clap once after you pick up the block. Then choose another colored block, and sing again, “When I see a green block, I clap twice” being sure to clap twice after you pick up the block. The goal is to get your child to imitate the number of times you are clapping to help them begin their reasoning skills.
It’s okay if your child doesn’t understand the numbers. The goal is simply to enforce reasoning skills, so just playing the game with them and trying to get them to imitate is fun and helps them learn. Just playing with your child will help them learn and develop all sorts of skills, so don’t feel bad if your child doesn’t understand the numbering aspects of this activity.
Physical Activities For 2-Year-Olds
To improve your child’s fine motor skills, you can do an activity called Drawing Snails. The purpose behind drawing snails is to improve your child’s hand-eye coordination and to strengthen their muscles. You can start by monitoring how your child responds to a 3 step instruction. Ask your child to take a seat, grab a crayon, and grab a sheet of paper.
Begin by showing your child how to make a snail shell, by creating a spiral from the outside to the inside. If your child tries to imitate you by making their own snail shell, see how coordinated they are. If your child needs help, you can gently place your hand on your child’s hand and help them move the crayon in the right direction.
You can also engage your child by asking them what colors they are using, counting the number of shells they’ve made, and so on. Finish one of your snails with a body, face, and antennae. This activity is a fun one that you can continue doing until your child gets bored. As long as they are drawing, they are working on their motor skills.
Let’s Play Catch
You can do another activity for 2 year-olds called Let’s Play Catch with your child to help further develop their gross motor skills. This game could be fun to play in a safe area outside, as well as a safe area inside. The supplies you need will vary depending on what location you are playing in. If you choose to play outside, you could use chalk or a yoga mat to denote where your child should stand. If you choose to play inside, you can use stickers to mark where they should stand on the floor.
Once you’ve shown your little one where to stand, you’ll back up and gently toss a ball to your child for them to catch. Then you can back up a little further and toss the ball again. Each time you toss the ball, you backup a little further, increasing the distance between you and your child. If the area is safe to do so, allow your child to throw the ball back to you for you to catch. This activity for 2 year-olds will help your child develop good hand eye coordination, as well as improve their balance and their catching and throwing skills.
Every time your child is playing, they are learning. Children absorb large amounts of information and process it through playtime. If you want to help foster their development, you can help them process information through play by engaging them in activities that stimulate specific skills.
Now that you know some learning activities for 2 year-olds, download Kinedu for FREE and get access to interactive play sessions, personalized activity plans and 1,800+ activities created by experts in child development!