What most babies do by this age: Social: Copies adults and friends Shows affection for friends without prompting Takes turns in games Shows concern for crying friend Understands the idea of “mine” and “his” or “hers” Shows a wide range of emotions Separates easily from parents May get upset with major changes in routine Dresses and undresses self Language/Communication Follows instructions with 2 or 3 steps Can name most familiar things Understands words like “in,” “on,” and “under” Says first name, age, and sex (can tell you if they are a boy or a girl) Names a friend Says words like “I,” “me,” “we,” and “you” and some plurals (cars, dogs, cats) Talks well enough for strangers to understand most of the time Carries on a conversation using 2 to 3 sentences Problem-solving: Can work toys with buttons, levers, and moving parts Plays make-believe with dolls, animals, and people Does puzzles with 3 or 4 pieces Understands what “two” means Copies a circle with pencil or crayon Turns book pages one at a time Builds towers of more than 6 blocks Screws and unscrews jar lids or turns door handle Movement/Physical Development Climbs well Runs easily Pedals a tricycle (3-wheel bike) Walks up and down stairs, one foot on each step WHAT FAMILIES CAN DO Set limits and be consistent with what your child can and cannot do; give praise for following the rules. Talk about your child’s emotions; encourage him/her to identify feelings of others or characters in books. Arrange play dates with other children to practice sharing and taking turns. Help your child solve a problem when upset. Give your child simple tasks to help around the house such as sweeping, setting the table and helping with dinner. Make an activity box with paper, crayons, tape, markers, ribbon, glue stick, etc. Color and draw lines and shapes with your child. Play with blocks – take turns building towers and knocking them down. Listen to and encourage your child to use many words and longer sentences as his/her language skills expand rapidly. Give your child instructions with two or three steps such as, “Go to the closet and get your jacket and hat.” Read to your child every day, ask him/her to point things out and repeat words or phrases after you. Ask your child to complete a sentence in a book that you read often. Encourage pretend play and provide props such as stuffed animals, hats or old clothes. Point out letters and numbers in signs and everyday objects such as, “Look, this word begins with the letter ‘m’ just like your name.” Sing songs, repeat rhymes together and make up rhyming games. Hold your child’s hand going up and down stairs, or encourage him/her to use the railing. Play with balls, practicing running and kicking. Visit parks, playgrounds and play spaces where your child can run and climb freely. Provide riding toys, such as a trike. Teach your child how to “pump” his/her legs while on a swing.