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As your toddler turns two you’ll find they’re learning to be more and more independent. Here are some tips on how you can help them learn, practice and develop their skills.

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Getting moving

Your toddler’s learning to move in even more ways, so they can…

  • climb on a chair to reach something high up
  • walk up and down stairs – putting a foot on each stair
  • kick a ball forward and throw it overhand
  • balance on one foot for a few seconds
  • sit on a small trike.

You can help by...

  • Making your home safe so that your child can explore things. Our page on making your home safe has lots of tips.
  • Taking them outdoors (perhaps to the park) so they can run, jump and climb.
  • Going swimming with them – and keeping a close watch while they’re in the water. Our page on water safety has more tips.
  • Holding their hand as they go up and down the stairs.
  • Putting on some music and dancing to it together.
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Hands and fingers

Your toddler’s learning finer hand and finger movements, so they might…

  • turn the pages of a book one at a time
  • build a tower of more than six blocks
  • hold a pencil and draw straight lines (as well as scribbling in circles)
  • screw and unscrew lids
  • sort objects by shape and colour.

You can help by...

  • Reading to your toddler as much as possible. You can check out our top tips for story time here.
  • Providing blocks and other objects for them to play with.
  • Giving them paper to draw on and encouraging them to make marks.
  • Letting them use a spoon and fork if they want to.
  • Getting them to help you with food preparation – washing fruit, snapping green beans or pouring milk over cereal.
  • Making sure anything dangerous (like button batteries, pills or cleaning products) are kept in jars and bottles with safety caps and that they're safely hidden away. 
  • Let them practise dressing themselves – when there’s time anyway!
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Learning and imagination

Your toddler’s grasping more complex ideas, so they might…

  • play pretend games
  • copy adults and other kids
  • start to test their boundaries and get their own way
  • throw a tantrum in moments of frustration
  • want to play with other kids
  • begin to have strong likes and dislikes for toys, colours and playmates.

You can help by...

  • Playing pretend games with them.
  • Staying calm during any tantrums – and calmly explaining afterwards that there are better ways to act. Our pages on toddler tantrums have more advice.
  • Being patient when your wee one smears your favourite lipstick all over their face – it’s fun to copy your routines.
  • Letting them join in family meals, so that they can learn to enjoy eating with other people.
  • Getting them more involved with looking after themselves, for example, by reminding them to wash their hands before and after eating, and after they’ve been to the loo.
  • Arranging for their playmates to come over, so your little one can learn about taking turns and sharing.
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