2 Years Old

LANGUAGE

Your child has probably started using simple sentences as she expresses herself to you. Most two-year-olds speak in two or three word sentences or phrases, like “Go to store” or “Pretty dress.” Most twos are beginning to ask a lot of questions about their world. The word “why” is used almost as much as the word “no” by two-year-olds! Your toddler can still understand much more language than she can express, and will continue to rely on gestures to help get her point across. Offer a gentle push by saying, “I think I know what you want, but I’d like you to say it to me! Is it a truck…or a house...or a ball?”

PLEASE READ IT AGAIN!

As part of his desire to “keep everything the same,” your toddler will undoubtedly go through a time when he wants you to read him the same book over and over again. You may wonder why he is stuck on this particular book when he has many other good books to choose from, and you may not have been particularly fond of his favorite to begin with! You may be tempted to hide this book so you won’t have to read it again. You know he has it memorized, so there’s no way you can skip any pages!

Congratulations! When your child has “connected” with a book in this way, you can be sure that he has discovered the special joy of books. Read it to him often, and keep enticing him with other books as well. He will soon move on to other books, much to your relief!

PLEASE READ IT AGAIN!

When you and your toddler are on a collision course, and things have just gone too wrong for him, you can often avert disaster by sitting down together and reading a book! Reading aloud together provides the single best transition activity we know about. When parents and children read together, a number of positive things happen naturally:

  1. You sit close together. When your toddler is tense, he may resist a hug. By the end of the story, his body will have relaxed and he may be leaning into you to receive the cuddling he needs for reassurance.

  2. You both leave your frustrations behind. When you read a book, it requires that you leave behind the thoughts that filled your head moments before in order to enter into the story. A book removes us from our present situation and takes us to a new place mentally.

  3. You get a fresh start. The bad feelings are gone, and in their place is the shared experience you’ve just had together. You and your toddler are much more likely to be in harmony after sharing a story.
And of course, in addition to helping your toddler out of a “bad situation,” books also help develop his imagination, his language skills, and his ability to pay attention. And most importantly, books are just plain fun! You may be amazed at how much you too will enjoy the many wonderful children’s books available at your library! Try these familiar books:

Carle, Eric. The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Philomel, 1981.

Christelow, Eileen. Five Little Mondeys Jumping on the Bed. Houghton- Mifflin, 1990.

The Gingerbread Boy. Retold and illustrated by paul Galdone. Houghton-Mifflin, 1983.

Information adapted from Baby TALK