When your kid reaches the age of two, they will become extra observant and they will be super absorbent of new information.
At this stage, kids will be like sponges – they will take in the world around them and process what they see to inform their speech and behavior.
It is vital that your two year old starts to learn through playing, however, this is something that will happen naturally rather than being something that they’re forced to do.
You will find that day-to-day activities will provide your young child with crucial opportunities for learning, for growing and for developing.
Although, it is important to note that there are important skills that you can teach your child as a parent – just to help boost their skills.
Time flies when your child is growing up, and it can be difficult to pause and remind yourself to make the most of every moment.
With a million and one things to focus on in the modern world, it can be hard to prioritize your child’s learning at a young age, but as a parent, there are invaluable lessons that you can teach your two-year-old child.
You’ll be worried about making sure that your child is safe and that they are not at risk of injuring themselves.
Thus, you might not have the capacity to think ‘I must take time to educate my child’.
You aren’t alone in this. In focusing on the core survival essentials, many forget that early education is also a critical part of parenting and child development.
But, you will be pleased to know that there are some things that you will be able to teach your child without even realizing – and there are other things that you can really make time for.
Let’s Talk About Two-Year-Olds Learning Through Playing
So, as we mentioned before, a crucial part of your child’s learning is through the act of playing.
You might think that kids just like the way that toys look – but there is so much more to them than just looking kid-friendly.
Toys can teach kids a lot of invaluable lessons, they can learn about cause and effect and they can also learn about problem-solving.
These are two crucial skills that your child needs to develop – and playing with toys can also help your kid’s language development.
Your two-year-old will also be developing their coordination skills and they will also gain a whole new sense of independence.
It is important to mention that structured and also unstructured play are key ways of honing these skills.
What Is The Difference Between Structured And Unstructured Play?
You might be wondering what exactly the difference between structured and unstructured play is, and this is something that we can break down pretty quickly for you.
Structured play is recognized for being goal-focused play. What does this mean? Well, this kind of play will have its own instructions and end goal that the child will reach.
An example of structured play would be a jigsaw puzzle, the whole purpose of beginning a jigsaw puzzle is to have a completed piece of work.
Unstructured play is opposite to structured play in that it is in no way goal orientated. Unstructured play can also be known as free play, and this is focused on open-ended exploration.
This is a creative way of playing. Examples include role play or it can also be playing with dolls or soft toys. There is no set ‘end goal’ that your child will intend on reaching. They will just be playing for fun.
It’s true that when it comes to teaching your child through play, you won’t actually get the full perspective of what they learn and take in – because this is information that you processed a long time ago.
Due to this, you won’t be able to recognize what exactly you are teaching them, but make no mistake, they’re picking a lot up!
What Exactly Can You Teach Your Two Year Old?
Here, we are going to outline exactly what you can teach your two year old – we have a lot of different skills and concepts that you can teach your child about, but ultimately practice along with exposure are the ultimate ways to educate your child.
However, before we get started there is one key thing that is important to bear in mind. It is important to remember that every child will grow and develop at their own speed.
You should not be worried if your child is not at a certain level, or if they are nowhere near getting ready to learn these concepts.
These are just ideas and guidelines that we have pulled together if you are looking for some new and fun ways to help your child’s growth and development. Whatever you do, don’t get caught up comparing your child to others.
This is way too early an age for competitiveness and pressure to succeed.
1. Teaching Your Two-Year-Olds New Words And Starting To Have A Conversation With Them
You might have noticed that your two-year-old has picked up some random words and expressions over the span of their life.
Your child might be at the stage where they are trying to really work out how to put their words together, and they will be able to form short phrases or sentences – and they might even be able to indicate that they are questioning something.
We have some common words and also some popular phrases that you might notice your two-year-old using, and this can help you work out how you can best support and help them in their learning.
Your two-year-old might be able to understand and they might even be able to use action words, this will be a fundamental part of their communication.
For instance, your child might be able to communicate to you when they are wanting something – or if they want you to do something.
Your two-year-old might be able to use manners, or they might be able to understand manners, and they might also be able to name a few different things.
They might know the names of certain body parts or they might be able to make animal sounds or they might be able to give the names of animals.
Or, you might notice that your child can confidently say their own name, and that they can also say your name, this could just be calling you by your parental role name – or they might find it funny to use your first name.
Your two year old might be able to name different kinds of everyday sights – so they might be able to name different things within your house or they might be able to name colors or shapes, and the weather can be a pretty big talking point for two-year-olds as well as adults.
Before your child reaches the age of three, you will notice that they have built up a pretty big vocabulary. Yeah, they probably won’t stop chatting away.
But, the best thing that you can do is encourage your child to group words together and to try to form a sentence. This is something that you should definitely try to do if you notice that they are not doing this by themselves.
This is not something that you have to do in a patronizing or condescending manner, you can just repeat what they have said to you and add on the appropriate words.
2. Encouraging Your Two-Year-Old To Read
Another great way that you can help and encourage the growth and development of your child is to support them in their reading.
As we progress through new stages of technological advances – the art and importance of reading can be forgotten. But, this is not something that we should neglect when it comes to our young children.
Reading is an activity that your child can really enjoy, and it is something that prevents us from over-using electric devices.
You can help your child the most in their reading endeavors by helping them really get to grips with the act of reading itself.
What we mean by this is that you can show your child exactly how they should hold a book and exactly how to go through a book from front to back. You can also show your child the right way to hold a book.
Now, this is not us saying that you can sit your two-year-old down and they will blitz through a Charles Dickens novel.
You are going to want to give them books that really interest them – these books should be bright and colorful and filled with lots of pictures.
At two years of age, your child will be most fascinated with the images in the book, but as they progress through their twos then they will start to recognize and pick up on different letters and then they will be able to see how these form words on a page.
You will gradually notice as your child gets older how they associate words with holding actual meaning.
When you are reading to your two-year-old, the best thing that you can do is use your finger as a reading aid.
You can follow along the words that you are reading with your finger, and this can help your child associate the letters on the page with the words that you are saying.
This is a stage where you can actually read words on the page, rather than just pointing at the pictures and trying to get your child’s attention that way.
This is how your child will understand what is happening within the story.
You could even try and persuade your child to describe the pictures on the page to you, and you could ask them questions about the story and what is going on.
Even just asking ‘what color is the boy’s cap?’ will help your child focus, and will allow you to see how they are growing and developing.
You might even be at a stage where you can transition from the thicker cardboard-feeling books to thinner books.
3. Encouraging Your Two-Year-Old To Be Independent
You will notice that at the age of two, your child is starting to get more curious about the world around them – and that they are trying to do more themselves.
You are going to want to give your child some kind of independence, as you can’t keep them wrapped up in cotton wool forever.
It can be scary for parents, but you are going to want to give your child the chance to learn and explore for themselves – and it is also important that you allow your child to make some mistakes for themselves.
This is a crucial point of their learning – although these mistakes should not be too out of control.
Here’s the thing, your child might not have perfected the art of being totally independent. They might think that they have, but you still need to be around as a means of providing support and guidance.
And, you can always be on standby to show your child how to do something before they attempt it so that they can imitate your example.
4. The Fun Of Role Play
One of the best things that you can do with your child as a way of encouraging their growth and independence is to partake in role play with them.
Helping your child use and expand their imagination is fun and incredibly rewarding, not just for them, but for you as well!
Your child will enjoy pretending to copy the thing you do, this could be pretending to be on the phone, or it could even be driving a car.
You can either purchase toys to replicate this, or you can use things that you have at home as a means of pretending.
Your child might want to sit on the sofa and use a cushion to pretend to be behind a steering wheel, or your child might want to make their own plates from cardboard to serve snacks on.
Your child can enjoy making their own toys as part of their role play, and this will also really help them in their growth and development.
5. The Fun Of Being Arty
A great way to help your child develop their fine motor skills is to encourage them to draw or paint or color-in.
You might notice that your child is at the stage where they are no longer scribbling on paper; they will be trying to draw from memory, and this is something that you can nurture and treasure as a parent.
Your child might begin to make some purposeful marks on the page, they will attempt to draw lines and maybe even circles.
These drawings are by no means going to be clear or perfect, but your child will be able to tell you what it is that they are trying to draw.
You can help your child by giving them ideas of what to try and draw, you can print off pictures of their favorite TV characters, their favorite foods, or their favorite things to do.
Or, you can put photos of family members by them so they can try to copy them. You can even print out letters of the alphabet for your child to copy or trace.
This will help to boost their familiarity with words.
6. Teaching Your Two-Year-Old Numbers And Counting
You might notice that your two-year-old is at a stage where they can count to ten with only a few errors.
This is something that they can really do from memory, and you can encourage them to count past ten with some practice.
You will be able to help your child recognize and also identify numbers, something that you can do with the use of physical objects rather than just speech as an explanation.
There are easy ways that you can help your child develop their confidence with counting, you can just do easy things like counting each step when you walk up the stairs – or you can count out their toys.
Numbers are everywhere so you’ll be able to encourage your child to practice their counting at almost any time, in any place.
7. Teaching Your Two-Year-Old Letters And Sounds
Your child might be at the point where they are familiar with the letters of the alphabet – and you will find that your child might be able to start reciting some of the alphabet from their memory.
When your child is at this stage, then you can help them with recognizing letters and aligning them with the sounds that they can make.
Having your child copy you and using repetitive techniques will be the best way that you can do this.
It is also important to make sure that you show your child upper case letters and also lower case letters.
Some argue you should start with uppercase, due to their more striking visual appearance, while others believe that, as the majority of letters they’ll see in their books are lower case, starting with small letters can aid their literacy.
8. Learning Through Building Blocks
Your child will absolutely love playing with building blocks, which is a key example of how learning through play can benefit a child.
Building can help develop your child’s hand-eye coordination and also their spatial awareness.
Plus, once the building has been created, your child will find it loads of fun letting their destructive energy out by razing it to the ground — laughs will ensue!
This is an activity that will really help your child to learn imaginatively, and they will also improve their problem-solving skills along with their investigative skills.
Your child will love being inspired – and this is something that you can help them with because you can give them ideas and inspiration for different things to create.
9. Learning Through Puzzles
As we mentioned before, puzzles are really great for improving your child’s fine motor skills and also their visual motor skills. By visual motor skills, we are referring to hand-eye coordination.
Your child will have to work hard to try to make the puzzle pieces fit in the jigsaw base – and they have to do this by turning the puzzle piece. This is also really helpful for your child’s spatial awareness.
If your two-year-old still enjoys doing inset puzzles, then this is totally fine. They can still enjoy playing with these puzzles – they will let them match shapes and also items to the correct places on the puzzle base.
However, if you are noticing that your child has progressed further than just being able to do the inset puzzles, then they can move on to actual interlocking jigsaw puzzles.
10. The Importance Of Getting Physical And Getting Outside
You’ve probably got to this point and have immediately questioned how you are meant to get your child to burn off all the energy that they have.
Yeah, you’re probably not going to have to persuade your child to get outdoors and burn off a lot of energy.
But it is important to make sure that your child is able to get plenty of physical exercise – and this is what enables them to improve their gross motor skills.
Your two-year-old will be able to develop their gross motor skills through outdoor activities by running around, by jumping, by climbing on things, or by pedaling on a tricycle.
Ultimately, the best way that you can encourage your child to be active is to allow them to play outdoors as much as possible.
You can let them run out your backyard, or you can take them to new places to play and explore with other kids – such as the playground. This is where the best kinds of climbing equipment will be.
11. Learning Through Music, Dance And Rhythm
It is true that kids have so much fun expressing themselves through moving in time with music. It’s a great way for kids to develop their coordination and also their sense of rhythm.
The best thing that you can do is to put on some fun music for them to dance or sing along to, and there really is no harm in you joining in with them.
If you are keen for your two-year-old to be a budding musician, then you can test their interest in this by using household items as makeshift instruments, this is a really fun way to make some noise and see if this is something that takes your child’s interest.
12. Don’t Forget About Potty Training Your Two-Year-Old
When your child gets to the age of two, this is where the fun of potty training tends to come into play.
In fact, between the ages of two and three – children will want to copy you and they will be fully capable of using the toilet in the same way that you do.
But, before your two-year-old gets to the toilet stage, you will need to potty train them in order to build them up to using the toilet.
You can encourage your child to just sit on the potty at the points of the day that they usually use the toilet.
You will have to make sure that you try and catch your child at the right moment. When they look like they are about to need to go to the toilet, get them to use the potty.
13. Telling The Time
When your child is two-years-old they will not be at the stage where they can start to learn to tell the time, but you will be able to help them gain an understanding of the concept of time.
Your child will be familiar with when it is time to get up, when it is time to go to bed, and when it is time to eat throughout the day.
But, there are some things that you can do in order to make sure that your child starts to get a better understanding of having to stop what they are doing ready for something else.
You can start by saying something like ‘ten minutes of playtime until lunch’.
Your child won’t fully understand the time limit, but they will begin to understand the concept of having a certain length of time to do something.
14. How Can You Teach Your Two-Year-Old To Be Safe?
Being safe is a really valuable lesson to teach your child from a young age, especially because at the age of two, your child will not see any danger in anything.
You need to teach your child not to run away in public, and you also need to teach them about road safety.
A lesson that most parents will try to teach their two-year-old is to hold their hands, this is obviously an affectionate gesture, but this is the safest way to be out in public with your child.
It can be hard to explain what it means to be safe, but breaking it down into their language is the best way to achieve this.
15. Teaching Your Child Manners
It is really important to teach your child manners, and knowing how to be able to treat others properly is a really important lesson to be aware of from a young age.
You need to teach your child how to respect adults as well as other kids – this is super important.
Your child should begin to show an awareness of how to be polite in the way they communicate and also in the way they act, and this is where being a parent plays a really important role.
Your child will be copying the way that you act and the way that you behave, so you are going to want to set a solid example for your two-year-old… No pressure!
At the age of two, your child will start to test the boundaries and try to find new and exciting methods of getting what they want.
It is most important that you instill the importance of respecting others within them.
16. Making Sure Your Child Stays Healthy
A great habit to start with your young child is to make sure that they eat as healthy as possible and that they have an awareness of what good hygiene is.
You can get them used to living a healthy lifestyle and then this can be something that they keep habitual for the rest of their lives.
This is especially important when it comes to daily snacks – we all love chocolate and sweets, but it is important to incorporate fruit into your child’s diet when possible.
17. Teaching Your Two-Year-Old The Real Meaning Of NO
One of the hardest lessons that your two-year-old will have to learn is that no means no… No is not the equivalent of saying maybe!
The thing with young children is that they don’t understand that there is more to life than just them… They will only take into consideration how something is going to have an impact on themselves.
This is something that can usually lead to inappropriate behaviors.
This is where parenting can get really tricky, you need to try really hard to not give in to every single cry and scream to get what they want – this is much harder to cope with in a very public space.
But, this is something that you will thank yourself for in the long run.
18. Teaching Your Child To Have A Good Routine
You will find that your child will benefit from having a solid routine in their daily life. They probably have some kind of routine in their life – but it is your job to make sure that they are always doing what is asked of them.
Ultimately, the more that you structure your child’s day and the better the routine that you give them, the more that your child will begin to appreciate times of the day and having a schedule.
This is a great way to ease them into routine before they get to start school. There are lots of different ways that you can do this.
A favorite of many parents is drawing up a colorful chart to help their child see what they are going to be doing throughout the day. You can make it interactive through the use of stickers and asking for help creating the chart.
19. Testing The Attention Span Of Your Two-Year-Old
You will have come to the realization that your toddler does not have the same attention span that we do – the only time they will really stay focused is if they are watching their favorite program on TV.
But, you need to try and teach your child that it is important to start and finish a task – jumping from one activity to another is not massively ideal.
This is something that will take time because your child will be curious about everything around it, and they will view playtime as a chance to go totally wild, and they will try to play with everything in one go.
But, you can begin to teach them to play with their toys in a decisive way, and this will again really help to prepare your child for eventually starting school.
If your child has never experienced any kind of routine before, then they will find school quite shocking – but this way, you can really make sure that your child has some experience with a routine beforehand.
20. Getting Your Two-Year-Old To Be Helpful
As we have discussed before, your child will look to you for inspiration when it comes to copying and mirroring behaviors.
Your child will learn a lot from you, and they will grow in confidence and also in independence when they think that they are being just like you!
There are some things that your two-year-old won’t be able to fully help you with – but they will be able to collect the mail, and they can help you with mixing ingredients when you are cooking.
They can also fill the dog bowl or play with a younger sibling or pet.
21. Your Two-Year-Old And Technology
This is a commonly debated topic – and lots of parents will have different opinions on how much technology their child should be exposed to.
Naturally, it is important for your child to be familiar with how to use technology and how to swipe, click and slide on a screen.
However, the general guidelines are that your two-year-old should have their screen time limited to an hour per day, if any.
This is so that you do not put their eyesight at risk, and so that your child does not become obsessed or fixated with the technology that they are exposed to.
Overall, there are a lot of different things that you can do to help the growth and development of your child.
As a parent, you are your child’s greatest source of inspiration – and they will look to you to copy speech, behaviors, and attitudes in general.
It is important to highlight that every single child is different. It is for this reason that you need to use our advice to suit you and your child.
Every child will be at different stages at different points in their lives, and it is important that you do not put pressure on your child to be at a certain level that they are not ready for.
You want your child to feel free to grow and learn at their own pace – and you don’t want any pressure to transfer onto them.
Ultimately, teaching your child is something that you should enjoy – and you should love being able to watch the new skills that they pick up every day.
And, you should find the fun in the slight errors that they make in their efforts.
The whole point of this article is to give you a source of inspiration on just how you can make the best impact on your child and their growth.
Remember to have fun – and don’t put too much pressure on your child’s pace.