Pre-schooler development - 24+ to 30 months

Parentree-editors 2008-08-15 00:44:52

Your child is now 2 years old. Preschoolers reach a number of developmental milestone between 24 and 30 months. There is also very wide variance in when they reach certain milestones.  Some preschoolers will exhibit certain behaviours early in the period, and some by the end. Remember that every child is unique and that is what we love about them.

Do bring it to your doctor's attention if there is an abnormal delay in reaching a developmental milestone. Regular visits to the paediatrician are required to ensure that your preschooler is progressing normally.

From the mouths of preschoolers

  • I am more imaginative and may do some pretend-play with dolls, cars etc.
  • I will often insist on doing things myself
  • I understand a lot of what you are saying. However, I cannot find the words to say everything I want. I will try hard though.
  • I will say short sentences
  • I can say my name
  • I will develop an interest in colour names and objects depicted on my clothes


  • Your preschooler may be ready to slide down some small slides in the park
  • Your preschooler will have good leg-eye coordination and can kick a ball. She will also be able to throw a ball a short distance using an overarm or underarm motion. Her aim may not be accurate though. 
  • Your preschooler can climb stairs easily


  • Your toddler will start to seek out other children of her own age and occasionally play with them. You can try to enable this with play dates.
  • Your preschooler will be learning how to share and take turns, but may not always do it. Work with him patiently to teach him why this is important.
  • At this time, your preschooler is looking for participation and control over what she does. Get her involved in simple chores like clearing up the toys. When doing this give them simple and specific instructions for one activity. Say "Put away that red doll" instead of "Clean up your toys".

Terrible Twos

The age between 24 to 36 months is often referred to as the "terrible twos". This is the time when your preschooler discovers communication, starts to develop some independence and then decides to try and use both to discover their boundaries. This often manifests itself as tantrums and other disagreements. It is a period where a parent has to strike a fine balance between showering love, being patient and clearly drawing lines.

If you give in to every temper tantrum, your preschooler will learn that if they cry or shout long enough, they get what they want. If you discipline them for every tantrum, they think you don't understand them and become withdrawn.

So what can you do:

  • Try to avoid a confrontation.  Distract the child if you are heading towards an argument.
  • If they insist on doing something themselves, let them do it as long as there is no danger.  They will soon get tired and ask for your help. All it will cost you is a little extra time. Plan your schedule so that there is extra time to indulge your preschooler's "I will do it" instinct.
  • If you ask them to do something and they refuse, try it again after a little bit of time. The circumstances may have changed.
  • Be patient. Take a deep breath if you feel are about to lose it
  • Don't get embarrassed and give in to your kids just because you want them to shut up
  • Give your preschooler a choice which makes them feel they are in charge
  • Don't get angry every time they have a tantrum. If you get angry and yell every time, you will succeed in snuffing out the tantrum. But the child starts becoming less confident and ends up with less self-esteem. You will also be teaching your child that the only way to deal with disagreements is to get angry. This will make it extremely hard for them to make friends as they grow up. Use disciplining judiciously. 


  • Doll carriage, wagons
  • Small rocking horse
  • Construction sets with large plastic blocks and interlocking mechanisms
  • Large wooden blocks
  • Large plastic or wooden nuts, and bolts
  • Simple set of alphabets, shapes, colours, numbers
  • Matching games
  • Dolls that talk and have more realistic features like hair
  • Different costumes or costume accessories for dolls
  • Finger paint, chalk, and crayons
  • Modelling clay
  • Safe plastic scissors and paper
  • Books with popups or tabs that are lifted to discover something underneath
  • Picture books with short storylines


1. Toy Safety Publications of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission


Child development - Baby, Toddler & Preschooler

Developmental milestones
Age appropriate toys
Physical development
Tips to nurture your child



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