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The 2 1/2-year-old

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The 2 1/2-year-old is delightful, often funny, and fun to be around.

Language. She's discovering the power of words and has begun commenting on things in her environment just for the joy of sharing and talking. Encourage these conversations, and give her lots of help when she gets stuck on words she's still struggling to get out. At this age she can form sentences two or three words long and can follow two-step requests. Reading, including the association of words with objects and activities, is fun and quite critical at this age.

Imagination. Imagination is growing at this age, so books, stories, and make-believe play are getting more interesting to your child. Children this age play roles and enact scenarios rather than just imitate simple actions with toys. This leap forward of imagination means that new fears, worries, and anxieties may start to pop up. Dreams and nightmares are evidence of the hard work your child is doing to put her exciting world in order. She's likely to be a little more hesitant in new situations than she was a few months ago, but she'll also be more interested in trying out her interactive skills with new people once she is comfortable.

 

 
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