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Home > My Child > Ages and Stages > 2 to 3 Years > Intellectual Development

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Intellectual Development - Language: 2 to 3 years

Intellectual Development means being able to communicate, to think both creatively and abstractly, to pay attention, solve problems, and develop keen judgment and a lifelong readiness to learn.

Emerging Skills
  • Understand longer sentences, of two to five words
  • Talk and sing more
  • Begin to name and match colours, sizes, etc. and match words with what they do
  • Use pronouns such as "you," "me" and "mine"
  • Understand two-step directions
  • Find out more about What to Expect from your toddler, 2 to 3 years.


    Through the comfort and responsiveness of an adult, toddlers will learn how to handle their emotions and how to seek help when needed.

    Parents Can:
  • Be patient – do not rush to fill in the words when their toddler is talking, as he may be organizing some thoughts
  • Child Will:
  • Know you are interested in what he has to say, and that he can take time to organize his thoughts without feeling rushed

  • Parents Can:
  • Provide opportunities for their toddler to talk about things that she finds interesting
  • Child Will:
  • Want to have conversations with others, and include them in experiences

  • Parents Can:
  • Encourage imaginative play
  • Child Will:
  • Feel secure enough to experiment with different roles, and use language to express herself

  • Play

    Through opportunities for play, toddlers will experience joyful, free, spontaneous moments of fun while learning about themselves and others.

    Parents Can:
  • Ask questions requiring a choice (for example, "Do you want the round cracker or the square one?")
  • Ask open-ended questions (for example, "How does the bunny feel to you?" "What did you see on your walk?")
  • Child Will:
  • Feel that his opinions matter
  • Practice using descriptive words

  • Parents Can:
  • Let their toddler fill in the blanks while singing a song
  • Child Will:
  • Use words that he has heard repeated
  • Enjoy singing important words on his own

  • Parents Can:
  • Have conversations during play time that encourage their toddler to talk about what she is doing
  • Child Will:
  • Master the ability to express her feelings about daily events, and know that you are interested

  • Teach

    Through routines and emotionally and physically safe and secure environments, toddlers can learn how to think, solve problems and communicate.

    Parents Can:
  • Keep expanding on language by adding more new words and descriptions about events in their toddler's day
  • Child Will:
  • Develop confidence in the use of many words and feel secure enough to try new words

  • Parents Can:
  • Start introducing basic concepts into conversations, such as time, colour and size
  • Child Will:
  • Begin to develop an understanding of abstract concepts (such as time, opposites and size) and will use these in her daily conversations

  • Social Development: 2 to 3 years
    Emotional Development: 2 to 3 years
    Intellectual Development - Numeracy: 2 to 3 years
    Intellectual Development - Problem Solving: 2 to 3 years

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