From ages one to three, your child has many developmental milestones. These are skills like showing greater independence and recognizing themselves in pictures or a mirror. It’s also things like putting words together, talking in sentences and exploring new objects and people around them. Each of these milestones are things most children do by a certain age. They cover a wide range of behaviors like playing, learning, speaking, and moving (from walking to jumping to running).
80% of your child’s brain develops by age three. It’s during these years that your child’s brain begins to develop memory, language, thinking and reasoning skills. They learn by imitating the behavior of others, especially adults and older children. It can also be a trying time, as they begin to show defiant behavior and set out to explore the world around them.
The small steps you take during these first three years make a big difference in your child’s future success. We have developed materials through the Steps initiative to give you some simple steps to help your child succeed in school and life.
The Steps milestone checklists for toddlers through age three contain things most toddlers do by this age in the areas of:
Says single words
May walk up steps and run
Can help undress themself
Drinks from a cup
Says sentences with 2 to 4 words
Begins to sort shapes and colors
Plays simple make-believe games
Stands on tiptoe or kicks a ball
Follows instructions with 2 or 3 steps
Can name most famillar things
Can work toys with buttons and moving parts
Climbs well and runs easily
At this stage of life, a child's development changes greatly from month to month. For an easy way to keep track of when your baby should reach certain milestones, download the free Center for Disease Control Milestones Tracker app in the Apple App Store or on Google play. The App also includes activities and learning tips for each age and an area where you can keep track of all your doctor appointments.
Although most children learn to do things and reach specific milestones by a certain age, not all do. Different children develop at different rates.
If you suspect your child is behind, has a development delay or physical issues that hold him back, don’t delay. The sooner you get help, the faster your child will be able to cope with whatever challenge he faces.
Early On Michigan can help you give your child the best chance for success. Find out more. Call 1-800-EARLY-ON (327-5966) and we’ll work with you to evaluate your child's current development and figure out the next steps.
Find resources by different age groups, videos for parents, a baby games calendar, baby’s first year milestone guide and more from Pathways.org.
Find videos, milestone checklists, Milestone Tracker mobile app, view the Milestones in Action photo and video library, and more from the Center for Disease Control
Find positive things you can do as a parent broken out for every age group – in English and Spanish from the Center for Disease Control
Find shows and videos to watch, play activities, ways to help your child thrive, ways to learn and grow at each milestone and more