What should a 2 year know/be learning? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 13 Old 06-02-2011, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My little guy is two and seems pretty advanced in terms of learning. He can dress himself, brush his teeth, open the fridge for snacks, can name all of his body parts, sign to you and speak some Spanish. I was just wondering, what exactly should a two year old know at this point? This is the same child who still wakes up in the middle of the night and will potty at school but not at home. eyesroll.gif

 

He knows his numbers and can spell the first 3 letters of his name but I feel like there is something else I should be teaching him. I certainly can't expect him to learn everything at daycare seeing that the parent is his first teacher. Any advice out there?


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#2 of 13 Old 06-02-2011, 12:37 PM
 
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At this point we're working  on a lot of life skills with DD so we remind her to put away things when she's done and make sure to include her in chores.  We push the English language quite a bit in our house since we live abroad so we read a lot of books and she gets to watch some TV but only in English.  DD is also in preschool full time because I work so our nights/mornings are normally pretty busy with general life stuff.  However, on the weekend we try to do fun stuff with her like puzzles, coloring, playdough, singing, playing outside, soccer, going to the mall, shopping etc.  Basically, these kids can learn a lot through general life stuff and also when us adults take their questions seriously.  For instance, DD was asking about going to the moon awhile back so that got us discussing rocket ships and how you can jump higher on the moon (and we watched a bunch of space shuttle launches/man's first steps on the moon). 

 

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#3 of 13 Old 06-03-2011, 02:55 PM
 
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Hmm, well..DD is 2 and obsessed with letters - she can sing her alphabet and read all her letters.  She is working on her numbers but can't say many of them yet

 

Other things she is working on in our play and reading:

 

colours

puzzles

life skills - most of her toys and play revolve around real life.  Her play kitchen, her dolls, her animals, she spends a lot of time imitating

she helps me cook meals

she likes to help clean - a cloth and squirt bottle are big fun

she works in the garden with me, flowers and vegetables

we're reading a lot of books about opposites and seasons and numbers

working on putting on/taking off shoes, coats, clothing

she helps put her toys away (and then digs them right back out rolleyes.gif

She is very interested in art - painting, colouring, playdough - we do these every day

 

 


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#4 of 13 Old 06-03-2011, 03:25 PM
 
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I have no idea what a 2yo 'should' know. I'm sure it varies depending on what they are taught!! DS seems to know a lot of things but what we work on most with him is developing his creativity and helping him feel comfortable in the world... so imaginary play, arts & crafts, lots of time outdoors, tons of movement... I guess I don't worry whether he knows colors and numbers and stuff (he does know those things, but they just came up during the course of the day I guess) but just that he has ample opportunity to explore the world. Being in nature, reading, cuddling, drawing, jumping on the bed -- those are the things that help make all the connections in his brain, open his mind to new information, help him be at peace with the world. I also feel like he needs a lot of time to just BE... time where we just go for a walk with him on my back or in the wagon and he can just soak up the world around him.

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#5 of 13 Old 06-03-2011, 04:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

I have no idea what a 2yo 'should' know. I'm sure it varies depending on what they are taught!! DS seems to know a lot of things but what we work on most with him is developing his creativity and helping him feel comfortable in the world... so imaginary play, arts & crafts, lots of time outdoors, tons of movement... I guess I don't worry whether he knows colors and numbers and stuff (he does know those things, but they just came up during the course of the day I guess) but just that he has ample opportunity to explore the world. Being in nature, reading, cuddling, drawing, jumping on the bed -- those are the things that help make all the connections in his brain, open his mind to new information, help him be at peace with the world. I also feel like he needs a lot of time to just BE... time where we just go for a walk with him on my back or in the wagon and he can just soak up the world around him.

 

I really like this answer!  I ran out of time earlier but also wanted to talk about how I don't really worry about what she "should" know, and I don't think it's my job to be drilling anything into her yet.  I focus our play and library books, music choices, etc around things that she has shown interest in - i.e. the letters, painting, sorting, animals, etc.  But really, I feel like what a 2 year old NEEDS is gentle play, lots of routine, lots of opportunity to try new things, explore, play, figure stuff out, and get hands on with real learning materials (i.e. dishes and soapy water, mixing muffins, caring for our pets). I think a child who has been given freedom to explore and imagine and play and love has everything they need to succeed in other sorts of learning later on!
 

 


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#6 of 13 Old 06-03-2011, 05:47 PM
 
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DD loves to learn about colors, the alphabet, nursery songs, recentely started puzzles and counting. She still cannot count objects correctly but can count to 15. I read to her all the live long day. She has been able to dress and brush her own teeth for awhile, but I think most 2 year olds can.

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#7 of 13 Old 06-03-2011, 07:51 PM
 
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I've been thinking about this, too.  I feel like DS is eager to learn new things, but I'm at a loss at to what to teach him next.  He knows all of the standard 10 or so colors, so I think I'll start teaching him the secondary colors (is that right?  Tertiary colors?), like turquoise and magenta, etc.  He can recite his alphabet and recognizes all of the letters, so I think I'm going to start working harder on what sounds the letters make.  I also want to help him learn to count higher.  

 

Other than that, we do the usual, like talking about whatever he shows an interest in, or what we see around us.  We read a lot of books (he'll only sit for books at bedtime), which we discuss throughout the day.  I take him on outings to see things we can't see/do at home, like the children's museum (they have a free day once a month here), petting zoo, to feed the ducks, etc, plus plenty of not-as-educational activities like the park, where I help him learn gross motor skills, like how to climb the rope ladder at our park, and there are several parks near us that have giant xylophone-type things, which he loves to play with.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lynnesg View Post

DD loves to learn about colors, the alphabet, nursery songs, recentely started puzzles and counting. She still cannot count objects correctly but can count to 15. I read to her all the live long day. She has been able to dress and brush her own teeth for awhile, but I think most 2 year olds can.


DS is the same, but just dumps puzzles and moves on.  He can rote count to 20 (sometimes), but can't count concrete objects correctly about half the time.

 

My DS cannot and will not dress or brush his own teeth.  He hates teeth brushing, but he has serious weird dental issues, and brushing hurts, no matter how soft, so maybe that's why.  He's potty trained, but will not pull down his own pants, always gets me to do it. 

 

 


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#8 of 13 Old 06-03-2011, 09:54 PM
 
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I don't think there is a list of things two year olds (or 30 year olds, for that matter) should know.  My 2 year old knows a mixture of things that he's interested in (like construction equipment and animals), things he's exposed to a lot (baking, firewood gathering, gardening, photography, etc...), and thing's we've decided are important to teach him (like edible and poisonous plants of our area).  The first two categories come naturally, and for the last one - only you can decide what you think it's important for them to know.  I can't imagine that any 2 year old knows everything pertaining to everyday life no matter what lifestyle you lead, so I can't see how there could be a lack of new things to teach them?  

Oh, and my 2 year old won't brush his own teeth or dress himself (except boots and hats).  No interest.

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#9 of 13 Old 06-04-2011, 11:51 AM
 
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Let's see what my just turned 2 year old in March knows.

He knows how to speak in English and Spanish - full sentences in English and small sentences in Spanish

Can count to 3 in both languages on his own (will copy numbers up to 20ish one at a time with you)

Will repeat the alphabet letter by letter

Can write his name with assistance and holds writing utensils properly

Can crack an egg in a bowl with no help

Can cook basic things with supervision - wasn't I surprised when he was "cooking" his muffin in a cast iron pan!!!

Knows his colors in both languages (better in Spanish)

Is potty learning and will pull off his "pull ups" which are CD pull ups to go

Knows different bugs

Knows animals and accompanying sounds

Knows music and how to clap rhythms after I do and can play a rhythm or 2 on his tiny violin (is also learning how to play the piano a bit too)

Knows how to cut with a fork or knife

Knows how to soothe his newborn baby brother

There's probably other things as well.  This has all be learned through play and interactions with myself and his papa.  We don't have a set "schedule" but I think he's doing very well for his age, especially being totally bilingual!

Oh, also knows the difference between different modes of transport (car vs truck vs tractor)

 


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#10 of 13 Old 06-04-2011, 12:33 PM
 
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Forum crashing here --

 

My list would be: A two year old should know:

  • How to ask questions
  • That splashing in a puddle is a lot of fun
  • That sand is really cool to play in
  • How to finger paint and make mud
  • That knocking over a tower of blocks is a lot easier (and more fun?) than building it up
  • How to follow an ant or a beetle as it walks somewhere
  • How to blow dandelion seeds (careful, they'll inhale them first)
  • Mixing up cookies/bread with mom and dad is fun (especially when you get to lick the beaters!)
  • How to put toppings on a pizza
  • How to make all the animal noises in the Eric Carle books (Brown Bear Brown Bear...)
  • How to look for something that's hidden
  • How to listen to the same story over and over again (unless of course mom and dad want to read it, then you will refuse to listen to it)
  • How to catch or kick a beach ball
  • How to scribble on paper
  • How to make a hand print out of paint and give it to your mom/dad (and make them cry)
  • How to go down a slide
  • How to put things in and out of small boxes, large boxes, medium containers (dumping and filling activities are lots of fun)
  • How to pretend that a really big box is a house, a cage, a tent, a crib...
  • How to give a baby doll a bath
  • How to drink out of a regular cup
  • How to climb up on a chair/the couch
  • How to sing songs with mom/dad (doesn't have to be in tune, just cheerful)
  • How to scribble with sidewalk chalk
  • How to blow a bubble
  • How to ride a ride-on toy
  • How to collect leaves, rocks, pine cones or whatever took your fancy on your walk with mom and dad
  • How to dance to music

 

I'm sure there are lots of other things I could put If you notice, there aren't a lot of 'academic' things on my list. Two year olds need to explore their world. They need to touch, feel, examine, stomp, climb, ponder, listen, talk, sing, dance and all sorts of other things. The more they can explore their world at this age, the more the world will make sense to them. The more the world makes sense to them, the more they can learn and figure out on their own. The more they can do that, the more they will succeed in school and in life. If you're learning to count, it makes much more sense to count how many pine cones you're picking up than it does to count something on a page. You can touch and feel the pine cone. You can see that a pile of  "8" is a bigger number than "2". Then when you need to know that 8 is bigger than 2, you'll have something real to connect it to.

 

FWIW, I didn't spend much time (any? I don't remember) teaching my toddlers much. I do remember that ds learned his colors very early because he was interested. When dd hit two, I realized that she didn't know any color words. She's 7, and she knows them all know.  When ds was 2, he could barely sit still for a picture book and he never chose to draw or do fine motor work. We spent a lot of time outside. I remember hours outside splashing in puddles, floating leaves down the storm drain, climbing up the slide. Dd loved to do other things -- she loved to play pretend, she loved to 'read' books, she loved to draw and build with legos, she loved puzzles. At the end of the day, they both learned what they needed to. They can both read, write, do math, sing, and converse quite nicely.

 

Better yet, they're curious about their world, they know how to ask questions and they love to learn. OK, so ds is busy learning arcane facts about baseball (how many home runs does Jose Bautista have today? What was the most innings a baseball game has ever gone? Has anyone ever pitched a no hitter on opening day? In their first major league game?), he's learning. His passions have helped him learn a lot. While he's learning arcane things about baseball, he's also learning math (batting averages, ERA, how to divide by 9), rules, sportsmanship, and social skills for talking to other guys. Dd is busy learning history through books and then acting out those books.

 

Help  your child get out in the world and explore it. Share their interests. They'll take it from there.

 

 

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#11 of 13 Old 06-06-2011, 07:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all your suggestions and insight. I feel pretty good that I'm showing and exposing my little one the right things. I'm teaching him to put away his laundry now (which he loves to do) and he's already dressing himself. I also let him help me cook and get his own snacks out of the fridge. Lately we've been playing with dominoes and I'm teaching him how to line them up and push them down. I used to love doing that as a kid so I'm hoping he will love it too.


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#12 of 13 Old 06-06-2011, 08:34 AM
 
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Lynn - that's the best post I've read in a long time, well said :-).

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#13 of 13 Old 06-06-2011, 02:35 PM
 
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