Developmental Norms of the 2.5 year old child

Speech and Language of the 2 ½ year old

At age 2 ½ years, you child…

Uses about 450 words.

Gives first name and holds up fingers to tell age.

Uses past tense, plurals, and combines nouns and verbs.

Understands simple time concepts, such as “last night” and “tomorrow.”

Refers to self as “me” rather than by name.

Tries to get adult attention (for example, “watch me”).

Likes to hear the same story repeated.                                                             

Uses “no” “not” and “yes” in speech.

Talks to other children as well as adults.

Begins to control behavior verbally rather than just physically.

Answers “what” and “where” questions.

Can name common pictures and objects he/she sees regularly.

Uses short sentences to announce what he or she has done (i.e., “Me do it,” or Me want to jump”).

Knows the words big and little.

You can stimulate your 2 ½ year-old child’s speech and language if you.

If your child leads you to a desired object, ask him/her to point and “use your words.”       

Listen attentively as your child answers simple questions.

Imitate everything your child says and copy their play.

Read books every day, perhaps as part of a bedtime ritual.

Talk to your child a little beyond his or her level of language production.  For example, if your child is saying one word, model two words.

Expand what the child says (for example, if he says, “More juice,” you say, “Want more juice”? Okay, here’s more orange juice”).

Hold a preferred object under your chin and label the object.

Sing to your child and constantly talk about what you’re doing and seeing.

Expose your child to many new experiences and talk about them before, during, and after the event.

Help your child learn new words in a meaningful way by experiencing object in a variety of ways (seeing, touching, tasting, smelling, hearing).

Have your child deliver simple messages for you (i.e., Tell Daddy that dinner is ready).

Show the child you understand what he or she says by answering, smiling, and nodding your head.

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