What Should a 2-Year-Old Know Academically?

What Should a 2-Year-Old Know Academically?

Your child has reached the “terrible twos,” and you wonder what is most important to be teaching them at this age. The word “no” will be one of the most used replies your child will provide, but do not worry; they are still soaking up loads of information and learning every day. During their second year of life, toddlers should start to grasp the idea of letters, numbers, colors, and shapes.

Language, vocabulary, reading, and drawing skills should be visible and celebrated with each step achieved. It is crucial to remember that your child is only two years old. When discussing academic knowledge, do not expect more than your child can comprehend. While there are general milestones to look for, and some children excel past standards, it will take consistency, patience, love, and encouragement for most children to remain interested and eager.

What age should a child recognize letters and numbers?

By the age of two, most children will recognize letters that they frequently see or have been shown. This is an excellent time to introduce the alphabet song. Singing the song with your child until they are familiar with the order of the letters on their own will help them remember and serve as a time for connection between parent and child.

Activities for Preschoolers

Our Pick

LeapFrog Learning Friends

  • Meet learning friends Turtle, Tiger, and Monkey who will introduce more than 100 age-appropriate words chosen by learning experts
  • Word categories include: pets, animals, food, mealtime, colors, activities, opposites, outside, and more
  • Touching the words on the pages plays the words, sound effects, and fun facts; hear the Learning Friends theme song and My Favorite Word by pressing the light-up star button
  • Words, songs, and instructions can be heard in both English and Spanish for a full bilingual experience

Once your two-year-old can recite the ABCs on their own, introduce letter sounds with educational songs or by using household items that start with each letter. For example, A is for apple, B is for banana, C is for cat, and so on. Stopping at each letter to phonetically make the sound of that letter is the first step in reading. Not all two-year-old children will be able to recite the alphabet in its entirety, and that is ok. Focus on the letters they know and continue singing the song until they are ready for more.

Large letter cards or a decent-sized whiteboard are fantastic for visual tools. Using the graphic letter will allow the child to see what the letter looks like for better recognition while reading and writing. Uppercase letters are typically easier for young learners to recognize first. Using large-lined paper, usually sold for preschoolers up to early elementary, a two-year-old should be encouraged to trace their name in capitalized letters and sound out each letter as they write.

Our Pick

Oaktown Supply Wooden Blocks

  • Learn: Stack up some educational fun! Our ABC baby blocks will help your child build skills in language learning, basic math, hand-eye coordination, and more.
  • Colorful: A total of 36 stacking blocks means 216 beautifully designed sides with unique letter, number, picture, and shape icons to learn from.

Toddler counting milestones

Just like letters, numbers do not have a meaning to a child until they are taught what that meaning is. There is an abundance of number and counting songs online with fun and engaging graphics to grab a child’s interest. The goal with numbers is to start small.

It is unnecessary to expect a two-year-old to count to 50 unless it is evident that the child wants to and can. A more manageable goal that matches what a two-year-old should know is ten.

If you have not heard of rote counting before, this is the concept that your child will most likely be using. Rote counting is reciting numbers in order. This occurs mainly from hearing strings of numbers in educational activities, counting songs, parents or older siblings talking, educational television shows, and even noise-making toys programmed for math and numbers.

It is not uncommon to hear numbers skipped, jumped, or rearranged before correctly counting one to ten. The best way to help your child get the numbers in the correct order is with patience, saying the numbers out loud with them, and finding ways to get counting practiced every day.

Our Pick

Melissa & Doug Counting Caterpillar

  • Classic wooden counting toy: the Melissa & Doug counting Caterpillar features 10 numbered segments with printed dots for easy counting. Each segment is a different color. Young learners can sort by numerical order or do beginner math problems.
  • Quality wooden construction: our counting Caterpillar has smooth, rounded edges and will stand up to years of play
  • Helps develop multiple skills: The Melissa & Doug counting Caterpillar encourages number skills, color recognition, fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and imaginative play

Should a 2-year-old know colors and shapes?

Colors and shapes can be a fun learning adventure for two-year-old children. Quite literally being
surrounded by bursts of colors and various shaped objects, there is no shortage of ways to introduce this topic. Using color-related games, activities, flashcards, and everyday items is a beautiful way to excite young learners.

An easy way to start is by pointing out colors within your child’s reach. Pick one color to begin with, and consistently point out that color in your child’s clothes, shoes, and toys. Pretty soon, your child will start pointing out that color and be able to recognize it in other items. As one color is mastered, move on to another one.

Our Pick

Montessori Toys

  • Wooden toys can be used in many ways to teach a variety of primary skills and concepts, which help develop fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, creativity, and logical thinking ability.
  • Our wooden shape sorting toy contains 5 different geometric shapes and colors, with 5 cute pictures on the board (flower, elephant, giraffe, steamship, mushroom house), bright colors catch kids’ eyes and attention.

Shapes can be accomplished similarly to colors, focusing on one form at a time. A circle, square, rectangle, and triangle are the four basic shapes a two-year-old should be able to recognize and name quickly. Using blocks that can be traced with fingers and have their sides counted to identify the name of the shape is another method that teaches the name and appearance of shapes and incorporates counting and numbers.

Other academic milestones include using action words, manners, naming basic body parts such as hands and feet, names of animals and the noises they make, sizes like big and small or tall and short, direction words, and weather-related words.

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