A Simple Checklist To Track Your Child’s Developmental Milestones

Developmental milestonesBy when should my child start talking?

Is it the right age for my child to write?

How do I know if my child is reaching their developmental milestones?

As parents, you may have such questions running at the back of their mind.

And although every child’s development is different, they must attain certain developmental milestones as they grow up.

So, what are they?

In this article, we will tell you about what developmental milestones are, why they are important, and what are key milestones for children between the ages of 1.5 years and 3.5 years.

Read on!

What do developmental milestones mean?

Simply put, developmental milestones are general or specific markers to track what a child can do at a particular age.

Milestones are essential skills your child develops at every stage of growth namely:

Physical development

The fine and gross motor development is your child’s ability to larger and smaller motor movements

Language and communication development

It is about your child how your child learns to communicate with words and through actions.

Social and emotional development

They are about your child how your child understands about emotions, expressing them, and interacting with others.

Cognitive development

It is about how your child learns to think, explore, and solve problems.

Each developmental milestone goes hand-in-hand and it’s essential to track your child’s development at every stage.

Why track your child’s milestones?

Keeping a tab of the milestones will help understand a child’s developmental health and overall developmental pace.

Extensive research has shown repeatedly that keeping a track of these milestones can be beneficial to the holistic development of a child.

If a child develops faster than other kids of their age, they perhaps are advanced compared to their peers.

And, if the child is experiencing a delay in attaining milestones that could point to a developmental delay.

Therefore, when you track your little one’s developmental milestones, you learn about the areas that they need help in and those areas where your child has shown advanced and rapid growth.

Are you ready to track your child’s development?

Developmental Milestones Checklist For 1.5 – 3.5 Years

Check out our developmental milestones checklist for 1.5 years to 3.5 years. It will cover the key developments that your child would touch upon.

Development checklist: 1.5 years

Physical development

Your child should have developed gross and fine motor skills such as:

  1. Stands by themselves, without help
  2. Walks forwards and backwards
  3. Bends over to pick up an object
  4. Empties a container
  5. Finger feeds
  6. Eats with a spoon
  7. Drinks from a glass
  8. Turns the pages of a book
  9. Holds a crayon

Here are a few motor movements your child may have developed by this age, which would be advanced development:

  1. Dances to music
  2. Kicks a ball forward or throwing it overhand
  3. Takes apart or puts together toys

Language and communication development

By the age of 1.5 years, your child would:

  1. Be able to say a few words
  2. Say the word ‘no’
  3. Begin to imitate speech/tunes

Social and emotional development

Has your child started to throw temper tantrums?

Don’t worry! It’s just the age as they become more familiar with the world Developmental milestonesaround them. They may display separation anxiety.

Your 1.5-year-old would:

  1. Throw temper tantrum
  2. Be emotionally attached to a toy or an object of any kind
  3. Be scared of strangers
  4. Cling to you or their caregiver(s) in a new environment

Cognitive development

Does your child confidently point at a part of their body?

Well, your child tries to explore more at this stage. They would begin to:

  1. Imitate and pretend-plays
  2. Identify the everyday objects and how they are used
  3. Scribble

All-in-all, your child is almost ready to try different things that they weren’t comfortable with, trying to become more independent. But, do watch out for the obvious delays such as:

  1. Unable to walk
  2. Not imitating others
  3. Not being able to identify everyday objects

Do seek a professional opinion, if you are worried.

Development checklist: 1.5 – 2 years

Physical development

At this stage, your child should have developed the following fine and gross motor skills to exhibit healthy motor development:

  1. Runs
  2. Helps with undressing and redressing themselves (some kids would be
  3. able to independently do this)
  4. Walks up the stairs
  5. Builds towers using toy blocks
  6. Draws a straight line
  7. Climbs on furniture and back down without help

Your child may also show signs that they’re ready to begin toilet training.

RELATED: Potty Training: 11 Simple & Sure-Fire Techniques To Train Toddlers

Other advanced motor skills that a few children develop during this period include:

  1. Walking downstairs
  2. Jumping
  3. Washing hands and brushing teeth with help

Language and communication development

Your child’s vocabulary not only increases but they also:

  1. Talk about themselves
  2. Relate objects to words (Eg: Point at a cat, when you say: “Cat”)
  3. Make short sentences — using two or three words
  4. Understand and speak at least 50 single words
  5. Half their speech should be understandable
  6. Name body parts on a doll
  7. Use gestures to communicate

Some advanced skills would be: Developmental milestones

  1. Beginning to understand abstract concepts such as ‘now’ and ‘later’
  2. Singing simple tunes
  3. Asking ‘Why’
  4. Understanding opposites

Social and emotional development

Your child’s development between 1.5 years and 2 years will determine how they would interact with others and form the basis for how they form new relationships with peers.

When your child imitates a conversation you have with someone or talks to their toys, they’re actually exhibiting what they think are ideal social skills. Pay attention to their playtime!

Here are a few other milestones that your child would:

  1. Imitate the behaviour of adults and older children
  2. Try to help around the house
  3. Want to play with other children and gets excited while doing so
  4. Become more independent
  5. Begin to include new children during playtime
  6. Display rebellious behaviour from time-to-time

If your child is advancing socially or emotionally, they may exhibit the skill of understanding and would be getting used to gender differences.

Around 1.5 years, your child would display separation anxiety. However, if it has been dealt with in the correct way, by not encouraging or reinforcing the separation anxiety, they would become more independent by the time they turn 2.

Cognitive development

Your child’s cognitive development accelerates around the age of one and by the time they turn 2, you would be able to notice a rapid change in their learning behaviour.

By the age of two, your child would:

  1. Know when you make an error (Eg: When you point at a ball and call it a bat, they would point it out.)
  2. Name parts of the body and images in a book
  3. Set small and simplified goals (Eg: Put a toy in a certain place)
  4. Follow small one or two-step requests (Eg: Pick up all your toys and put them in the basket)
  5. Arrange things into categories and sorts items by shape or colour
  6. Show signs of an improved memory — complete rhymes; relate real-life instances to books or movies; etc.
  7. Play pretend games involving imitating others, especially adults
  8. Use one hand more than the other

So, at 2 years, your child is becoming more independent and social. But, do watch out the signs of developmental delay such as:

  1. Not knowing word
  2. Not being able to identify uses of everyday objects such as a fork or a spoon
  3. Not being able to identify simple images or colours
    Doesn’t imitate others or want to initiate play with other children

It is advisable to seek professional opinion on how to help your child.

Development checklist: 2 – 3 years

Physical development

Your child’s walk is more confident and their fine motor movement are more controlled.

So, as your child between the ages of 2 and 3 would:

  1. Open drawers and cupboards
  2. Throw a ball overhand and enjoying going outside Developmental milestones
  3. Turn pages of a book
  4. Solve simple puzzles
  5. Build a tower of 6 – 8 bricks  
  6. Drink from a straw
  7. Jump from short heights ⁠— such as a step⁠ — without losing balance
  8. Balance on a single foot
  9. Accurately copy movements
  10. Run faster with better confidence 
  11. Hold a cup using a single hand

If your child does the following, then they may be advancing faster than their peers:

  1. Hops or skips
  2. Draws a circle
  3. Puts on a t-shirt on their own or dresses up on their own
  4. Is completely toilet-trained
  5. Wiggles their thumb

Language and communication development

Do you feel like your child is suddenly using more words?

Between 2 and 3 years, your child’s language and communication milestones are listed below:

  1. Learns new words and phrases by imitating others
  2. Names objects based on their descriptions
  3. Has a vocabulary of about 500-1000 words by the end of three years
  4. Asks questions frequently 
  5. Refers to a friend by their name
  6. Uses 4 – 5 words in a sentence
  7. Describes how two objects are used
  8. Uses prepositions such as ‘on’, ‘in’
  9. Uses adjectives
  10. Starts to understand the rules of grammar

If your child is able to respond fluently to requests and questions; understands your speech without much difficulty, their language and communication are progressing quickly.

Keep communicating with your child as if you are friends. Have conversations whenever you can and treat them like an equal, and someone who is responsible.

Social and emotional development

Your child at this stage would display a range of emotions but are yet to develop empathy or understanding of others’ feelings.

These are the developmental milestones to watch out for:

  1. Is quite self-centred
  2. Develops special bonds with objects such as their favourite toys
  3. Exhibits aggressiveness and impatience with their games
  4. Is impulse-driven
  5. Develops a sense of humour and understand the jokes you tell them
  6. Loves to parallel play
  7. Plays mostly with the children they’re familiar with.

It is important to encourage your child to play with groups of children their age.

Your child would be more emotionally expressive and would possibly separate easily from you and other caregivers as well.

Cognitive development

Your child’s cognitive development at this stage includes:

  1. Identifying more objects
  2. Solving puzzles and playing puzzle games
  3. Finding objects you’ve hidden
  4. Recognizing everyday sounds
  5. Increase in their memory recall
  6. Comprehending the consequences of their actions (Eg: They would be able to understand that if they push a jar of cookies, the cookies would spill out and cause a mess)
  7. Memorising new things they learn in a better manner

It is ideal that your child is potty-trained during this stage. It’s okay if they are still learning or getting used to it. On average, kids are potty trained between the ages of 1.5 and 2.5 years.

Include hygiene training such as washing the hands during their toilet training.

The developmental delays to watch out for during this period include:

  1. Inability to walk or delay in learning how to walk comfortably
  2. Persistent drooling
  3. Extreme sadness and aggressiveness on being separated from parents
  4. Unclear speech.

If your child between the age of two or specifically between 2.5 and 3 years is exhibiting these developmental delays, it’s advisable to consult your doctor.

Development checklist: 3 years – 3.5 years

Physical development

Your child is more assured of their gross and fine motor movements. They will begin to:

  1. Walk up and down the stairs while alternating feet
  2. Find other ways to play with a ball (Eg: kicking and catching it)
  3. Bend over better
  4. Run faster with confidence
  5. Climb
  6. Hop
  7. Stand on one foot for about 5 seconds
  8. Better grip of crayons/pencils
  9. Copy circles/square
  10. Start writing some capital letters

Language and communication development

During this period, your child would slowly start to:

  1. Speak sentences that use 5 – 6 words
  2. Say their name and age
  3. Answer simple questions
  4. Tell stories
  5. Speak more comprehensively ⁠— fluent understandable speech would probably begin at 4 years

Social and emotional development

Your child’s social and emotional development become more defined during this stage. They would:

  1. Become more emotionally expressive
  2. Show more affection to their parents and friends.
  3. Be open to finding new friends and
  4. Start to understand the concept of what belongs to them and what belongs to others

Cognitive development

Between the ages of 3 and 3.5, your child begins to display the following cognitive milestones:

  1. Names familiar colours
  2. Begins to compare sizes
  3. Follows three-part commands
  4. developmental milestonesShows signs of improved memory (Eg: Remembers specific parts of a story)
  5. Understands the concept of time (Eg: Knows the different times of day — morning, afternoon, and night)
  6. Begins to count and understands the concept of counting
  7. Completes more age-appropriate puzzles

RELATED: 12 Mind-Boggling Brain Games To Activate Thinking In Kids

If your child shows these signs of developmental delays, do consult your doctor:

  1. Finds it difficult to walk the stairs
  2. Unable to hold a writing tool
  3. Cannot copy the circles
  4. Speaks sentences that use up to 3 words
  5. Has separation anxiety

Development milestones are guidelines to know how your child is growing up. They grow up at their pace own.

Have a conversation with your child’s doctor, if you notice any developmental delays.

Share your thoughts about developmental milestones in comments below.

I'm an avid reader and an ardent writer with strong opinions that I want to share to help change the world (as corny as that sounds). A lover of art expressed through words, paint, images, and music. I idolize dogs as the perfect beings :)

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