Developmental Checklist for 0-2 Year Olds

Use this guide to learn about the development, and books and resources that help the development of your 0- to 2-year-old.
By Michelle Anthony, PhD



Developmental Checklist for 0-2 Year Olds

There is literally a lifetime of difference between a newborn and an about-to-turn-three-year-old. It is truly a magical time in development! Take a peek at some of the major achievements of this age, and then click on the associated hyperlinks to get a more in-depth view of the many things that children this age are learning!

By the end of this period your child:

Should be able to:

  • Show object permanence (understand that objects continue to exist even if they are not present), demonstrate early long term memory (recall information longer than 30 seconds) and evidence pretend play. (cognitive development)
  • Sort more than one item in a group (e.g., separate horses and cows) or sort by a single attribute (e.g., color or size). (academic skills)
  • Be speaking in 3 word utterances and understandable 2/3-3/4 of the time to someone outside the home. (language & literacy)
  • Establish a secure base off of which to explore. (social development)
  • Engage in self-directed play for short periods. (creativity development)

Will probably be able to:

  • Demonstrate problem solving through insight (e.g., rotate puzzle pieces before putting them into the frame so they fit). (cognitive development)
  • Demonstrate basic understanding of opposites (e.g., wet and dry). (academic skills)
  • Tell short stories with description, using grammatical markers like plurals, gerunds (-ing), etc. (language & literacy)
  • Express a developmental drive to explore, seeking autonomy in self-care, such as feeding themselves. (social development)
  • Use her body to act out her imagination (e.g., pretend she’s a bunny hopping). (creativity development)

May possibly be able to:

  • Use symbols other than words (e.g., “tadpole” man drawing). (cognitive development)
  • Know their letters and sounds and begin to sound words out. (academic skills)
  • Use language to demonstrate category knowledge (e.g., explain that a cat, a tiger, and a lion are all related animals). (language & literacy)
  • Understand abstract emotions like frustration, and identify them in others. (social development)
  • Use open-ended toys in unexpected ways (e.g., use a ball as a moon in a puppet show). (creativity development)
Sorting and Classifying
Cognitive Skills
Alphabet Recognition
Guides to Raising Kids
Listening and Speaking
Age 1
Age 2
Child Development and Behavior
Communication and Language Development
Early Learning
Learning and Cognitive Development