A toddler’s life, ages 12 to 36 months, is a time of amazing learning and development. Remember that every child is unique and will develop at his own pace.

Use these milestones as a guideline to gauge how your toddler is growing and acquiring new skills. If you think your child has a developmental delay or a disability, schedule a check-up with your pediatrician.

Toddler climbing

I'm a Toddler and Look What I Can Do!

From 12 to 18 months, I may:

  • Stand alone.
  • Sit down from a standing position.
  • Like to push, pull and dump things.
  • Pulls off hat, sock or mittens.
  • Turn pages in a book.
  • Stack several blocks.
  • Wave good-bye.
  • Clap hands.
  • Put everything into my mouth.
  • Experiment with biting people.
  • Not understand “breakable.”
  • Roll a ball to an adult on request.
  • Enjoy flushing toilet.
  • Love closing doors.
  • Say 8-20 words mom can understand.
  • Ask for something by pointing or using one word.
  • Identify objects in a book.
  • Play peek-a-boo.
  • Take things apart.
  • Understand and follow simple 1-step directions.
  • Look at person talking.
  • Enjoy being held and being read stories.
  • Like to hand objects to mom or dad.
  • Play alone on floor with toys.
  • Recognize myself in mirror or photos.
  • Imitate others, especially coughing, sneezing, or making animal sounds.
  • Enjoy an audience and applause.
  • Become upset when separated from parent.
  • Enjoy adult attention.
  • Get into everything and need constant supervision.
  • Put objects in a container.
  • Enjoy exploring.
  • Feed self, using utensils.
  • Have trouble sharing.
  • Dart and dash very quickly.
  • Reach and try to touch everything.

From 18 to 24 months, I may:

  • Walk well.
  • Like to run but can’t always stop and turn without some trouble.
  • Feed self with spoon.
  • Walk up steps with help.
  • Toss or roll a large ball.
  • Help wash hands.
  • Open cabinets, drawers and boxes.
  • Use two to three-word sentences.
  • Know several hundred words.
  • Like to choose between two objects.
  • Enjoy singing familiar songs.
  • Talk to myself with expression.
  • Have difficulty sharing.
  • Have favorite words such as “no,” “me” and “mine.”
  • Want things NOW.
  • Have temper tantrums.
  • Get angry sometimes.
  • Generally be unable to remember rules.
  • Often get physically aggressive when frustrated.
  • Slap or hit when I don’t get my way.
  • Respond to correction.
  • Like to imitate.
  • Act shy around strangers.
  • Try to do many things by myself.
  • Show sympathy to other children.
  • Jump but fall often.
  • Push and pull objects while walking.
  • Bend over and pick up toys.
  • Stand on one foot unsteadily.
  • Scribble with a crayon.
  • Pick up two small toys in one hand.

From 24 to 36 months, I may:

  • Want to do more, try new things.
  • Get angry if you get in my way.
  • Get frustrated when I can’t do things like button my own button.
  • Have tantrums.
  • Like to use the word “no.”
  • Like to learn new things “by myself.”
  • Test everything: rules, your limits, my own skills.
  • Be ready to start potty training.
  • Have accidents after potty training.
  • Ride a tricycle.
  • Repeat common rhymes.
  • Name at least one color correctly.
  • Help with simple household tasks.
  • Play alongside others more than with them.
  • Open door by turning knob.
  • Scribble with circular motion.
  • Climb on play equipment, slide and ladders.
  • Stand on one foot without support.
  • Draw or copy vertical lines.
  • Speak and be understood most of the time.
  • Dress self with help.
  • Walk up and down stairs.
  • Be able to stoop and squat.
  • Enjoy simple stories, rhymes, etc.
  • Hum and try to sing.
  • Enjoy looking at books.
  • Repeat words and use short sentences.
  • Not be able to sit still for long.
  • Have a sense of humor.
  • Be easily frustrated.
  • Need time to change activities.
  • Be demanding.
  • Be persistent.
  • Not have the ability to express myself.
  • Learning eye-hand coordination.
  • Be developing depth perception.
  • Be affectionate.
  • Still love to be held and cuddled.


  1. Byington, Teresa. (1998). Child Development: Understanding the First Five Years. Curriculum: Utah State University Extension.
  2. Kock, J., Agao, V., Sigman-Grant, M., Martin, S., Reilly, J., Weigel, D., Bixler, M., & Papa, M. (2005). Follow My Lead: Developmentally Appropriate Physical Activities for Young Children. Curriculum Material-05-13, University of Nevada, Reno Cooperative Extension.
  3. P.E.P. Post. (2006). Developmental Milestones. Volume 9, Issue 2, Las Vegas, NV.
  4. National Network for Child Care, Ages and stages. Oesterreich, L. Iowa State University.
  5. Popkin, Michael. (1996). 1, 2, 3, 4 Parents:Parenting Children Ages 1 to 4. Active Parenting Publishers, Atlanta, Georgia.
Kock, J. 2006, Developmental Milestones for Toddlers, Extension | University of Nevada, Reno, FS-06-78

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