Quick Links
Three Months
Three to Six Months
Six to Nine Months
Nine to Twelve Months
Twelve to Eighteen Months
Eighteen to Twenty-Four Months
Two to Two and One-Half Years
Two and One-Half to Three Years
Three to Four Years
Development & Toys


Three Months

  • Startles and/or cries to loud noises
  • Listens to sounds and voices
  • Uses different cries for hunger, pain, etc
  • Coos and gurgles
  • Smiles
  • Hands are open frequently
  • Momentarily supports head while holding upright

Three to Six Months

  • Responds to noise and voices by turning head
  • Squeals and laughs
  • Begins to babble (i.e. repeats series of vowel and consonant sounds)
  • Plays by making sounds and noises while alone or with others
  • Sits supported for short period of time
  • Begins to see small objects
  • Touches hands together

Six to Nine Months

  • Responds to own name
  • Understands gestures (i.e. outstretched arms)
  • Begins to imitate motions (i.e. waving, shaking)
  • Stops activity in response to “no”Mimics the sounds and number of syllables used by others
  • Begins to look up for sounds
  • Begins to support weight with arms while on stomach
  • Begins to bear weight on legs while holding upright
  • Begins to scoot and hold bottle

Nine to Twelve Months

  • Begins to understand simple requests accompanied by gesture
  • Begins to understand the names of familiar people/objects
  • Attempts to imitate words and/or begins to say first words
  • Uses jargon (babbling with intonation that sounds like speech)
  • Begins to crawl; attempts to pull up and cruise around furniture
  • Begins to localize sound by turning head

Twelve to Eighteen Months

  • Understands simple commands, sentences, and questions (i.e. “Where’s Momma?” “Give me your cup.”)
  • Points to a few body parts
  • Begins to point to pictures in books
  • Uses a few single words meaningfully
  • Uses a few words along with jargonSpeech is 25% intelligible
  • Begins to walk well without support
  • Begins to feed self and take off shoes

Eighteen to Twenty-Four Months

  • Listens to familiar stories
  • Begins putting 2-3 words together (i.e. “Eat Cookie” “Daddy bye-bye car”)
  • Names most common objects and pictures
  • Speech is 50-70% intelligible
  • Attempts to tell about experiences using a combination of jargon and some true words
  • Begins to run; looks at books (pictures)
  • Begins to undress

Two to Two and One-Half Years

  • Understands action words
  • Understands prepositions such as “in” or “on”
  • Follows two part directions (“Go get your shoes and sit on the couch.”)
  • Has a vocabulary of approximately 50 words, understands approximately 500 words
  • Refers to self by name
  • Uses three word sentences

Two and One-Half to Three Years

  • Understands more complex sentences
  • Uses pronouns frequently
  • Uses verbs ending with “-ing”
  • Uses some “wh” questions (who, when, where, what)
  • Sentence length is 3-4 words
  • Has around 300 words in speaking vocabulary
  • Begins to throw ball overhand
  • Begins to answer simple questions
  • Begins to know his/her sex

Three to Four Years

  • Understands references to past and future events
  • Understands and uses “wh” questions
  • Uses past tense verbs (went, walked)
  • Asks “why” questions
  • Uses complete sentences most of the time
  • Vocabulary approximately 1500 words
  • Uses 4-5 word sentences
  • Speech is 75-100% intelligible
  • Begins to play games (hide & seek, cops & robbers, etc)
  • Names pictures in books
  • Tells action taking place in pictures
  • May have imaginary companion(s)

Development & Toys

  • 0-6 months: Sensori-Motor Period. Play involves auditory and visual toys. Hand use is random and involves batting and transferring from, one hand to the other. At the end of this period more controlled grasp occurs.
  • 6-8 months: Playtime is geared to baby’s mouthing, banging, and beginning understanding of cause and effect.
  • 8-12 months: The age of exploration. Toy use incorporates deliberate release of grasp, horizontal pull, busy box type activity centers, tool use, cause effect, and object permanence.


  • Books cross all developmental stages and play a big role in a child’s cognitive and language development. Early in life, brightly colored books displaying patterns may be used for tracking and touching.
  • When children are 8-12 months, books displaying photographs with cardboard pages for used turning are excellent, as well as clear, colorful pictures displayed as one item per page.
  • 1-2 years: The Active Period. Toy use involves large muscle movement, refined grasp to manipulate toys using fingers, prewriting, and sound production and labeling skills for speech and language development.
  • 2-5 years: The Preschool Years. Toys have to do with pre-academic skills (sorting by shape and size, picture matching and puzzles), imagination, and socialization.