Running (18 to 24 months)
Some kids seems to go from crawling to sprinting in two seconds flat. Others take more time. How come? Because kids fall a lot when learning to run, and some are just more willing to risk it. To encourage your child:
- Play tag where falling won't hurt too much, such as on a grassy lawn or a sandy beach.
- Chase your child - this is one time you can actually encourage him to run away from you! - and then switch and have him run after you.
- Try racing, especially if older kids are willing to play along.
Potty training (24 to 36 months)
Potty training is one of the milestones parents look forward to the most - no more diapers! But keep in mind that the age when kids are ready for it varies widely. Signs that it may be time:
- Your child peers down at her diapers, grabs them, or tries to pull them off when they're soiled; or she squats or crosses her legs when she needs to go. These actions show that she's mature enough to understand how her body works.
- She shows an interest in things that are potty-related - wanting to watch you go to the bathroom or talking about pee-pee or poo-poo.
If these apply to your child, and she can get on and off the toilet and pull her pants down, then give toilet training a shot. Help her associate the about-to-go sensation with using the potty. As soon as you notice the usual signs, give a quick prompt like "Let's use the potty" as you guide her toward it. For more tips and strategies, check out our Potty Training guide.
Jumping (24 to 36 months)
Between 2 and 3 years, toddlers learn how to jump off low structures, and eventually how to jump from a standing position. Both of these skills require bilateral coordination, or the ability to use both sides of your body to do something different. How you can help:
Go curb hopping. Holding your child's hand, stand next to her on a curb or a low step and say, "One, two, three, jump!" then jump down simultaneously.
Practice leapfrogging as a prelude to jumping from a standing position, which is more difficult than hopping off a step. Show your child how to get down into a half-squat position and throw her arms up while she hops. Gradually she'll figure out how to jump from a standstill.