1 to 2 Years - National Therapy Center

Expressive Language

  • Uses at least 3 words by 18 months
  • Uses about 50 words used regularly by 24 months, with a spike in vocabulary growth between 18 and 24 months
  • Starts to name pictures in books
  • Asks questions like, “What’s that?”, “Who’s that?”, and “Where’s kitty?”
  • Puts 2 words together like, “more apple,” “no bed,” and “mommy book” (by 2nd birthday)

Receptive Language

  • Points to a few body parts when requested
  • Follows familiar routine simple 1-step directions without gestures by 18 months
  • Responds to simple questions such as “where’s the ball?”
  • Points to pictures in book when named
  • Responds to requests to say words

Social Communication and Pragmatics

  • Plays interactive games like pat-a-cake
  • Copies what other children/caregivers are doing
  • Shows favorite items to others
  • Claps when excited
  • Shows affection with caregivers and stuffed animals/dolls
  • Starts to practice vocal inflection
  • Protests by shaking head or saying “no”
  • At around 18 months, starts moving body in anticipation of action (gets arms ready to get shirt on, puts hands out to wash hands)
  • At around 18 months starts pointing at objects in distance
  • At around 18 months starts to move away from caregiver but keeps in sight
  • Sits and looks at a book for a few pages

Regulatory/Sensory Organization

  • Bothered by soiled diaper
  • Reacts to extremes sensations such as cold, hot, and sweet
  • Solves problems with trial and error
  • Enjoys messy play
  • Enjoys rough and tumble play
  • Uses Play-Doh

Fine Motor

  • Holds crayon and makes marks; scribbles
  • Claps hands
  • Waves
  • Uses 2 hands in play; one hand to hold and other to manipulate (bilateral coordination)
  • Releases objects into containers
  • Opens and shuts toys
  • Completes 4-5 piece puzzles 18 months and 24 months
  • Builds towers (2-4 blocks) 18 months and 24 months
  • Strings large beads 18 months and 24 months
  • Uses simple tools (e.g., feeds self with utensils) 18 months and 24 months
  • Turns pages in a book 18 months and 24 months

Gross Motor

  • Walks independently by 16 months
  • Begins to run 12 to 18 months
  • Throws ball at a large target 18-24 months
  • Can transition into standing from the middle of the floor
  • Kicks ball forward 18 months and 24 months
  • Walks up and down stairs 18 months and 24 months
  • Climbs onto surfaces 18 months and 24 months
  • Jumps with both feet 18 months and 24 months