By 18 months, your toddler

     •understands the concepts of "in and out", "off and on"
    •points to several body parts when asked
    •uses at least 20 words consistently
    •responds with words or gestures to simple questions -
          • Where's teddy?
          • What's that?
   • Demonstrates some pretend play with toys -
          • gives teddy a drink
          • pretends a bowl is a hat

    • makes at least four different consonant sounds - p, b, m, n, d, g, w h
    • enjoys being read to and looking at simple books with you
    • points to pictures using one finger

By 24 months, your toddler

    •follows two-step directions -
          • Go find your teddy bear and show it to Grandma.
    • Uses 100 to 150 words
    • uses at least two pronouns - "you", "me", "mine"
    • consistently combines two to four words in short phrases - "daddy hat", "truck go down"
    • enjoys being with other children
    •begins to offer toys to peers and imitates other children's actions and words
    • people can understand your child's words 50 to 60 per cent of the time
    • forms words and sounds easily and effortlessly
    • holds books the right way up and turns pages
    • "reads" to stuffed animals or toys
    • scribbles with crayons

By 30 months, your toddler

    • understands the concepts of size (big/little) and quantity (a little, a lot, more)
    • uses some adult grammar - "two cookies", "bird flying", "I jumped"
    • uses more than 350 words
    • uses action words - run, spill, fall
    • begins taking short turns with other children, using both toys and words
    • shows concern when another child is hurt or sad
    • combines several actions in play - feeds doll then puts her to sleep; puts blocks in train then drives train and drops blocks off
    • puts sounds at the start of most words
    • produces words with two or more syllables or beats - "ba-na-na", "com-pu-ter", "a-pple"
    • recognizes familiar logos and signs - McDonalds golden arches, stop sign
    • remembers and understands familiar stories

Toddlers like it when you:

    • Let them touch and hold books while you point to and name the pictures.
   • Use real words instead of baby talk - "give me" instead of ta ta or "bottle" instead of baba.
   • Take the time to listen to them - they want you to hear all of their new sounds, words and ideas.
   • Give them simple directions to follow -
          • Go find your red boots.
    • Use lots of different words when you talk to them - opposite words like up/down, in/out; actions words like "running", "splashing", and descriptive words like "happy", "big", "little", "clean", "dirty".
    • Encourage them to play with other children - at the library, play groups, park

From:  Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services