Your child is between the2.5–4 years

Toddlers’ development

This timeline lets you discover the developmental milestones that are essential for children to grow and flourish. These milestones are related to motor skills, language development, social and emotional and cognitive/sensory development, and personality development. You can also read about how Kindergarden adapts the childcare it provides to children to the various age ranges. Did you know that between the ages of three and four, children start developing a preference for either their left or their right hand? And that it is also during this stage of childhood that they develop their first friendships? Kindergarden is highly attuned to children’s development at all stages. Since all children are different and develop at their own pace, we can’t always compare the development of different children. This timeline shows you all the things your son or daughter discovers, experiences, and learns during these all-important first few years of life!

2.5–4 years

Motor development (physical development)

Children can do more, and are eager to do more, all the time. Since they’re becoming more steady on their feet and their movements are more fluid, we like to take them outdoors every chance we get. Our gardens are safe havens where children have all the room they need to run around, ride their bikes, or climb to their heart’s content.

Important milestones in the period from 2.5–4 years
  • Growing in girth

    Between the ages of 2.5 years and 3 years children grow in girth, and since they stop shooting up in height, they also have less appetite than before.

  • Full of confidence

    Toddlers can run around without falling and like to climb on top of everything. They can jump off a table or other elevated platform with two legs at the same time.

  • Toilet training

    Children start learning to control their sphincter muscles at around 2.5 years.

  • Skills

    During this stage, they make rapid progress in developing their fine motor skills. They also learn new skills: tying their shoelaces, zipping up their pants or jacket, and closing buttons.

  • Left-handed or right-handed?

    Between the ages of three and four, children start developing a preference for either their left or their right hand.

How does Kindergarden support children in their motor development (physical development)?

2.5–4 years

Social and emotional development

Self-confidence is an important quality to cultivate for when children start school. We teach the children to listen to each other and talk in a group.

Important milestones in the period from 2.5–4 years
  • Egocentric

    It’s not that they don’t want to, but at this stage children simply don’t have the ability yet to put themselves in someone else’s shoes and think that others feel the same way about everything as they do.

  • Playing together.

    Two children playing together is easier than several kids playing at the same time.

  • Rules

    Children learn to accept the rules of behavior/group rules we have set together.

  • Self-control

    Children are better able to control themselves, which means temper tantrums are less frequent. At this stage of development, they’re very susceptible to compliments and criticism.

  • Friendship

    We also help to create a sense of togetherness between the children in the group, and this is where they form their first friendships.

How does Kindergarden support children in their social and emotional development?

2.5–4 years

Language development

Thinking, fantasizing, listening, talking, singing: children are becoming increasingly active and creative with language at this age. They love songs, language games, and repeating rhymes.

Important milestones in the period from 2.5–4 years
  • Language comprehension

    Toddlers aged 2.5 years use word combinations and can understand simple instructions and questions.

  • New words

    Rhymes and language games are very popular among children this age. Toddlers try to finish sentences based on the language rules they have been taught. From around age three, children will start coming up with their own words.

  • Subjugation

    Toddlers learn to subjugate verbs. From the time they start, it takes an average of one year to master this.

  • You and I

    The difference between “you,” “he,” and “she” becomes clear, because children at this age learn to see themselves as separate from others. They also develop an interest in writing.

  • Phrasing questions

    Children become skilled at asking questions: “You come with me?” becomes “Can you come with me?” They start asking more questions starting with: “who,” “what,” and “where” and practice using the plural and singular forms.

How does Kindergarden support children in developing their language skills?

2.5–4 years

Cognitive and sensory development

Toddlers discover and learn a lot through their senses, and we adapt to this natural development by offering them materials and assignments that help them train their senses; that help them to observe, hear, feel, smell, and taste.

Important milestones in the period from 2.5–4 years
  • Symbols

    Thinking in symbols: a child might turn a sheet into a tent or a box into a house. We also keep repeating everything at this stage: songs, stories, and books. This repetition gives them confidence.

  • Magical thinking

    Toddlers aren’t yet able to distinguish between fantasy and reality. If there’s something a child doesn’t understand, they’ll explain it by using their imagination. This type of “magical thinking” eventually disappears again, around age six.

  • Circles and squares

    Children develop an understanding of geometric shapes such as circles, squares, and triangles.

  • Making up words

    Between the ages of three and four, toddlers can think about things for which they don’t know the word, and come up with a word themselves.

  • Problem

    Developing children’s problem-solving skills Children can come up with situations in which similar problems occurred and apply what they learned from these past experiences.

How does Kindergarden support children in their cognitive and sensory development?

2.5–4 years

Personality development

Children love being assigned small jobs in our vegetable garden, which boosts their growing independence and affirms them in their need to take charge.

Important milestones in the period from 2.5–4 years
  • Imagination and reality

    Older and younger toddlers have trouble telling fantasy from reality. Everything is possible, just like in fairytales.

  • Feelings of guilt

    Toddlers develop an awareness of what is good or bad, naughty or nice. He or she might think: “I’ve been a bad boy/girl.” The development of this early sense of guilt impacts their self-image.

  • Initiative

    Growing independence and self-confidence This will cause children to act deliberately and take the initiative.

  • Possessiveness

    Children will start claiming the opposite-sex parent while at the same time being jealous of the same-sex parent, whom they view as a rival.

  • Self-knowledge

    Toddlers start developing a sense of self-awareness between the ages of three and four.

How does Kindergarden support children in their personality development?