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Toddlers' Cognitive Development From 24-30 Months


toddler playing with toy trucks and blocks



You're probably pretty amazed by your toddler's cognitive abilities, and you should be. At this age, toddlers can figure things out, often with impressive results.

Here's what else to expect between 24 and 30 months.

Cognitive Milestones

Typically toddlers of this age will:

  • Pretend play with others. 
  • Begin to match and sort shapes, pictures, and some colours. 
  • Understand that things are different shapes and sizes. 
  • Become aware of the sequence of numbers, when spoken. 
  • Show an increased attention span. 
  • Begin to solve problems by trial and error. 

Play and Activity

Continue to praise your toddler's successes as cognitive skills flourish. Here are some other ways to support your toddler's cognitive development:

  • Continue to breastfeed. 
  • Keep adding to the range of objects and toys that you're providing. 
  • Give your toddler a broader range of art supplies and ask questions about the drawings and colours. 
  • Allow time for your toddler to solve a problem; don't rush to help. 
  • Include shapes and colours in daily routines. 
  • Keep counting: "Let's count the blocks you used in your tower."
  • Let your toddler fill in the blanks while singing a song or reading a book. 
  • Play matching games. For example, match jars and lids together, or sort a mix of puzzle pieces and crayons back into their separate boxes. 
  • Read books with your toddler and encourage interaction with the pictures. 
  • Play singing and actions games with music.

Other Cognitive Milestones

Between 24 and 30 months your toddler may also:

  • Sort groups of objects into sets. 
  • Complete simple puzzles. 
  • Combine toys and games in more complex ways, such as using playdough in dramatic play. 
  • Understand the concept of future time (soon, tomorrow) but not past time (yesterday). 
  • Begin to understand one to one actions, such as setting one plate per person. 
  • Recall past experiences.

Resources & Links: 
HealthLink BC: Growth and Development, Ages 2 to 5 Years

Last Updated: April 10, 2013