Year 2: From Saying Recognizable Words to Combining Words and Discovering Self 

From 12 Months and Up

There is a big difference between what children understand and what they can say. Understanding is often ahead of production by several months.

  • There is a big difference between what children understand and what they can say. Understanding is often ahead of production by several months.Says first recognizable words
  • Understands more words
  • Babbling continues, mixed with real, recognizable words
  • Understands and follows simple requests
  • Loves hide & seek games
  • Starts make-believe play (needs to be initiated by caregiver)
  • Learns more about what to do with familiar things
  • Waves good-bye
  • Starts to sort things in piles (not correct yet)
  • Plays parallel to other siblings
  • Copies what others do, likes to be copied as well
  • Starts to show ownership of possessions
  • Loves to point at things to get you engaged
  • Points to get other people’s attention – directs attention of others very well now
  • May be afraid of strangers
  • Checks in with familiar people when encountering uncertain situations

From 18 Months and Up

  • Learns new words more quickly
  • Understanding improves – understands many more words, understanding is hard to keep track of
  • Discovers own self and starts to use I-Language (= talk about himself)
  • Refers to self with name, I, my, me
  • Very interested in feelings & emotions – his own, and those of others
  • Wants to comfort someone in distress
  • New emotions emerge – guilt, pride
  • Eager to learn and talk about emotions
  • May start having temper tantrums
  • Vocabulary gets more diverse
  • Starts to combine words (usually between 50-200 spoken words)
  • Expands make-believe play
  • Understands simple and more complex requests: Give me the duck. Put the ball in the box.
  • Loves block play and enjoys being guided by you
  • Loves playing body games where you ask for body parts; initiates these games
  • Enjoys the company of others
  • Defends own possessions – often quite strongly
  • Shows less fear of strangers
  • Recognizes self – in mirror, in pictures
  • Improves how to sort things
  • First language gaps between children emerge