Intellectual development for kids 2 to 3 years

Intellectual development for kids 2 1/2 to 3 years

Intellectual or cognitive development refers to the acquisition of knowledge, the ability to think creatively, to be attentive, to understand and solve problems, to memorize information and to exercise judgment.


At this age:

  • He is able to respond to instructions such as “go get your coat and hat” or “bring me a spoon and a fork please”;
  • He often asks questions using the words “who”, “what” and “where”;
  • He makes more comments than before (for example, “ah, a beautiful dog!”) and he speaks while playing;
  • He participates in the stories told to him;
  • He converses with adults and other children, and he manages most of the time to make himself understood;
  • He often combines at least three words (for example, “dad runs fast”);
  • He uses more and more often “little words” like “one”, “the”, “me”, “to”.

Remember that children do not all develop at the same pace in all areas. The information on this website is designed to be general. If your child’s development is worrying you, it is best to consult your doctor.

The reasoning skills

At this age :

  • He can compare the size of different objects using words like “bigger”, “smaller” or “very small”;
  • He lives fully in the imaginary, which leads him to want to transport in reality what goes through his head. For example, he claims he is a dinosaur;
  • He associates images and similar objects, and he sorts out different objects;
  • He likes to observe the elements that surround him and to take inspiration from them to invent movements, for example crawling like a snake or walking on tiptoe, etc.


Over the next few months, he will begin to:

  • Answer some more complex questions, such as “what are you eating with?” Or “why are you crying? “;
  • To understand more and more the intrigue of the stories;
  • Use and understand certain words designating numbers and colors;
  • Make complete sentences;
  • Better pronounce the words.

How to help it progress?

Your child has a unique personality and he develops at his own pace. But you can help foster this development by putting into practice the Comfort, Play and Teach parenting approach. This approach has been designed to integrate easily into your daily routine. Adapted to the current age of your child, the table below gives you examples of small gestures beneficial to his intellectual development.


When you take the time to talk to him and ask him about things that interest him, Your child talks about what he does and what goes through his head because he knows you are interested in him.

When you sing songs and nursery rhymes with numbers, such as “A Green Mouse”, Your child learns numbers and starts counting while having fun.

When you do the laundry, and you take the opportunity to describe the clothes of your family members and sort them, Your child learns to assign things to people; he says “to me” before 2 years, but “to mom”, “to dad”, etc., a little later between 2 years and a half and 3 years. He feels reassured to do the same thing regularly and to spend time with you, and he likes to touch the things of the people he loves.

To play

When you ask open questions, like “what did you see during your walk? ” Your child practices using words that describe things.

When you teach him what is meant by “the first”, “the second” and “the third” in a simple game, asking him, for example: “Who is the first? Who comes second? ” Your child understands that numbers are used in different ways.

When you give him simple puzzles consisting of 3 to 6 pieces, your child learns to assemble objects with more and more confidence.


When you introduce it to some basic abstract concepts that are related to time, colors, and size, Your child understands them little by little and he becomes able to discuss them.

When you tell him about the amount of time you spend doing your daily tasks (for example, at lunch and at bedtime), Your child gradually understands that events occur in a certain order.

When you invent a game where you have to sort objects by color, shape, and size, Your child is slowly learning to sort and group different objects.

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