By 2 years of age, children are now actively exploring their environment and their understanding of the world is reflected in their emerging pretend play (e.g. cooking, farm animals, feeding animals and dolls).

During this time your child recognises the names of most common objects and begins to understand what objects are used for. At 2 years of age, they can follow 2-part directions and by 3 years of age can answer What?, Where? and Who? questions.

Your child is beginning to understand simple concept words such as ‘big/little’, ‘hot/cold’, and position words like ‘in’, ‘on’, ‘under’. Your child will talk whilst playing and will want to tell you about what she/he is doing or observing. By 3 years of age, children will also seek to learn more about their world by asking many questions (The Hanen Centre, 2011).

2 to 3 Year Olds Speech Therapy

Your child will be producing 3 to 4 word sentences, even longer as they approach 3 years of age. Vocabulary will grow from an average of 200 words at 2 years of age, to around 600 words at 3 years of age. Sentences will become more complex over this time. The beginning of early grammar may emerge with the use of plurals (cats), verbs (running, jumping) and pronouns (I, me, my, you).

Does my child need to see a Speech Pathologist?

  • Is your child not joining two words together at age 2 years?
  • Is your child using less than 100 words at age 2 years?
  • Is your child using less than 300 words at age 2 ½ years?
  • Is your child using less than 3-4 word phrases at age 3 years?
  • Are you having difficulty understanding your child’s speech?
  • Is your child not interested in communicating?
  • Does your child have difficulty understanding what you say to him/her?
  • Is your child stuttering?
  • Is your child frustrated when trying to communicate?
  • Are you becoming concerned?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above, an assessment by a certified practicing speech pathologist with paediatric experience is highly recommended.


The Hanen Centre. (2011). When Should you Seek Help? [Fact sheet]. Retrieved from