Skip to content

Children's Health

Font Size

Growth and Development, Ages 2 to 5 Years - Promoting Healthy Growth and Development

You can help your child grow by showing love and affection, by talking with and reading to your child, and by letting your child play. It's also important to set boundaries and limits.

Physical development

Cognitive development

  • Encourage safe exploration. Children who explore learn to master new skills and solve problems. Offer a variety of things to play with, read, create, and build. Take basic measures to minimize risks. For more information about preventing accidents and injuries, see the topic Health and Safety, Ages 2 to 5 Years.
  • Encourage a sense of security. This sense of trust lays the foundation for learning, social skills, adaptability, and emotional development. Your child is more likely to feel safe and secure if you are dependable, consistent, respectful, and responsive. Secure children also keep and strengthen their attachment to their parents.

Emotional and social development

  • Provide peer contact. Playing with other children even 1 day a week gives children opportunities to practice and develop important social, emotional, and language skills.
  • Promote self-control. Children need guidance, clear limits, and patient parents during this time of behavioral and emotional struggles. Help your child by modeling and teaching proper behavior. Time-outs can help, when they are used properly and sparingly. Encourage your child to think about the feelings of other people to develop empathy.
  • actionset.gif Help your child build self-esteem. Parents have the greatest influence on a child's belief about himself or herself. Let your child know that he or she belongs, is doing well, and is contributing.
    1|2|3
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    child with red rash on cheeks
    What’s that rash?
    plate of fruit and veggies
    How healthy is your child’s diet?
     
    smiling baby
    Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
    Middle school band practice
    Understanding your child’s changing body.
     

    worried kid
    fitArticle
    boy on father's shoulder
    Article
     
    Child with red rash on cheeks
    Slideshow
    girl thinking
    Article
     

    Loaded with tips to help you avoid food allergy triggers.

    Loading ...

    Sending your email...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    babyapp
    New
    Child with adhd
    Slideshow
     
    rl with friends
    fitSlideshow
    Syringes and graph illustration
    Tool