Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

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.

Language development

Sensory and motor development

  • Provide a variety of experiences and play environments. Schedule time each day for either indoor or outdoor physical activity, such as dancing or going to a playground. These activities improve coordination and other large muscle skills. Fine motor skills develop through things such as art projects (like painting or using scissors) and playing musical instruments.
1|2

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 22, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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
 

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