Cognitive development from 2 to 3 years old


As the brain starts to mature, your little one can pay attention longer.

There are also more connections between the coordination and thinking brain areas.

This means your little one can do more with their thoughts like know what they like and don’t like.

Give them plenty of time to play, especially with other children so they can:

  • problem solve, yarn, learn to care for themselves, do big and small muscle activities, learn what they like and don’t like and make choices
  • wire up the higher thinking pathways in the brain.


Some memory skills have improved now that the brain is making more connections.

Little one is more able to use what they have learned in the past to understand what is happening now.

Their brain still can’t store long-term memories as these pathways take a long time to grow.

Talk to your child about things that have happened and how they were feeling because:

  • memories that have emotions stay with them longer
  • this helps wire up memory parts of the brain to connect what, who, when and where something happened
Published — 04 April 2019 Last updated — 10 April 2019

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