He came into this world with only a few involuntary movements. And now look at him. He's a waving, laughing, singing, chatting, jumping, moving machine. That's physical development, and a lot of it. Our bodies experience physical change throughout our lives, but the changes during the first four years are the most dramatic. And the most videotaped.

Your Toddler's Milestones

Large Muscle Development 

If he isn't walking yet, he's about to. If he's started, you probably can't get him to stop. He might be a little shaky at first, so make sure to provide a safe place for walking practice. As he feels more certain of himself, he'll be able to jump and walk up a single stair with a rail or climb on a low chair. He may want to repeat the same activity 20 times. It's OK as long as he is safe. In later months, as his walking balance improves, he may try to climb anything that is climbable. Although he climbs easily, getting down is harder. Be ready to help. If he wants to climb down stairs, make sure there is a railing to hold. Two-year-olds love to run in big open spaces such as parking lots. They're not savvy about looking around for hazards. Be extra cautious.

Small Muscle Development 

Soon he'll be able to stack blocks. Scribble. And place a few pegs in a pegboard. In a few months, he may attempt to draw a circle or a vertical line, possibly with a crayon held between his fingers. If he's interested, give him a large, fat crayon and inexpensive sheets of paper to scribble on. It's great for improving eye-hand coordination and visual attention.

How Can Nutrition Help?

Without proper toddler nutrition, your child's muscles may be weak and slow to develop. Children need to be fed more often than adults to keep up with the demands of their fast-growing bodies. Be sure yours is getting his fill of nutritious, balanced meals and snacks every day.