kids playing a stacking gameResearchers from the Child Institute at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania have revealed the list of 25 words your two-year-old child should know. Considered the building blocks of a child’s vocabulary, these 25 “must-have” or must-know words have become a device to test the speech development of a toddler. These, ideally, should be included in your little tyke’s arsenal of speech.

But what if the child fails to speak all of those words? Does it mean the kid has speech problems?

Late-Talkers are Normal

Lead researcher, Professor Leslie Rescorla, stated that if a child doesn’t use most of the “must-have” words, this may mean he or she is a late talker. But, there are exercises that a child can do to overcome their speech delay, according to the professionals at So, parents should not be overly worried about it, as many late-talkers are simply late bloomers. After all, children learn and develop at a different rate. But if the child is struggling for words at age three and above, this could be a sign of a speech issue.

The 25-Word Test

If you’re curious as to how your child fares when it comes to speech development, check this list of 25 words every two-year-old should know, according to scientific studies:

  1. All gone
  2. Baby
  3. Ball
  4. Banana
  5. Bath
  6. Bye bye
  7. Book
  8. Car
  9. Cat
  10. Cookie
  11. Daddy
  12. Dog
  13. Eye
  14. Hat
  15. Hi/hello
  16. Hot
  17. Juice
  18. Milk
  19. Mommy
  20. More
  21. No
  22. Nose
  23. Shoe
  24. Thank you
  25. Yes

The words listed above are some of the first ones acquired when learning to speak, according to the research of Professor Rescorla’s team. In a way, it serves as a standard to test the speech development of a child. Then again, it is still best to ask the help of a speech professional if you’re really worried about how your toddler speaks.