Pregnancy week by week



3 year old


With your child’s third birthday, the terrible twos are officially over and the magic years of three and four begin. Your 3 year old is full of fun and probably asking a lot of questions. Your kid can be both challenging and lovable.
Your toddler learns primarily through exploring, using all the senses. He  will even persist in completing something that is a bit difficult and can think more creatively and methodically when solving problems. As they develop more independence, children this age begin to have real friendships with other children. Improved finger dexterity allows your child to put together simple puzzles, use tools, hold crayons with fingers instead of fists and undress without assistance.

Social and Emotional development

  • Copies adults and friends

  • Shows affection for friends without prompting

  • Begin to learn how to cooperate with friends and take turns in games

  • Become aware of body and of being a girl or boy

  • Develop imaginary friends

  • Shows concern for a crying friend

  • Understands the idea of “mine” and “his” or “hers”

  • May get upset with major changes in routine

  • Starts to share

  • Fears imaginary things

  • Acts out social encounters through play activities

  • Feeds self without difficulty

  • Has longer attention span

  • Dresses and undresses doll; speaks to it. Now joins in play.

  • Dresses and undresses fully if helped with buttons and advised about correct shoe.

  • Unbuttons front and side buttons

  • Can help to set up table

Language and Communication skills

  • Follows instructions with 2 or 3 steps

  • Can name most familiar things

  • Uses plurals and pronouns (he/she)

  • Comprehends the meaning of “in”, “on”, “under”, “bigger”, or “small”.

  • Says first name, age, and sex

  • Have a vocabulary of 500-1000 words

  • Begins to use sentences with 3-4 words

  • More than 50 percent of the child’s speech is intelligible. There may be temporary episodes of stuttering during this time

  • Understands such words as cold, tired, hungry.

  • Names a friend

  • Says words like “I”, “me”, “we”, and “you” and some plurals (cars, dogs, cats)

  • Carries on a conversation using 2 to 3 sentences

  • Knows some nursery rhymes. May count up to 10.

Cognitive Skills

  • Can work toys with buttons, levers and moving parts
  • Plays make-believe with dolls, animals, and people

  • Does puzzles with 3 or 4 pieces

  • Now has the ability to remember the location of 3 to 4 objects. It is a great time to start playing memory games such as concentration

  • Enjoy saying a few numbers in the right order

  • Begin to understand what numbers mean

  • Asks a lot of questions involving words like what, where, how and when

  • Can name pictures in a book

 Physical Development

  • Confidently throw and kick a ball
  • Jumps off bottom step

  • Goes up stairs, one foot per step, and downstairs, two feet per step

  • Stands on one foot for seconds

  • Shows a love of running, climbing, and sliding

  • Pedals a tricycle

  • Show enjoyment in activities such as drawing and scribbling. May sometimes use thumb and forefinger grip on pencil

  • May have daytime control over bowel and bladder functions (may have night time control as well)

  • Can copy a circle; imitate a cross

  • Draws a man on request

  • Can easily place small objects in small opening

  • Can build a tower of ten cubes; imitates construction of “bridge” of 3 cubes

 Developmental watch

  • Falls down a lot or has trouble with stairs
  • Drools or has very unclear speech

  • Can’t work simple toys (such as turning handle, simple puzzles, peg boards)

  • Doesn’t speak in sentences

  • Doesn’t understand simple instructions

  • Doesn’t play pretend or make-believe

  • Doesn’t want to play with other children or with toys

  • Doesn’t make eye contact

Children grow and develop at different rates. The information above is offered as a guide. There is no need to expect your child's development to fit with all the above descriptions. If you’re at all worried about your child's development, it is best to speak with your doctor.



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