This is a magical time of development. Your 3-year-old child is literally growing by leaps and bounds. They’re becoming more independent from you and more social. They’re interested in other children. They’ll soon be able to handle toileting and care of their body. They’ll be more coordinated and able to play complex games. With this explosion of skills, imagination, and energy you may find that it’s a great time to consider preschool or a playgroup.
Three-year-olds are so curious! Expect to be asked about everything. You can ask questions in return. At this age, children should begin to know whether they’re a boy or girl and how old they are. They can tell you when they’re hungry or tired. You can teach them the concepts of big and little, behind, next to, above, and under. Have fun with this burst of understanding and learning!
Most children at this age can:
- Wash and dry hands
- Brush teeth (but you’ll still need to scrub after them)
- Name a friend
- Have speech that is mostly understandable
Your child may be ready to:
- Name at least 1 color
- Ride a tricycle
- Balance on each foot for 1 second
- Copy a circle or a cross
- Feed themselves (not necessarily neatly!)
Remember, all children develop at their own pace. So, if your little one isn’t doing all these things just yet, you’ll likely see them soon. If you’re concerned about your child’s development, talk to your pediatrician at your next well-child visit, or send an email with your question anytime.
Resources for parents
American Academy of Pediatrics:
Toddler Growth & Development
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