3 years

Important Milestones By The End Of 3 Years (36 Months)\

Children develop at their own pace, so it’s impossible to tell exactly when yours will learn a given skill. The developmental milestones below will give you a general idea of the changes you can expect as your child gets older, but don’t be alarmed if your child takes a slightly different course.
Social
■ Imitates adults and playmates
■ Spontaneously shows affection for familiar playmates
■ Can take turns in games
■ Understands concept of “mine” and “his/hers”
Emotional
■ Expresses affection openly
■ Expresses a wide range of emotions
■ By 3, separates easily from parents
■ Objects to major changes in routine
Cognitive
■ Makes mechanical toys work
■ Matches an object in her hand or room to a picture in a book
■ Plays make-believe with dolls, animals, and people
■ Sorts objects by shape and color
■ Completes puzzles with three or four pieces
■ Understands concept of “two”
Language
■ Follows a two- or three-part command
■ Recognizes and identifies almost all common objects and pictures
■ Understands most sentences
■ Understands placement in space (“on,” “in,” “under”)
■ Uses 4- to 5-word sentences
■ Can say name, age, and sex
■ Uses pronouns (I, you, me, we, they) and some plurals (cars, dogs, cats)
■ Strangers can understand most of her words
Movement
■ Climbs well
■ Walks up and down stairs, alternating feet (one foot per stair step)
■ Kicks ball
■ Runs easily
■ Pedals tricycle
■ Bends over easily without falling
Hand and Finger Skills
■ Makes up-and-down, side-to-side, and circular lines with pencil or crayon
■ Turns book pages one at a time
■ Builds a tower of more than six blocks
■ Holds a pencil in writing position
■ Screws and unscrews jar lids, nuts, and bolts
■ Turns rotating handles
Developmental Health Watch
Alert your child’s doctor or nurse if your child displays any of the following signs of possible developmental delay for this age range.
■ Frequent falling and difficulty with stairs
■ Persistent drooling or very unclear speech
■ Cannot build a tower of more than four blocks
■ Difficulty manipulating small objects
■ Cannot copy a circle by age 3
■ Cannot communicate in short phrases
■ No involvement in “pretend” play
■ Does not understand simple instructions
■ Little interest in other children
■ Extreme difficulty separating from mother or primary caregiver
■ Poor eye contact
■ Limited interest in toys
■ Experiences a dramatic loss of skills he or she once had
From CARING FOR YOUR BABY AND YOUNG CHILD: BIRTH TO AGE 5 by Steven Shelov, Robert E. Hannermann, © 1991, 1993, 1998, 2004 by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Used by permission of Bantam Books, a division of Random House, Inc.
CLOSE