Three Year Old Milestones

By June 30, 2016Toddlers
Three year old milestones

A child has many milestones when growing up. As they reach three they achieve many new levels of development that open up a whole new world to them which can be very exciting and a treasure to watch.

During the 3rd year, your child:

  • is eager and energetic
  • wants very much to do things “right”
  • likes to do chores and help you
  • has increased attention span
  • can put away his toys
  • eats on his own
  • learns toilet training and can stay dry all day
  • has much improved skills with his hands
  • can pour liquid from a pitcher
  • can copy circles, squares and a cross on paper
  • stacks 9-10 blocks
  • completes simple puzzles
  • can wiggle his thumb
  • can imitate you folding a paper into quarters
  • draws a person with three parts
  • can cut a piece of paper in half
  • cuts along a line within 1/2 an inch
  • can trace a diamond shape or copy the letter H
  • has much improved vocabulary and can express most of his thoughts, needs and wants
  • may begin to talk non-stop
  • starts to ask “when” and “why” questions
  • knows nearly 1,000 words but doesn’t always use them right
  • often has trouble with correct pronouns (help him with his words: don’t make fun of him)
  • has more physical strength and better coordination, can take care of his simple needs
  • follows directions
  • is learning to share and take turns
  • takes pride in doing things for others
  • may act in a certain way to please caregivers
  • has boundless energy and wants to be active all day
  • loves to run, jump, climb and dance
  • begins to swing arms like an adult when he walks
  • loves to jump off bottom stairs, off the couch, off the bed, off the slide
  • balances on one foot for a few seconds
  • sets new challenges for himself, like how far can he walk, how fast can he run, how far can he jump
  • discovers the limits of his strength and balance
  • often emerges from shyness and becomes more social
  • makes friends easily
  • seeks friends on his own
  • starts to be choosy about who he plays with
  • uses language to make friends or hurt others
  • likes to be important around his peers
  • is learning compassion and might attempt to comfort a playmate
  • is becoming more cooperative, happy and agreeable
  • feels less frustrated because his skills are improving
  • may still seek comfort from caregivers when tired or hungry
  • learns more socially acceptable ways of displaying feelings
  • may have more words to express feelings
  • may show more fears, like fear of the dark, fear of animals, fear of stories, fear of monsters

Give your child

  • a daily routine
  • lots of patience, love and affection
  • a safe home to explore and play in
  • freedom to let him test his strength and his growing skills
  • reassuring words to foster his independence
  • increased time to play and read together
  • engage in conversation: really listen, talk and answer your three year old

* All tips apply to both boys & girls


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