​Child development milestones: 3 years old

The 'Trusting 3s'

  1. Your child can briefly balance on one foot, may be able to walk up the stairs with alternating feet (without having to hold onto the handrail), and pedal a tricycle
  2. Your child can copy drawing circles, crosses and may be able to draw a person using simple shapes. Your child can build a tower by stacking eight cubes, has good pencil control, and can cut paper with scissors. Your child can even thread large beads onto a string
  3. Your child is able to sort objects into simple categories, and recognises and identifies almost all common objects and pictures
  4. At this stage, your child has a vocabulary of many hundreds of words and is able to compose sentences consisting three to four words. Your child is able to use plurals and pronouns (he/she), understands the concept of “mine” and “his/hers”, and frequently asks questions
  5. Your child knows his or her own name, age, and gender (boy/girl)
  6. Most are able to understand what your child is saying during speaking
  7. Your child is able to dress him or herself but still requires assistance with laces, buttons, and other fasteners in awkward places. You child can feed himself or herself without difficulty. Children at this age may have daytime control over bowel and bladder functions (some may have night time control as well)
  8. Your child is anxious to please at this age: Children obey the rules eagerly at this age because they like to please adults to obtain approval and acceptance
  9. Your child is cooperative, and enjoys following orders and working with other children. Your child also likes to share at this age because of an interest in other people
  10. Your child is very energetic: They are on the go almost every minute of the day and tire themselves out easily
  11. Your child is highly imaginative: They exist in a world of make-believe and are not yet able to distinguish between real and imaginary

Tips for handling 'Trusting Threes'

  1. Praise your child for work well done, for obeying and for helping out
  2. Provide active games and fun for your child, but be sure he or she takes rest periods throughout the day
  3. Provide your child with the time and materials for imaginative play
  4. Organise cooperative activities for your child with his or her siblings, or with your neighbour's children
  5. Reward your child for working together with others

Ref: M19