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Child Development 3 Years:
The Stages Of Development Of Your 3 Year Old Child

This page, Child Development 3 Years presents an overview of the developmental stages of your 3 year old child.

Child Development 3 Years

At the age of three, your child is rapidly growing the ability to communicate his ideas and feelings.

This is often the year of tantrums, imaginative fears and nightmares.

He is very energetic... runs about easily and climbs on to furniture and up and down stairs quite easily.

His Physical Development

Physical development is the changes which your 3 year old acquires by the direction of his actions. He would have discovered all the simple skills that he needs by the age six or seven.

Later he becomes more skilled at exploiting his actions… for instance… he may go into a direction to be able to run quickly or exploit many of his skills at a time.

He uses smaller actions that he needs when he writes, draw or join together a jigsaw puzzle. These actions develops his fine manipulative skills.

When his fine manipulative skills are well developed he...

  • Washes and dries hand with assistance
  • Is able to use spoon without spilling
  • Can torn pages in a book one by one
  • Holds crayon and may draw a face
  • Can put on and take off coat.

Child Development 
3 Years
Child Development 
3 Years
Child Development 3 Years
Child Development 
3 Years

As he's becoming more active, he uses his whole limbs in order to walk, run and jump... developing his gross manipulative skills. Developed gross manipulative skills allow him to...

  • Jump from low steps
  • Pedal and steer a tricycle
  • Walk and run forward
  • Walk on tiptoe
  • Throw a large ball.

Benefit Of Physical Development To Your Child

Physical development is of great value for your child’s total development for two main reasons…

  • It permits additional growth to take place… for example if he discovers one skill, he may establish and grow on that skill.
  • It influences his confidence and self-esteem. If he’s able to ride a bicycle he may feel proud about himself.

Your Role To Help His Physical Development

Your 3 year old child is beginning to enjoy playing together with other children and challenging one another.

You need stimulating activities that will permit him to grow smaller actions, for instance painting, cooking as well as chances to take part in pretend or deceive play.

Toys And Equipment To Help With His Physical Development

  • Puzzles
  • Large outdoor equipment
  • Paints and crayons
  • Play dough
  • Sand and water
  • Tricycles
  • Prams
  • Dressing up clothes
  • Musical instruments
  • Balls etc.

His Social And Emotional Development

Social and emotional development forms a foundation for your child discovering growth. The growth of independence, concentration skills and having the skill to understand easy instructions are important for him to be calm and efficient later in his school years.

During this age he...

  • Likes to do things without your support
  • Takes joy in family mealtimes
  • Is able to reason about things from somebody else’s point of view
  • Indicates love for younger siblings
  • Frequently develops fear for instance… darkness, as he becomes efficient of pretending and imagining
  • Is having the knowledge of being boy or girl and is growing a sex role
  • Head towards friends and are fond of having friends
  • Is willing to share toys with other children and is starting to take turns when playing
  • Takes joy in assisting you when tidying up.

Your Role To Help With His Social And Emotional Development

You must create a good "emotional" surrounding around your 3 year old child.

This can be achieved by putting up his work around the home, giving him stickers and badges for attempts, but most importantly by supporting and constantly praising him in an unconditional way.

His Cognitive/Intellectual Development

Cognitive/intellectual development is about the way your 3 year old child's thinking changes as he grows.

It's about ways in which he makes arrangements for his thoughts and arrive at realising his surrounding.

With a developed intellectual ability, your 3 year old child...

  • Finishes a three piece puzzle
  • Copies a circle
  • Joins three colours
  • Understands primary colours… blue, red, yellow and green
  • Can name three shapes
  • Can count up to ten objects with help.

Activities And Equipment To Help His Cognitive Development

Child Development 3 Years Activities And Equipment Chart:

Types Of Toys What He Learns Cognitive Skills Developed
Puzzles He learns about shape and space. Will also try to sort and match. But as he becomes older, trail and error learning will be reduced as he begins to use thinking skills to work out the order of the pieces. Dividing puzzles into groups, attention and concentration.
Sorting Objects He's able to sort, arrange and divide objects into groups in an appropriate manner of colour, shape and size. Dividing objects into groups, attention and concentration.
Sewing Cards He practices about patterns and colours. Dividing into groups, attention and concentration.
Duplo He practices about space, shape and organises. He also participates in matching and sorting as well as being inspired with confidence to reason about size. Dividing into groups, attention and concentration.
Matching Games Assists him to sort and match. It assists his memory as he finds a matching card as cards are put face down. He may select a card and find out where the other pair is. Dividing cards into groups, attention, concentration and memory.
Feely Bags He's inspired with confidence to exploit his senses to find out what object is in a bag. Dividing into groups, attention concentration and memory

His Language Development

As his vocabulary grows and becomes more fluent he's ready for longer books with a simple story. He's beginning to enjoy and repeat rhymes and songs.


  • Uses personal pronouns and plurals correctly and can give his own name and sex, and age sometimes
  • Carry on simple conversations and able to describe briefly present activities and past experiences
  • Learns to speak more than one language if he hears more than one language spoken around him as he grows
  • Talks to himself when playing
  • Enjoy listening to and making music
  • Counts up to ten or more by repetition.

Best Way Of Promoting Your 3 Year Old Child Showing Developmental Delay

  • Select activities that are practical for him
  • Ensure that activities are suitable for his recent level of realising
  • Go over activities very often with him
  • Separate concepts and activities into smaller orders
  • Search for more different ways of introducing the same concept to him
  • Prevent him from becoming upset and bored by an activity
  • Praise and encourage him for his attempts.

See Also...

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