• 3 years old

3 YEARS OLD

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Playing & Learning

Developmental Milestones

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  • Copies adults and friends
  • Takes turns in games
  • Follows instructions with 2 or 3 steps 
  • Can work toys with buttons, levers, and moving parts
  • Plays make-believe with dolls, animals, and people 
  • Does puzzles with 3 or 4 pieces 
  • Understands what “two” means 
  • Copies a circle with pencil or crayon
  • Turns book pages one at a time 
  • Builds towers of more than 6 blocks

Ideas for Learning and Growth

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  • Go to play groups with your child or other places where there are other children, to encourage getting along with others.
  • Give your child instructions with 2 or 3 steps. For example, “Go to your room and get your shoes and coat.”
  • Read to your child every day. Ask your child to point to things in the pictures and repeat words after you.
  • Give your child an “activity box” with paper, crayons, and coloring books. Color and draw lines and shapes with your child.
  • Play matching games. Ask your child to find objects in books or around the house that are the same.
  • Play counting games. Count body parts, stairs, and other things you use or see every day.
  • Play outside with your child. Go to the park or hiking trail. Allow your child to play freely and without structured activities.

Concerns

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Tell your child’s doctor or nurse if you notice any of these signs of possible developmental delay and ask for a developmental screening.

  • Is missing milestones
  • Falls down a lot or has trouble with stairs
  • Drools or has very unclear speech
  • Can’t work simple toys (such as peg boards, simple puzzles, turning handle)
  • Doesn’t speak in sentences
  • Doesn’t understand simple instructions
  • Doesn’t play pretend or make-believe
  • Doesn’t want to play with other children or with toys
  • Doesn’t make eye contact
  • Loses skills they once had

What's Next?

Download the Milestone Tracker app today!

Track your child’s milestones from age 2 months to 5 years with the CDC’s easy-to-use illustrated checklists; get tips from the CDC for encouraging your child’s development; and find out what to do if you are ever concerned about how your child is developing. Photos and videos in this app illustrate each milestone and make tracking them for your child easy and fun.

 

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