This is what you can expect at three years of age
Now that our two-year-old is one year older, the terrible twos are behind us. At three years of age, how does he move? How does he communicate? How well do others understand him? What should you be worried about in terms of childhood development? As you know, early detection of delays is important. That is the main reason why I chose to write this series of articles. Early detection can represent an important factor when it comes down to children being kindergarten-ready and in less than two years, our three-year-old will be attending school.
Discipline-wise, three-year-olds enjoy a relatively calm stage between the terrible twos and the ferocious fours (examined in my next article). Enjoy this well-deserved break and know that most tantrums are behind you. Let's look at what you can expect when working with a three-year-old.
How do I move?
My language is more and more developed and others are beginning to understand me, even strangers. My sentences are complete and can include up to five words. I use verbs and articles in front of words as well as certain pronouns (I, he, she, you, etc.). I can count to five and name three to five colors. I can also identify differences and resemblances between objects or cards, for example for a memory game. My vocabulary includes approximately 1 000 words. I can therefore ask many, many questions.
How do I play?
I am interested in others. I want to play with them, even if I can sometimes be awkward when I interact with playing partners. I may share, but this remains challenging. Nonetheless, I have a growing interest in group activities and games.
How do I understand my environment?
As for my cognitive development, it is becoming more complex. I can now draw characters that have a head and at least one other body part. I can point to many body parts. I can complete puzzles and my capacities are constantly improving. At three years of age, I may create an imaginary friend and it is perfectly normal for me to play with him (or her). I am better able to comprehend when an adult explains something to me.
What should you worry about?
If you notice several of the following characteristics, please speak to my parents. Together, you can find ways to help me.
- I do not run.
- I do not jump with both feet together.
- I am unable to go down stairs, alternating feet.
- I cannot throw a ball.
- I am often clumsy and I fall frequently.
- Riding a tricycle is difficult.
- I cannot cut cardboard with scissors.
- I cannot draw horizontal and vertical lines or circles.
- I do not point to any of my body parts.
- I have trouble drinking with a glass.
- I cannot complete puzzles or build a tower with blocks and I do not play with modeling dough or enjoy lacing activities.
- Others are unable to understand me.
- I still play alone most of the time.
- I have no interest in symbolic games.
- I communicate very little with others.
- I do not use pronouns.
- I continue to hesitate a lot when I speak.
- I have difficulty understanding instructions or complex concepts.
- My verbs are all conjugated using the present tense.
Since I will soon be four years old, I encourage you to continue to follow my evolution.
Maude Dubé, Specialized educator