What are the development milestones for 3 year olds and how can you achieve them?


Child development is a vast term undertaking many subcategories,  and it can be rightfully judged by certain developmental milestones. When you have a set of goals to accomplish, you work accordingly, except these developmental milestones for 3 year olds are not goals, they are mere checkpoints that help you and your child study and examine their growth. Each child has a unique sense of imagination and a set of skills that help them grow into distinct individuals. 

It is important to understand the vitality of these developmental milestones because they do not constrict the development of children by differentiating the levels of growth rather they are responsible for helping us make sure that there is the required growth. A child of 3 years starts developing many skills- as he/she rightfully should since it is considered the preschool age where the kids start understanding phrases, start identifying objects, and memorizing numbers, alphabets, colors, and symbols.

It is all a mass jumble of imagination in their head which they piece together themselves. This is where the developmental milestones for 3 year olds come in!


What are the developmental milestones for 3 year olds?

The list of developmental milestones for 3 year olds can be categorized into 3 forms of development which also sums up the aim of child growth-physical, cognitive and social-emotional. We will take up every section in detail and list out the developmental milestones that your 3 year olds should be check listing off this list. 

  • Physical development 

  • One of the vital activities for kids as you may have noticed involves jumping, running, chasing, and just floundering out and about and it is important they do so because it helps physical development during early childhood. There are many muscles that are at the prime stage of development as they transition to a pre-schooling age and hence, we believe that your kids should be well into the development of their motor skills when they turn three. There are two kinds of motor skills-gross motor skills and fine motor skills. 

    • If your kids can push their toy vehicles, pull the handle to the door, balance their own weight while jumping and catch balls while playing then they are doing good in the gross motor skills development. 
    • The fine motor skills in kids however involve them being able to write letters, albeit a little scribbly, but the ability to hold small things and finger dexterity are the signs of positive growth in children. 

    There are many other kinds of physical developmental milestones that can be included in child growth stages but every child learns differently. Their gross motor development is important as much as their fine motor development is involved in their functioning. 


  • Cognitive development

  • If you think rote learning is the right kind of learning for 3 year olds, think again. The correct form of judging whether the cognitive development of your kids matches the developmental milestones for 3 year olds is to understand how they process, retain, and memorize information. The way their grasp the numbers, the alphabets, and the letters you teach them is a great sign of their intelligence. 

    Even if they are not adapt to all the alphabets, it doesn’t mean that cognitive development is any lesser. Their critical thinking and problem solving skills at a young age are enough proof of their ability to engage in higher-order thinking. These are the developmental milestones for this growth stage: 

    • If they can pick up letters alphabets, numbers, and recognize them easily. 
    • Have developed a good sense of color recognition skills and object recognition skills. 
    • Their speech and language skills are adaptly developed so that you can engage them in little conversations.

  • Social emotional development

  • You may think about why social emotional development is a combined criterion when talking about developmental milestones for 3 year olds. Well, we just believe that social situations have certain emotional requisites.  

    Group play or play with friends becomes a reality when your child starts becoming older, especially when they are around 3 years of age and this is the right time to discuss the merits of social development in children. Not all behaviors are credible to be modeled after and it is the duty of parents to regulate their child’s social emotional development. Some developmental milestones we use to decipher the growth stage are: 

    • Empathy and kindness: these two qualities are likely to be the first where kids are involved because as they move ahead and make friends, they will be emotionally involved and will be emphatic towards them. So if your 3 year olds are projecting empathy towards their friends, they are socially doing great. 
    • Can understand the difference between righteous and wrongful behavior-kids especially toddlers follow their friends footsteps more often than not so it is important that they get accustomed to what is right and what is not
    • Last but not least is the ability to mingle and engage in conversations- it is important to make sure they can interact on their own without anybody else acting as a buffer. 


    What are the ways to help achieve these developmental milestones? 

    Since we have covered the developmental milestones for 3 year olds, let’s now have a look at the ways you can encourage your kids to achieve them and how you can help. 

    • Subjective parenting: Just as each kid is unique, each parent is too! Every parent has their own bond with the child and it is important to keep that in mind and your kids’ behavior patterns while helping them achieve the developmental milestones for 3 year olds that have been mentioned. Don’t try to force your kids to break out of their shells if they are not ready just because you found someone else doing that! 
    • Use educational toys for 3 year olds: toys and games are wonderful ways of making learning fun and there are many great learning toys for 3 year olds that you can add to their room and toy collection. You can encourage group play for social development in children while the learning toys will work on cognitive development. 
    • Understand their emotions: it is important to not be abrasive towards your children. Just because they are 3 year old toddlers does not mean they have no worries, understand what irks them, what makes them happy and spend time with them to bond. 
    • Encourage their questions and give proper answers: studies have shown that it is important to respect the questions your kids ask you and provide appropriate answers. This fuels their imaginations, curiosity, and creativity and works on overall child growth. 

    This concludes our blog on developmental milestones for 3 year olds and ways to achieve them. If you are indeed looking for learning toys for 3 year olds then visit our collection of toys for toddlers and add some amazing toys to your collection. 


    Do also check out our blog on Benefits of encouraging independent play in children through block puzzles.


    Check out interesting toys, games for 3 year olds on snooplay.in.


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