Does this sound like your three year old?

Can you see my dragon? Three year old children often have imaginary friends, love to be silly and...

Preschool children at three years old usually

  • are more sociable and willing to conform than younger children
  • have great interest and curiosity in people and things
  • slow down a bit physically compared to at two
  • develop much more complex motor abilities
  • have increased interest in dramatic play and imitation of others
  • listen to verbal suggestions
  • have increased interest or attention span
  • adjust better and easier to change
  • understands parents will return – not as clingy
  • plays more spontaneously in groups
  • doesn’t need constant-hovering-direct adult supervision to stay out of trouble
  • begins to appreciate form in manipulative activities
  • loves imaginary activities and outlets that help promote emotional development
  • has an imaginary companion to play and pretend with

Three year olds pre-schoolers like 

  • words and conversation
  • dramatization
  • trips and excursions
  • planning visits, lunch with grandma, etc.
  • watching adults work
  • watching machinery in use
  • imaginative stories based on real people and real animals
  • to look at books
  • singing and a diversity of musical experiences
  • constructing with blocks more than playing with the finished product

Preschool children at age three need

  • dramatization outlets like a costume boxes, large blocks, pretend kitchens, food, etc.
  • both active group play and quiet individual private time
  • suggestions or cues from adults sometimes in order to continue play

How to help your three year old’s development

  • Whisper to get three year old’s attention
  • Be humorous and silly with wrong guesses to questions
  • Sometime answer their questions with silly off the wall answers
  • When appropriate let three year old children settle their own disputes
  • Surprise excursions, visitors, activities – be spontaneous don’t always follow the exact routine
  • Offer choices: Do you want to wear the blue hat or the red. hat?
  • Distract and divert to a move on to a different activity or take mind off of something
  • Respect their imaginary life and join in on the fun.

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About the Author

Robert Rice - Owner

Jenni and I have spent our entire lives surrounded by children. Even if we’ve done something hundreds of times it’s always exciting, fresh and new with fascinated children. | G+ | More about me