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.

PrintHandout Version

Robert Rice - Owner