The age of three marks a large jump in the development process. Children begin performing tasks which they were previously unable to do including carrying on conversations, feeding themselves, and selecting their own toys for playtime.
Rather than continuing their sole dependency on a primary caregiver, children are much more likely to feel comfortable around familiar people such as family members and other caregivers (such as daycare associates). At the age of three, children are also likely to begin establishing routines (such as brushing teeth, story-time, and bed).
The following developmental milestones should occur during the third year of life:
- Running/riding tricycle
- Operating a water faucet
- Turning pages in books
- Utilizing imagination in the form of playing with dolls/imaginary friends
- Develops an understanding of colors
- Can count to three
- Speech is clear and easily understandable
- Capable of carrying on conversations of two/three sentences
- Recognizes images and establishes names for them
Social Emotional Development
- Prefers routines and becomes upset with changes
- Willingness to spend time/be alone with familiar people such as grandparents
- Empathizes with the feelings of other children (example: becomes concerned when another child is visibly upset)