Your Child at Three Years Old

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Your Child at Three Years Old

This is a brief summary of what to expect for a three-year-old's development. If you have any specific concerns or questions, you should address those with your child's pediatrician.

Physical Development

  • throws and kicks balls

  • begins to copy capital letters

  • draws circles and squares

  • dresses and undresses self

Social Development

  • engages in pretend play

  • cooperates with other children

  • looks for ways to solve problems

Cognitive Development

  • identifies "same" and "different"

  • speaks in short sentences

  • tells and remembers parts of stories


At some point between the ages of 3 and 4, children commonly give up their afternoon nap. This means they will need to go to bed earlier to compensate for the lost sleep. Children this age need anywhere from 9-13 hours of sleep each day.


At this age, your child's eating habits should be similar to your own, eating the same foods at the same times. Choking is still considered a hazard because your child has not yet mastered chewing and swallowing.



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