Child by Year

Year 3

What are some of the developmental milestones my child should reach by three years of age?

At age 3, almost all of a child’s speech should be understandable.

What most babies do at this age:

Social and Emotional

Copies adults and friends
Shows affection for friends without prompting
Takes turns in games
Shows concern for crying friend
Understands the idea of “mine” and “his” or “hers”
Shows a wide range of emotions
Separates easily from mom and dad
May get upset with major changes in routine
Dresses and undresses self
Toddler hugging doll


Follows instructions with 2 or 3 steps
Can name most familiar things
Understands words like “in,” “on,” and “under”
Says first name, age, and sex
Names a friend
Says words like “I,” “me,” “we,” and “you” and some plurals (cars, dogs, cats)
Talks well enough for strangers to understand most of the time
Carries on a conversation using 2 to 3 sentences

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)

Can work toys with buttons, levers, and moving parts
Plays make-believe with dolls, animals, and people
Does puzzles with 3 or 4 pieces
Understands what “two” means
Copies a circle with pencil or crayon
Turns book pages one at a time
Builds towers of more than 6 blocks
Screws and unscrews container lids or turns door handle

Movement/Physical Development

Climbs well
Runs easily
Pedals a tricycle (3-wheel bike)
Walks up and down stairs, one foot on each step