Let's look at the main developmental milestones for 3 to 4 years old.
Developmental Milestones: 3 - 4 years
This is a wonderful age for you and your preschooler as you can kiss goodbye to the "terrible twos" and hello to the adorable 3s! Your chatterboxes will become more social, and more inquisitive. Buckle up, this is the age of the "why" questions!
Between the ages of 3-4 years, these are the milestones you should expect to see:
- By 3, your preschoolers are usually able to take turns in games and show affection to their friends.
- They have a better understanding of what is “his” and “hers” and are exhibiting more self-control.
- A major milestone at this age is the development of self-awareness – you’ll notice your child showing concern for others as well as emotions such as shame, anger, embarrassment, pride, and even jealousy. These are all essential to the development of a conscience.
- Their motor skills will be more advanced, which will in turn allow them to be more coordinated. They should be able to balance or hop on one foot for short periods of time and catch and kick a ball with better accuracy.
- At this age, their fine motor skills are advancing and they're able to hold a pencil, cut out simple shapes, and cut and mash their own food!
- Their language skills are improving at a rapid rate and they now speak in longer sentences. Having mastered basic rules of grammar they can now correctly use pronouns such as “he” and “she”. Their speech is clear enough for strangers to understand.
- Your child can now correctly identify some shapes and colors and may know a few numbers and understands the idea of counting.
- They can sing songs from memory and can re-tell parts of their favorite story and talk about what they did earlier.
- As their knowledge of the world around them increases, they’ll be able to engage in fantasy play and will enjoy inventing stories. That said, they may still not be able to distinguish between what’s real and what’s make-believe, so be careful when reading stories about scary monsters!
- This is also the start of the questions – as your preschooler becomes more curious, they’ll start to ask why/what/who type questions! If you don't know why clouds look like cotton balls or why the sky is blue, look up the answer together in an age-appropriate book or online - make it fun!
- They might be ready for potty-training - most kids are potty trained in the day by 5-6.
- By 4, they’ll be able to follow three-part commands (if delivered in the right sequence) such as: “Pick up your books, put them on the shelf and then get in bed” (they won't however always carry out your instructions!)
The Best Activities for Kids: 3 to 4-year-olds
Use things like playdough (even better, make your own together) to make large balls, or slippery snakes or cookies! Compare the sizes and ask him which is bigger/smaller or longer or thinner. Draw shapes and letters on a piece of paper for him to copy or trace. As he’s starting to get better control in his hands, have him color in shapes in different colors - don’t worry if he doesn’t stay within the lines, it doesn’t necessarily mean he can’t, he just might not feel like doing it.
Play Doctor and Patient or build a fort out of boxes and let her imagination loose as together, you act out characters from her favorite book. Get creative and build a mini obstacle course and pretend the floor is lava and encourage her to hop and jump and climb over things to avoid it.
Play, Play, Play
Take turns making funny faces or animal noises or making up silly stories. Have fun playing cards and board games. Let her unscrew lids from jars and count the items she takes in and out. Dance around the room and sing songs, point to things around the house or in her books, and ask her what they are.
Your child will get so much out of this set. From stacking the cups to sorting the colored bears, to scooping with the scissor tongs or cutting with the scissors, as well as matching, counting and shape/color sorting!
This multi-purpose fine motor skills toy and matching game is the perfect starting point for toddler-learning activities starting at age 18 months to preschool age to support their cognitive development. It'll help kids build color identification and recognition skills, and sorting, as well as counting skills through number puzzles.
Preschoolers love to pretend play and can use the apples for creative dramatic play and role-playing. They can match each apple half with the corresponding color or contrasting seed count into a single apple. They'll be learning numbers, and complex colors in a way your kids will find fun!
Your budding medic will love playing pretend with this pretend doctor play kit for kids with real sounds and lights. A great way to highlight empathy and unleash their imagination as they seek to heal you, their toys, and their friends!
Mimicking activities helps teach responsibility and boosts self-esteem. The pretend play tool kit is a great way to help kids develop creative confidence and responsibility in a fun way! The hands-on kids toolset helps them build fine motor skills, imagination, and foster creativity.
These Create O Flakes come in two sizes - jumbo for smaller hands and regular-sized for preschoolers. This brain-building construction toy has an interlocking design that allows kids to experiment with their creativity and for their spatial and mechanical thinking to develop. Let their imaginations run wild with this engineering construction toy!
These interlocking piping tubes are a great beginning building-structures and dexterity toy. These jumbo-sized pieces are perfect for little hands! Watch as they use these durable plastic building toy pipes to create any object!
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- Tags: child development, cognitive development, Counting Bears, developmental milestones, educational games for toddlers, fine motor skills, fine motor skills toys, gross motor development, toddler toys