Three-year-olds love to explore words and language. They enjoy making up stories. Their favorite literary characters are often animals with human traits, such as Curious George.

During the third year of life, children enjoy expressing their new found sense of humor. Silly word games and imaginative tales are just a few of the ways that three-year-olds amuse themselves!

Very active, they can be found observing and exploring the world around them. Children this age perfect their motor skills by spending endless hours climbing the jungle gym or going down the same slide. They enjoy songs that can be accompanied by whole-body rhythmic movements.

The three-year-old is eager to please. It's a wonderful time to establish excellent lifelong habits, if parents have the patience!

During the third year of life a child typically:

  • May sleep 10 to 12 hours at night
  • Hops on one foot
  • Walks a line
  • Walks on tiptoes for a few steps
  • Brushes teeth, washes hands, retrieves own drink
  • Puts on shoes (no laces)
  • Completes a six-piece puzzle
  • Draws simple shapes
  • Enjoys helping with household tasks
  • Follows simple directions
  • Plays spontaneously with two or three children
  • Identifies some common colors
  • Counts to three
  • Enjoys "pretend" games such as playing house
  • Wets the bed at night occasionally
  • Uses the toilet often and may need help (boys may not be toilet trained until later this year)
  • Feeds self completely using a fork and spoon and can butter bread with a knife.
  • Speaks in three- to five-word sentences

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