Development Milestones – 3 Years


months years
0–12 12 14 15 18 22 24 30 3 4 5

Gross motor development
(How Your Baby Moves)

Fine motor development
(How Your Baby Uses His Hands)

Language development

  • Throws ball overhand; catches with straight arms
  • Walks up stairs, one at a time
  • Rides tricycle
  • Stands on one foot
  • Builds a bridge with three blocks
  • Copies a cross and circle with an awkward, high pencil grip
  • Uses scissors
  • Speaks 1,000+ words
  • Knows age and sex
  • Counts three objects correctly
  • Is understood by others 75% of the time
  • Identifies seven body parts
  • Knows two colours by name
  • Stuttering is common

Is your child ahead of schedule? Check the 4-year milestones:

  • Runs
  • Goes up and down stairs without support
  • Climbs on high play structures
  • Can balance briefly on each foot
  • Catches a large ball
  • Can throw overhand
  • Rides a bicycle with training wheels
  • Copies a plus sign (+), then a square
  • Cuts a square out with scissors
  • Draws a face with eyes and mouth
  • Draws a person with two to four parts
  • Understands three-step commands (e.g., “Go upstairs, look in the cupboard, and bring me your sweater”)
  • Knows gender of self and others
  • Understands opposites

Problem Solving Development

Psychosocial: Emotional Development

Psychosocial: Social Development

  • Increasingly uses reasoning to solve problems
  • Does nine-piece puzzles
  • Becomes more flexible and adaptable
  • Begins to talk about dreams
  • Learns how to share
  • Negotiates conflicts
  • Begins cooperative play with peers

Is your child ahead of schedule? Check the 4-year milestones:

  • Speaks 50 to 1,500 words
  • Can speak in four-to-five word sentences
  • 100% intelligible to strangers
  • Uses past tense, present tense and plurals
  • Sings songs, nursery rhymes
  • States first and last names
  • Counts to 4
  • Names four colours
  • Enjoys being silly
  • May show new fears
  • Is becoming aware of new dangers
  • Plays interactive games
  • May visit friends to play
  • Prefers peer play to solitary play
  • Gets involved in elaborate fantasy play, tells fanciful tales, has imaginary friends
  • Sings songs, dances, acts, listens to stories
  • Follows rules in simple games

Psychosocial: Adaptive Development

Eating: Motor Skills Development
Milestones apply for ages 2 to 3 years

Eating: Social and Personal Skills Development
Milestones apply for ages 2 to 3 years

  • Unbuttons clothing, puts on shoes
  • Washes hands
  • Pours liquids
  • Holds cup by the handle
  • Uses a fork
  • Starts to pour
  • Can chew most foods
  • Appetite may improve
  • Requests favourite foods
  • Likes different shapes, colors
  • Influenced by television ads
  • Likes to help in the kitchen

Is your child ahead of schedule? Check the 4-year milestones:

  • Helps set the table
  • Dresses independently
  • Goes to the toilet independently
  • Becomes quite good at feeding himself
  • Uses a knife and fork
  • Prefers talking to eating
  • Peer influence becomes important
  • Is interested in where food comes from

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