Gross motor control increases and expensive "wild:" use of the whole body is common.
Many boys are not completely toilet trained--not to worry
Bed wetting is common and may continue through age five or six
Eye-hand coordination makes great gains during this year.
Eating what is in the meal or when a meal is served may be resisted.
Thumb sucking and need to cuddle a blanket are still common needs for many.
Walking, running with hands swinging, stair walking are likely to be accomplished.
Tricycle riding may be a passionate interest.
Postural control is more skillful and "unthought".
Centers of interest may contain the child for many minutes at a time.
Autonomy vs. Share
This is an excellent time for expansive activities and giving opportunities for creative
Since the child has an expansive sense of self risking if natural.
The child's blossoming nature shows itself in "more" of the extremes in the original
personality traits. Examples:
high or low energy
intense concentration or high distractibility
organization is internal or external environment sets the stage for the child.
adapts easily the change or is frightened and anxious
moves quickly and with agility or is sluggish
morning or afternoon person
perfectionist or adventurer
forward looking or timorous
Querulous nature is common at about 3 and one half years.
Sense of self and ability to see self as an entity begins to emerge.
The child does not actively understand wrong or right, but does recognize what may create
friction or anger in caretakers.
There is still no real ability to intentionally hurt others.
The child, while expansive, still needs and responds well to routing, structure and
The child does not have a ready or logical response to "why did you do that?"
There is still very little true sense of self, so lying and cheating are rare
and not premeditated, or for that matter understood as wrong.
Adults may perceive the excesses as intention and respond with
righteous indignation...but the real three-year old is more compelled
This is the time when socialized play begins.
Child begins to receive and attend to messages from age mates, not just the
Friend becomes a word with meaning for the child.
A social sense of humor emerges...giggles, etc.
Dad or mom may become a "best" friend with envy obvious if parent kiss or show intimacy
Social play ability shows an increase, though seeing the others' needs is limited.
Verbal refusal usually replaces aggressive "no's".
Boy play tends to be more aggressive than girl play.
Introversion or extroversion may already dictate the number of children a child wishes to
include in play.
| An enriched learning
arena assists the child to make progress in moving from sensory to
more concrete use of the mind.
Vocabulary increases rapidly - spoken and receptive.
Words describing the past, now and future become diverse, with a more active use of time
as a concept.
Direction words are common - up, on, under, around, and generally apropos.
Eye-hand coordination improves markedly and adaptive maneuvers
Much more ease with visual tasks
Small object play increases
Learning and working are seen as exciting.