Development (3 - 4 Years)

Ways to Encourage Development (3 - 4 years)

Muscle Skills

  • Continue to allow toilet training to proceed at own pace.
  • Allow for plenty of free play time out of doors.
  • Provide with safe climbing structure and tricycles (helmets recommended).
  • Allow for messy art play.

2 year old reading booksLanguage Skills

  • Same as for two- to three-year olds.
  • Answer questions straightforwardly and simply.
  • Focus on topics of interest to the child to increase vocabulary.

Social and Emotional Skills

  • Model social skills.
  • Help child to use words to solve social problems.
  • Ignore negative behavior whenever possible.
  • Allow choices about many daily events.
  • Encourage to express feelings verbally.
  • Play simple turn‑taking games such as tag or musical chairs.

Thinking Skills

  • Practice counting.
  • Allow child to make choices about activities.
  • Encourage child to problem solve when possible.
  • Develop classification skills by making collections of similar objects for children to sort and compare: buttons, small plastic objects, spools, lids, etc.

Developmental Tasks (3 - 4 years)

Muscle Skills

  • Jumps, runs, throws, climbs, using good balance.
  • Balances on one foot five seconds.
  • Starts learning to catch.
  • Walks tiptoe.
  • Draws up, down, around and sideways using a crayon.
  • May or may not be dry at nap time and nighttime.

Language Skills

  • Uses plurals, past tense, pronouns and prepositions.
  • Uses speech that is easily understood.
  • Asks a lot of “why” and ”what” questions.
  • Answers simple “where” and ”who” questions.
  • May recognize colors.
  • Gives first and last name.

Social and Emotional Skills

  • Enjoys playing with other children.
  • Waits his or her turn some of the time.
  • Dresses partly, undresses completely.
  • Can ask for help if he/she needs it.
  • Engages in make-believe and “let’s pretend” games.
  • Likes to learn and follow the rules.

Thinking Skills

  • Has attention span of about 10 minutes.
  • May know shapes.
  • Still doesn’t understand idea of time.
  • Can count objects.
  • Learns to classify objects by color, form, size, etc.
     
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