Guest Author - Alissa Moy
At age three your child is officially considered a preschooler. You might be wondering what new skills your child should be capable of mastering as they embark on their third year of life. Below is a list of skills and abilities that the average three year old will be mastering this year.
1. Sentences will become second nature for your preschooler this year, and their use of simple sentences should grow every day. Look for your child to begin initiating conversations not only with other children, but also amongst adults.
2. Reading, writing and word recognition will begin with your three year old this year. While some children may start simple reading by the end of their third year, others will be starting to recognize letters, numbers and words on signs. The range of ability is wide for a three year old, and some children master reading and word recognition more quickly then others. Also, small muscle control abilities are factored into the writing aspect of development. This makes children with good use and dexterity of their small muscles better at handwriting and printing. If you notice your child has a propensity to be better at one skill over another plan to work on their weaker skills with them. It may mean a few minutes a day writing a letter in the alphabet, or reading site word flashcards.
3. Counting and classifying objects will be at the forefront of your child's reasoning skills. Look for their ability to count to ten, sort objects into categories and simple patterns, and recognize numbers up to ten to develop. Encourage this logical reasoning ability by challenging your child with lacing beads made in patterns, simple puzzles (peg board, easy jigsaw) and object classification. For example, ask your child to sort all the clean socks from the laundry in a pile, and review the idea that they all belong in the sock category.
4. Expect your three year old to exhibit lots of imagination during their playtime, and a greater portion of their play will be role playing, too. At age three a child can now successfully keep a beat and tempo when playing instruments, sing finger plays and songs, and act out familiar scenarios (ie. going to the market)
5. Clay, larger crayons and all sized balls are much easier for your child to manipulate at age three. Look for increased abilities in large and small muscle coordination as this year progresses. You can encourage this by playing catch, coloring and finger painting together, as well as working with clay and play dough.
Enjoy the wonderful year of your child being three!