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Your Child's Development (3-4 years)

Welcome to our child development section! Your child has spent the last 36 months growing from a baby to a toddler. After your child's third birthday, your child is no longer considered a 'toddler'. You will also notice that your child is much more independent and more creative than ever.

Your child now is considered at "kindergarten" and can be admitted into a kindergarten to enhance his/her social interaction with other children and begin a formal education.

It is worth mentioning that your child is unique and will develop at his/her own pace. Use this guide for a general overview of your toddler's development. If you have any concerns about your child's rate of development, we advise you to consult with your pediatrician.

Learning and Skills

Your child's learning pattern takes a whole new turn during this stage. In the past, your child may have given up when a task seems too difficult. After the third birthday, your child becomes more diligent and persistent in finishing tasks at hand.

Your child also transitions from a "trial and error" to a more educated approach such as asking adults, "How can I do this?" or "How can I get there?"

Language continues to be a prominent development area in your child's life during this year. By the end of year 3, your child understand anywhere from 1000-3000 words acquiring as much as 4-5 words per day.

With such a vast linguistic improvement, your child can know understand new songs, poems, and stories. He/she can also use the past and present tense to tell a story.

Physical Development

Your child has increased balance, endurance and stamina. At the age of three, your child is much more active and busy throwing balls, playing tag and hide and seek.

You will notice that your child is much more excited about going outdoors. At this age, children often have a lot of bottled energy that they wish to expend in physical activities.

Hand-eye coordination is much more sophisticated and children can now utilize tools such as children's scissors, clay and musical instruments.

Emotional/Social Development

Your child expresses himself/herself with an increased sense of individuality in public. The emotional and social development is most evident in your child's increased usage of words such as "my crayon" or "I like" or "I don't like". The growing preferences of your child directly impact his/her choice of playmates at kindergarten.

Your child can now also link abstract feelings such as fear, sadness and happiness to photographs and paintings (e.g. "Mommy, this man looks sad in the painting").

At this age, your child begins to form friendships and offer help to playmates in need (e.g. your child may comfort a crying playmate or ask for the help of an adult in case of injury).

With new friendships comes conflict. Your child at this age is likely to accept any adult conclusions for a conflict. At this stage, your child is not likely to argue against an adult decision but will often feel frustrated or sad if the decision is not in their favor.

How to Help Your Toddler Grow

To help your child grow at this stage, you must:

  • Take your child to new places in town (e.g. bakery, park, zoo, etc) to help him/her learn new words
  • Provide your child with any musical instruments or artistic tools such as crayons to boost creativity
  • Give your child new challenges such as solving puzzles or organizing a bookshelf to help stimulate problem solving and organizational skills
  • Have conversations with your child; such conversations will him/her become more confident, outspoken and a better communicator

be sure to check out our Year 4-5 guide.

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