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DEVELOPMENTAL SCREENING: Three Year Developmental Milestones

Posted in:DadsDevelopmental ScreeningMomsYour Growing Child



Where has time gone? Your child is now three years old! At this age, your child should be talking, walking, responding, and playing. They have sprouted from a tiny infant into a talkative toddler. At three years old, your child should reach certain milestones that measure healthy growth and development. Important milestone areas to evaluate include social and emotional, language and communication, cognitive, and movement skills.

Here are some activities that your child should be able to complete by age three:

  1. Social and emotional – Your tiny tot will start to show independence at this age. They are able to dress and undress themselves. They start to understand the difference between “my toy” and “his/her toys.” Do you remember how they would cry when you tried to leave them with a friend or family member? At this age, you can expect your little one to leave your side without fuss.
  2. Language and Communication – Your baby’s vocabulary is building and will continue to build. Friends and family can expect your little one to identify and name familiar things like car, dog, or cat. They know how to say their own name and age.
  3. Cognitive- At this age, your child is learning, thinking, and problem solving. Take your quality time activities to the next level. Try a puzzle. Your child should be able to place 3-4 pieces together. Grab a few crayons. Your child’s scribbles have grown just like her/him. Your baby is now capable of copying a circle!
  4. Movement – What a busy bee! At this age, your child should have lots of energy. They are able to run and climb easily. At this time, you can take out that tricycle that has been waiting for your little one to grow up. By three years old, your child can pedal a 3-wheel bike.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that doctors screen all children at ages 9, 18, 24, and 30 months and every year thereafter. Speak to your child’s physician if you are concerned that your child is not reaching the appropriate milestones for three years old. Remember to ACT EARLY any time you have a concern. Do not wait. Talk to your healthcare provider about developmental screening. If you have any immediate questions, you can contact Help Me Grow by dialing 211.

© 2023. Delaware Division of Public Health.