Developmental milestones 3 years : Social Development

Developmental milestones 3 years


Major motor skills

A three year old is developing much better motor control. Children should kick, throw and catch a large ball. They can climb upstairs with alternating feet, but downstairs two feet to a step. They should also be able to stand on their preferred foot momentarily.

Fine motor skills

Children can draw with a pencil, copy a circle, are beginning to use scissors, thread beads on a string, can undress themselves if fastenings are undone, eat with a fork and spoon, and build a tower of nine cubes. They should be able to build a bridge of three cubes from a model.


Children will speak clearly and in sentences so that unfamiliar adults can understand what they are saying. They listen to stories, and ask lots of questions. They should be able to give their full name and sex.

Vision and hearing

Children should demonstrate everyday visual competence for near and far.

Social achievements and play

Children try to imitate adults, will try being helpful, will start joining in on play with other children, have a good imagination, will engage in make believe or pretend play, and most are toilet trained (though not always). Caregivers often report that they join in play with other children and understand sharing food and toys.

When to be concerned

Father with toddler on shouldersSpeak to your doctor if a three-year-old child:

  • Does not interact with other children, instead playing mostly alone;
  • Cannot run smoothly or climb stairs;
  • Cannot feed themselves;
  • Is a lot more or less active than other three year olds;
  • Is not speaking; or
  • Is speaking in a way that is not usually understandable.

More information


  1. Sheridan M. Birth to Five Years: Children’s Developmental Progress (2nd edition). Australian Council for Educational Research; 1997.
  2. Parenting and Child Health: Children, Youth and Women’s Health Service. Child development: 0-3 months [online]. Adelaide: Government of South Australia. 11 September 2008 [cited 31 October 2008]. Available from URL: HealthTopics/ HealthTopicDetails.aspx? p=114&np=122&id=1963

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Usually between 2-1/2 and three years of age, children begin to take an interest in being toilet trained and by age three they are ready to be known as preschoolers. By this age, most children are toilet trained, have developed verbal skills, are continuing to be more independent, and are taking an active interest in the world around them.
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I've been in Early Ed for many

by guampa

Years and while I'm no doctor, i am very familiar with the developmental milestones for the 0-3 range. I have never come across "coloring" among those skills.
I just find it strange that a pediatrician would focus in so much on this one specific skill.
In terms of the language delay, hopefully your next evaluation will give you a better idea regarding how many months behind he is. Early intervention is very effective in addressing language delays - often they will "catch up" by preschool age.

Are anganwadis simply crèches for the underprivileged?  — Daily News & Analysis
Their aim is to lay the foundation for proper psychological, physical and social development of the child. The focus is to reduce the incidence of mortality, morbidity, malnutrition and school drop-out.