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3s Development

At three years old, children’s growing independence and fine motor skills allow them to accomplish more activities on their own. They are more confident in completing self help tasks such as dressing themselves or preparing their snacks. They start to practice executive functioning skills such as making choices during learning station time, taking on responsibilities as classroom helpers to just name a few. Children at this age also begin to transition from parallel play to more active interactions with their peers and grownups. They are able to comprehend the concept of sharing and taking turns. School then becomes the crucial place where they have ample opportunities to practice these skills throughout the day. With longer attention spans and more developed cognitive abilities, children can delve deeper into topic studies and experiment with new challenges outside their comfort zones. Their verbal skills will jump significantly, enabling them to keep a conversation going with increased exchanges. 

3s Development Benchmarks


Social and Emotional

  • Manages classroom routines and rules with occasional reminder

  • Meets own needs independently

  • Shows concern about others' feelings

  • Enters groups successfully

  • Starts to share and take turns

  • Suggests solutions to social problems



  • Follows simple directions without gesture

  • Describes the use of familiar items

  • Uses complete, 4-6 word sentences and tells stories with logical order and major details

  • Engages in conversations of at least three exchanges

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  • Runs and avoids obstacles and people while moving

  • Sustains balance during simple movement activities

  • Manipulates balls with flexibility

  • Cuts along straight line

  • Starts to draw/write with a 3-finger grip

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  • Orients books and turns pages correctly

  • Indicates where to start reading and the direction to follow

  • Pretends to read using some of the language from the text

  • Retells familiar stories with prompts

  • Writes segments of letter or character forms



  • Verbally counts to 10 with 5 objects counted accurately

  • Instantly tells quantity up to 5

  • Identifies numerals to 5

  • Recognizes circle, square, triangle

  • Compares size, length, weight, or volume

  • Copies simple repeating patterns



  • Starts to ignore distractions when working on interesting tasks

  • Pursues age-appropriate challenges

  • Solves problems without trying every possibility

  • Seeks answers to a variety of topics

  • Recalls experiences in order with details

  • Sorts objects by color, size, or shape

  • Draws and then tells what it is

What happens after 3s?

Let's learn more about 4s!

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