The day has finally arrived. Your baby is 36 months old and is now a pre-schooler. It did not seem long ago that you were juggling bottles, enduring sleepless nights and changing nappies. In this article, we explore what most children should be doing at this age, what skills they may have and suggest some fun activities to do with your baby to help stimulate them and progress their development further.
What can a 36 month old child do?
One of the first things you will notice about your child at this stage is their ability to talk. Gone are the days where your baby could only gurgle or repeatedly say one word. You should now be able to hold simple conversations with your child most of the time and they will usually express what they want or need.
Children at this age also seem to love being independent and it can be something they feel very strongly about e.g. if your child is brushing their teeth and you try to intervene, you may have to deal with an explosive outburst. Your child will now try to dress themselves, although their ability to do this successfully may vary! A simple activity like putting on a shirt should usually pose little problem.
At 36 months, your child’s artistic skills have improved dramatically. They should be able to draw straight lines, simple shapes and objects. They will also know how to hold a pencil or pen in a writing position.
What are the social skills of a 36 month old child?
Social interaction teaches children many important behaviours like sharing. This can be an unknown concept to a pre-schooler, especially those who were born without siblings. The concept of giving, instead of receiving, is very new. Typically, a child will learn that being selfish will not gain them many friends. They will soon learn that giving and sharing means more companions and therefore more fun. Your child may also start to prefer certain friends, showing their growing identity. They may even mention their names or talk about them.
Group activities will fascinate your child, but they may have problems taking turns. Again, this is a new concept for them because when they were around you at home, it was always their turn. This is something that your child will learn quickly, which will perhaps make your life easier at home as well.
At 36 months, your child’s concentration skills have increased considerably. They will no longer flit between toys like they used to. Instead, they will become absorbed in a single task. This means that they will be more attentive in activities such as story time. It also means that they will be more interested in structured, social games like tag.
What changes in a 36 month old child’s routine?
You should probably start saying goodbye to your child’s naptime at this stage, which has been getting shorter and shorter as weeks have passed. If you are lucky, your child may still require an afternoon snooze, but this is most likely a micro nap as opposed to a leisurely sleep.
It is about this age that children begin to master the potty. They will go off on their own and try to do their business in private. They will still need help afterwards to clean themselves.
What is a 36 month old child curious about?
The world is still new to your pre-schooler. They have many questions about it, how it works, the whys and the whens. Now that they have a solid vocabulary to communicate, they will use it to question you repeatedly on all types of subjects. Some of the topics they ask about may be slightly uncomfortable to describe e.g. sex and reproduction. It is best at this point to be as honest as possible and not to make elaborate stories about storks delivering newborns in thatch baskets. Keep it simple e.g you grew in my tummy, the older they get the more able they will be to understand the complexities of the world and how it works.
It is common for all children at this stage to become interested in their own reproductive organs. They may also want to show them to other children, which again is natural. Letting your child know that penises and vaginas are private things is the best policy.
Which toys are best for a 36 month old?
Stimulating a three year old is very important to build upon their development. Activities like art will exercise creativity and imaginative play. Your child will now probably spend more time and care when drawing a picture, so art materials
like pens, pencils and craft material will allow them to fulfil their artistic talents.
Now may be a great time to introduce your child to a tricycle
; learning to ride is not only fun, but will also provide exercise. There are tricycles which have removable wheels, turning them into a bike for your child to ride in the near future.
are always good for toddlers, and they will now become more involved with the reading process, copying what you say and trying to read words themselves. Reading is valuable so that they can acquire more language to communicate. The more you read, the more your child learns. It is also a way to calm your child down when it is time for sleeping.
Children love to use their imagination, which is why dressing up is always a fun and stimulating activity. At 36 months old, your child’s imagination is dynamic. They can create scenarios, act out characters and even tell stories.
, like building blocks or stacking toys not only develop your child’s cognitive abilities but also gives them the chance to be creative. A 36 month old toddler will be nimble at stacking objects, but will probably destroy it moments later!
You may marvel at what your child can now do. At one stage, they were wholly dependent on you, but now they are their own person. Over the next months and years their personalities will blossom. You may begin to realise that your child is growing up fast but you should always remember that they will always need you both now and in the future.