Milestones: 36 to 48 months

Children develop at their own pace, so it’s impossible to tell exactly when your child will learn a given skill.
The developmental milestones below will give you a general idea of a the changes you can expect as your child gets older, but don’t be alarmed if your child takes a slightly different course.
If you have concerns about your child’s development, talk to your child’s doctor.

Social

  • Imitates adults and playmates
  • Spontaneously shows affection for familiar playmates
  • Can take turns in games
  • Understands concept of “mine” and “his/hers”

Emotional

  • Expresses affection openly
  • Expresses a wide range of emotions
  • By 3, separates easily from parents
  • Objects to major changes in routine

Cognitive

  • Makes mechanical toys work
  • Matches an object in her hand or room to a picture in a book
  • Plays make-beleive with dolls, animals and people
  • Sorts objects by shape and color
  • Completes puzzles with three or four pieces
  • Understands concept of “two”

Language

  • Follows a two or three-part command
  • Recognizes and identifies almost all common objects and pictures
  • Understands most sentences
  • Understands placement in space (“on”, “in”, “under”)
  • Uses 4-to-5 word sentences
  • Can say name, age and sex
  • Uses pronouns (I, you, me, we, they) and some plurals (cars, dogs, cats)
  • Strangers can understand most of his/her words

Movement

  • Climbs well
  • Walks up and down stairs, alternating feet (one foot per stair step)
  • Kicks ball
  • Runs easily
  • Pedals tricycle
  • Bends over easily without falling

Hand and Finger Skills

  • Makes up-and-down, side-to-side, and circular lines with pencil or crayon
  • Turns  book pages one at a time
  • Builds a tower of more than six blocks
  • Holds a pencil in writing position
  • Screws and unscrews jar lids, nuts, and bolts
  • Turns rotating handles