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NAN: Physical Development of 3 Year Olds

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Three year olds are developing fine motor skills and are becoming even more coordinated. Three year olds can be expected to stack at least four blocks, cut with scissors, copy simple shapes and play interactive games. Encourage fine motor development by giving the child cups, blocks and objects to build with, by doing arts and crafts and by working on self-help skills like buttoning buttons, zipping zippers and putting on shoes. 

During the toddler years a child’s torso and legs become longer, their potbelly disappears and they experience increased abdominal strength that lets them move more gracefully and with ease. Toddlers are also developing more gross motor skills and by their third birthday can be expected to ride a tricycle, climb stairs with alternating feet, run easily and climb well.

If at age 3 a child falls down frequently, has trouble navigating stairs or is not hitting the age-appropriate physical developmental milestones, nannies should report these observations to the parents and encourage the parents to share this information with the child’s pediatrician.

Michelle LaRoweNAN: Physical Development of 3 Year Olds