No longer a toddler, your 3-year-old can do more things on their own. They're also starting to interact more with other children. This is a perfect age to introduce them to school or an organized play group. This can let them stretch their skills while learning to socialize.
Here are some milestones you can look for at this age.
Hops and stands on one foot up to 5 seconds
Goes upstairs and downstairs without support
Kicks ball forward
Throws ball overhand
Catches bounced ball most of the time
Moves forward and backward with agility
Climbs on and off couch or chair
Milestones in hand and finger skills
Copies square shapes
Draws a person with head and one other body part
Uses child-safe scissors
Draws circles and squares
Begins to copy some capital letters
Understands the concepts of "same" and "different"
Understands simple prepositions such as "on" and "under"
Uses 3-word sentences
Uses words that are 75% understandable by strangers
Correctly names some colors
Understands the concept of counting and may know a few numbers
Approaches problems from a single point of view
Begins to have a clearer sense of time
Follows three-part commands
Recalls parts of a story
Engages in imaginative play
Interested in new experiences
Cooperates with other children and shares
Plays "Mom" or "Dad"
Increasingly inventive in fantasy play
Dresses and undresses self (coat, jacket, shirt)
Negotiates solutions to conflicts
Enters bathroom and urinates by self
Imagines that many unfamiliar images may be "monsters"
Views self as a whole person involving body, mind and feelings
Often cannot distinguish between fantasy and reality
Developmental health watch
Because each child develops in their own manner, it's impossible to tell exactly when or how they'll perfect a given skill.
The developmental milestones listed here will give you a general idea of the changes you can expect as your child gets older. However, don't be alarmed if their development takes a slightly different course.
Talk with your pediatrician, however, if your child displays any of the following signs of possible developmental delay for this age range.
Cannot throw a ball overhand
Cannot jump in place
Cannot ride a tricycle
Cannot grasp a crayon between thumb and fingers
Has difficulty scribbling
Cannot stack four blocks
Still clings or cries whenever their parents leave them
Shows no interest in interactive games
Ignores other children
Doesn't respond to people outside the family
Doesn't engage in fantasy play
Resists dressing, sleeping, using the toilet
Lashes out without any self-control when angry or upset
Cannot copy a circle
Doesn't use sentences of more than three words
Doesn't use "me" and "you" appropriately