Physical Characteristics

Gains 2-2.5 pounds/year and grows 3-5 inches/year

Stands more erect but abdomen is still protruding and back is swayed


Motor Development

Walks independently and is able to maneuver around objects

Runs with more confidence with fewer falls

Squats down while playing

Able to balance on one foot, but may fall

Throws ball underhanded without losing balance

Unbuttons large buttons and unzips large zippers

Grasps large crayon in fist to scribble on paper


Cognitive Development

Begins to pretend by using objects for purposes besides what they are intended for

Can separate toys into different bins

Names objects in picture book


Speech and Language Development

Uses 50 to 300 different words

Utters three and four word statements

Speech is 65-70% intelligible


Personal-Social Development

Shows signs of caring and empathy

Expresses frustrations through temper tantrums

Finds it difficult to wait or take turns


Check with your child's pediatrician if by Three Years your child does NOT:

Eat a fairly well-rounded diet, even though amounts are limited

Walk confidently with few stumbles or falls; climb steps with help

Avoid bumping into objects

Carry out simple, two-step directions; express desires; ask questions

Point to and name familiar objects; use two or three word sentences

Enjoy being read to

Show interest in playing with other children

Indicate a beginning interest in toilet training

Sort familiar objects according to singe characteristic, such as color

Did you answer yes to one or more of the developmental alerts?

  1. First and foremost, please contact your child's pediatrician. Your health care provider is your best resource if you have any questions or concerns.
  2. Secondly, would you like to speak with someone at Special Kids to learn more about how our services may benefit your child? Contact our Family Resources team to learn more.

*Developmental milestone survey adapted from Lynn Marotz and K. Eileen Allen's book Developmental Profiles: Pre-birth through Adolescence.