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Three to Five Years Old

There are many milestones in physical, emotional and learning development during the ages of three and five years of age. Each child is individual, and developmental milestones should not be compared. Children can reach milestones early or late.

Physical Milestones of a Three to Five Year Old

  • Child will be able to run, jump and climb.
  • Child will be able to hold smaller crayons and utensils with more ease.
  • Child will start to become a expert on tricycles.
  • Child will be able to stand on his or her tippy-toes.
  • Child will be able to dress himself or herself, and have the urge to do buttons and zippers.
  • Children are generally fully potty trained by four years of age.

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Learning Milestones of a Three to Five Year Old

  • Child will start drawing shapes and letters with encouragement.
  • Child will start thinking of things outside of himself or herself. For instance, the child may learn that a particular object is meant for pool play, or that a certain kind of ball is meant to be kicked, thrown or hit.
  • Child loves to listen to stories, and can even memorize short parts of a book.
  • Child may draw family members on paper.
  • Child will speak in sentences and know how to use plurals.

Emotional Milestones of a Three to Five Old

  • Child doesn’t get as frustrated as his or her vocabulary expands and he or she learns they can express thoughts, feelings and desires through speech.
  • Child starts to separate from caregivers and becomes more independent.
  • Child learns how to play with peers. Child learns the concept of taking turns, sharing and what is fair.
  • Child bonds with pets.
  • Child shows excitement over pending holidays.
  • Child is coming to know the difference between right and wrong on a small scale.
  • Child expresses love, or fear, of others openly.

When to Contact the Pediatrician

Contact your child’s pediatrician if your child is showing any of the following signs or conditions:

  • Child is unable to draw shapes or scribble on paper.
  • Child cannot speak in small sentences.
  • Child is not potty trained by four years of age, or has regressed.
  • Child is not able to run and jump.
  • Child cannot climb stairs with alternating feet.

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