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3 years 6 months old

Katie de Klee
How your pre-schooler will grow and develop, what changes to be aware of, and some great tips for the month ahead.
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What’s happening now:
  • Nimble fingers.
  • Interest in (or passion for) TV.
  • Can be repetitive with play.
  • Still need constant supervision. 
How your pre-schooler is developing:
By the time your child is three-and-a-half you’ll see that they have very nimble fingers. They will be able to control pencils and pens with fingers not fists, they can cut shapes with safety scissors and they can probably take off jar lids. Although your home was no doubt toddler-proofed, it might be time to give it another layer of childproofing!

Your child will also be good at getting dressed and will be learning more about their balance. They can jump, balance on one leg and hop, and they won’t get bored of doing this over and over. By now your pre-schooler’s hand-eye coordination will also be improving and if you bounce a big ball to them they will be able to catch it.

Your child might also be very interested in TV and be good at operating buttons and remotes by now. Children can get very attached to one particular show or film that they want to watch over and over. Repetition is one of the ways young children learn new skills.

Tips for you this month:
It is essential to supervise three-year-olds during playtime. They can’t always anticipate the consequences of their actions and they are very curious. You can help prevent accidents by ensuring that your house is childproofed, but it’s a good idea to make sure they are always supervised, especially when they’re playing outdoors.
If you are letting your pre-schooler watch TV, then try and limit their viewing time to under an hour a day. Also try to choose particular programmes to watch instead of just switching the TV on. That way when the programme ends you can turn it off. It’s up to you and your partner to decide how much TV time your child gets, but it’s a good idea to have rules in place around it so that every interaction about TV doesn’t turn into an argument.
This month’s To Do list:
  • Play outside with a big beach ball. See if your child can catch it when you bounce it to them, and if they can bounce and catch it for themselves.
  • Make shapes together out of clay – see how intricate the shapes can get.
  • Have a look at some new outfits for your fast-growing pre-schooler. 
If you have 5 minutes…
Mom’s top tip.
Give some warning before the next change of activity in your child’s day. If it is time to put down toys for a meal, or if the TV is going off soon, then give your child a five-minute warning. They like to know what’s coming next.
Curious about next month? 
Click here to find out what happens next month… And the month after.

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