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3 years 5 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:
  • Imitating others.
  • Can anticipate tomorrow.
  • Interest in gender.
  • Starting to talk about the birds and the bees. 
How your pre-schooler is developing:
Pre-schoolers can be impressive mimics, acting as members of the family or as their friends. Dramatic play is helpful for their creativity and it is a good way for playtime to be sociable. This is the kind of game that will enable them to include friends. Playing at being Mom and Dad is a particular favourite.

Children act out what they see you doing: putting on your shoes or raiding your make-up and jewellery, going to work, drinking tea or beer (it’s amazing how much they notice!) This play-acting can be messy, but it can also be very funny... Just make sure your expensive make-up and jewellery is out of reach.

By this stage, your child will be familiar with their own routines and will start trying to work out everyone else’s. They’ll ask questions about what other people do at different times of the day, and they will be able to anticipate what they will be doing tomorrow.

Tips for you this month:
Pre-schoolers begin to develop an understanding of their own sex and will start to form an opinion of what gender traditionally means around this age. Your little boy might still want to put on skirts and your girl might still love soccer, but they may also start to assert that cars are for boys and dolls are for girls. You can decide what you want to teach your child about gender, but remember that they will take these opinions out of the home with them.

Children are also naturally curious about their genitals and it is normal for children to explore their bodies. Don’t punish them for this, it may encourage feelings of guilt or shame, but explain that there are some things that should be done in private. If they start asking questions about where babies come from, you can give them a very simple explanation – no need to go into detail for a few years, thank goodness!
This month’s To Do list:
  • You can buy basic books that help explain the birds and the bees to your child if you are struggling to find the right way to talk to them about it.
  • Have a conversation at the end of the day using the past tense with your child.
  • If your child is at nursery school, discuss with your partner when you want to move them to pre-school.
If you have 5 minutes…
Mom’s top tip.
After your child has finished eating dinner, try reading a story at the dinner table to encourage sitting still for longer periods of time.

Curious about next month? 
Click here to find out what happens next month… And the month after.

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