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Developmental Milestones of 3-4 Years Old Child and Activities

Baby develops the fastest from birth to 5 year old. These changes take place across various domains of development i.e.
1. Cognitive
2. Physical (Fine and Gross Motor)
3. Socio-emotional and
4. Language.

Most children follow a certain pattern of growth and development or achieve certain skills/abilities at a particular stage in developmental. These are called developmental milestones. However, it is important to note that every child grows and develops at their own pace, and might achieve a few milestones faster or slower than usual. If you feel concerned about your child not achieving a milestone, contact your paediatrician.

Cognitive Development 

  • Begins to engage in more complex play (e.g. toys having buttons, levers, and moving parts, board or card games).
  • Continues to engage in make-believe play with dolls, toys, animals, and people. 
  • Often finds it difficult to differentiate between real and imaginary. 
  • Solves puzzles with 3 or 4 pieces and can move to 8 piece puzzles as the year progresses.
  • Builds towers with 6 blocks or more. 
  • Understands what it means ‘to count’ and counts up to 5. Might count up to 10 by 4 years of age.
  • Begins to recognize written numerals “0” to “9”.
  • Begins to use one to one correspondence i.e. while counting items in a group, will be able to use one number word to tell how many are there (e.g. “1, 2, 3, 4” –  “4” candies).
  • Begins to develop some understanding of time (e.g. after day, there is night).
  • Understands the concepts of ‘big’ and ‘small’, ‘same’ and ‘different’. 
  • Classifies and sorts objects based on any one characteristic at a time (e.g. “all the red blocks” or “all the circles”).
  • Begins to copy shapes, capital letters, etc.  
  • Tries to draw human figures (might include a big head/face, straight body and stick limbs).
  • Tries to predict things that will happen (e.g. might say what they think is going to happen next in a story).
  • Memory improves (e.g. Remembers certain events, parts of a story, etc.)
  • Says full name and age.
  • Has a better attention span; concentrates on a task for about 8-10 minutes, as long as it is interesting.

Physical Development

  • Gains better control over gross motor abilities like running, climbing, jumping, riding a tricycle, etc. (jumping might still be a little difficult).
  • Stands on tip-toes.
  • Gets better at rolling, bouncing, throwing and catching, although catching still can be difficult.
  • Finger dexterity improves and allowing them to hold and manipulate objects better (e.g. using tools like scissors, holding crayons with fingers rather than fists, shaping clay into balls, snakes, etc.) 
  • Washes and dries hands on little to no support.
  • Stacks up to 10 blocks.
  • Continues to turn one page of a book at a time.
  • Unscrews and screws on lids on jars and turns doorknobs more easily.
  • Draws a human figure with 2 to 4 body parts.
  • Easily draws straight lines and copies shapes like circles, squares, etc.
  • Dresses and undresses self without assistance (except for buttons and laces). 
  • Feeds self well, using a spoon.
  • Has all 20 primary teeth (“baby teeth”).
  • Has a vision close to 20/20.
  • Gains control over bladder and bowel movements (some might still be developing control).

Socio-emotional Development

  • Imitates friends and adults. 
  • Displays a broader range of emotions. 
  • Begins to separate from parents easily. 
  • Talks about likes and interests.
  • Has fewer episodes of temper tantrums.
  • Begins to express feelings in a socially acceptable manner.
  • Begins to recognize the causes of feelings.
  • Understands the idea of “mine” and “his” or “hers”.
  • Might get upset if there are major changes in routine. 
  • Might display a fear of things like the dark, monsters under the bed, etc.
  • Learns to take turns in games. 
  • Shows genuine affection or concern for friends (without prompting).  
  • Can get very creative with make-believe play.
  • Enjoys playing with other children rather than alone.
  • Shows cooperation when with other children. 
  • Seeks adult assistance in case of conflicts.

Language Development

  • Says their first name, age, and gender (boy/girl).
  • Names friends.
  • Begins to use pronouns like “I,” “me,” “he”, “she”, “we,” and “you”.
  • Begins to use plurals  (cats, dogs, etc.) 
  • Uses 2-3 sentences while engaging in conversation.
  • Recites or sings simple rhymes or songs from memory. 
  • Tries to tell stories.  
  • Continues to build vocabulary and can say around 500-900 words.
  • Speech becomes more clear and can be understood  by others.
  • Begins to use words like “please”, “thank you”, etc.
  • Often uses their own name to refer to themself.
  • Begins to initiate conversations.
  • Begins to learn letters (will know to speak rather than read letter). 
  • Begins to make letter-like scribbles, might join them to make mock words. 
  • Might ask adults to write down what they dictate.

Feeding and Sleeping Information 

  • Might have a total of 11-13 hours sleep include an afternoon nap (approx. 1-2 hours) (This usually remains consistent throughout the preschool phase and decreases as they get ready for school)

Activities and Games for 3 years old:


It’s A Goal:

Set out a laundry basket and use balled up socks to practice throwing and accuracy (increase the distance with time) – Develops focus and concentration and resilience as they keep trying.


Ting-Tong Time:
Give your child tongs and ask him to pick small safe objects from one basket to another. – Develops hand-eye co-ordination. (Fine Motor)


Doggie On The Tree (3.6+ Years):

Draw a dog sitting on a tree branch. Tell your child that the dog is stuck on the tree and it is their mission to rescue the dog. Give them few minutes to think. Encourage them to come up with at least 1-2 solutions. – Develops critical thinking, reasoning, and problem-solving skills.


For more activities like above, download Jyppzer app. Here you can find 300+ age appropriate parent-child activities and games that you can do with simple household materials. Its, fun and educational. Its created by child development experts and fosters skills like cognitive, language, socio-emotional, physical and multiple intelligence. 


App Link via Mob:

Related Article: 

Developmental Milestones for 0-3 Months Baby

Developmental Milestones for 3-6 Months Baby

Developmental Milestones for 6-9 Months Baby

Developmental Milestones for 9-12 Months Baby

Developmental Milestones for 1-2 Years Baby

Developmental Milestones for 2-3 Years Toddler

Developmental Milestones for 4-5 Years Child
Developmental Milestones for 5-6 Years Child

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