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27 months

General Impression:
Child is able to understand early concepts i.e. big/little. Child’s natural curiosity for learning is very strong and he asks a lot of questions to learn about new things. Child may protest if there is a change in his routine – example: child normally reads a book, then brushes his teeth – reverse that order and he may resist doing it because it’s not the “right” way.

Positive Social-Emotional Skills (including social relations)
By this age, the child has developed a strong sense of independence and becomes very frustrated when he is unable to complete a task without assistance. This independence also carries over into the realm of his world and impacts his rigidity around his schedule and routine. While he struggles with wanting to be independent, parents may see some instances of separation anxiety.

Child’s interest in other children is continuing to grow. He will be able to offer toys to others and initiate play activities with those other children. Those play activities may not always be successful, but they are becoming more regular.

Acquisition and Use of Knowledge and Skills (including early language/communication)
During this time period, there is an explosion of “school type” learning. The child is beginning to understand concepts such as big/little. Early counting is emerging and some parents may be working on identifying letters in the child’s name (though there is no expectation the child would be able to achieve this yet). The child enjoys coloring and wants to imitate “writing” to the extent that he can imitate drawing several different types of lines and a circle. He has mastered the skill of verbal imitation and will imitate words and phrases upon request with ease.

The child is still acquiring language at a rapid pace. Two word phrases dominate his communication and his vocabulary is 75+ words.

Ability to Take Actions to Get Needs Met

Controls Body to Get Wants and Needs Met
Child can build large towers with wooden and with interlocking blocks - loves to build and knock down. He can easily manipulate small toys.

Self Care (Feeding, Dressing & Toileting)
Child can undress himself almost completely – may change clothes several times a day simply because he can. He can begin to follow social/health rules i.e. sneezing into his elbow. If snacks are kept in lower cabinets, he can go and get own snacks/cereal.

Makes Wants and Needs Known
Child has the language skills to request all needs related to hunger and thirst. May opt to just “do it himself” rather than request verbally.

30 months

General Impression:
This a time when parents may be beginning to look at preschool programs. Many children are able to name their friends, identify one or two colors correctly, and understand social rules. Child loves routines and still becomes upset when they are altered, or when things are not done “correctly” – as perceived by the child.

Positive Social-Emotional Skills (including social relations)
Child has a very set routine – she loves her routine and does not have the flexibility to immediately accept changes to this routine (she may fuss or protest, but will be able to move beyond the change). She is keen on things being done correctly – of course, “correct” is how she defines it and wants it to be. She is becoming more social and will even ask for a friend by name. She is starting to understand social rules, i.e. dessert comes after dinner.

Acquisition and Use of Knowledge and Skills (including early language/communication) Additional preschool skills are emerging. Child can match primary colors and may be able to name one or two colors correctly; depending upon the exposure and experiences she has had with these tasks. She can give her first and last name and also the names of some of her friends and teachers. She can look at pictures or objects and tell what they are used for – items such as keys, money, and shoes. The child will tell parents that something is “broken” when it doesn’t give the child the expected effects.

The child’s language is exploding into simple sentences using 100+ words. Her mastery of spoken language includes the ability to make words plural and even using some early action/ –ing words.

Ability to Take Actions to Get Needs Met

Controls Body to Get Wants and Needs Met
Ability to hold crayons and pencils has developed to a more mature grasp and away from holding them in her fist. Child will help to pick up and carry toys to put them away. She may enjoy helping parents unpack groceries or other “heavy” items.

Self Care (Feeding, Dressing & Toileting)
Child will begin to use a fork, brush her own teeth and dry her own hands after washing them. She may be able to put on a piece of clothing independently.

Makes Wants and Needs Known
Child can ask in two to three word sentences for food/drink items. May also tell what should be given for specific meals according to her regular routine.
 

33 months

General Impression: Child is beginning to participate in associative play behaviors (several children playing together, interacting, in a loosely organized manner). He is beginning to accept routine changes without the intense resistance.

Positive Social-Emotional Skills (including social relations)
Child is becoming truly social now. He has associative play skills with friends and participates in simple conversations with both caregivers and peers. He can point himself out in pictures along with other close family members and friends.

Acquisition and Use of Knowledge and Skills (including early language/communication)
Around this age, it is easier to assess what a child knows and understands since their language has progressed so dramatically. The child can be heard telling caregivers about events that have happened in the past, although their concept of time is not yet fully developed. He is using 3-4 word sentences with a clarity of speech that is about 75% understandable by strangers. He is still very curious and asks a number of questions each day. His questions are becoming more complex and include “why” questions about items in his daily life.

Ability to Take Actions to Get Needs Met

Controls Body to Get Wants and Needs Met
Child can now go up and down stairs with alternating feet. He can control his hands and draw circles and other lines without demonstration.

Self Care (Feeding, Dressing & Toileting)
Child is much more independent in the self-care area. He may be toilet trained during the day; he can dress (with supervision) most items and can even put on a coat. He can follow multi-step directions, which involve his self-care (i.e. go to the bathroom, get your toothbrush and bring it to Mommy)

Makes Wants and Needs Known
Expresses hunger and thirst verbally with ease.

36 months

General Impression:
Child is frequently asking questions such as “why” and “where.” Child can put on her own shoes and feed herself without any difficulty. Child is participating in singing songs and nursery rhymes.

Positive Social-Emotional Skills (including social relations)
Child engages in simple group games (e.g., “Ring Around the Rosey”) with adult help. She will join in nursery rhymes and songs. She will talk about her interests and feelings. She will have friends and will enjoy playing with them (associative play).

Acquisition and Use of Knowledge and Skills (including early language/communication)
The child’s preschool / school readiness skills are continuing to blossom. She answers correctly to “Are you a boy or a girl?” She understands several prepositions. She enjoys pretending to play different characters with a friend or caregiver. She will make her dolls or action figures talk and move around. She asks many questions and can correctly answer “what,” “where,” and “who” questions.

Ability to Take Actions to Get Needs Met

Mobility and Use of Hands to Play
Her ability to go up and down stairs has improved to the point of using alternating feet. She can hop on one foot for a couple of hops. She can use scissors to cut a piece of paper from one side to the other.

Self Care (Feeding, Dressing & Toileting)
Child is gaining more skills and can pour a drink from a pitcher into a cup. She puts on her shoes (cannot yet tie them); undresses completely without help and can unbutton front buttons. She feeds herself without any difficulty.

Expressing Needs (Hunger and Thirst)
She has all the verbal skills necessary to indicate her needs related to hunger and thirst.

Click here to find Typical developmental information Click here for ages 1 through 6 months developmental milestones Click here for ages 7 through 12 months developmental milestones Click here for ages 13 through 24 months developmental milestones Click here for ages 27 through 36 months developmental milestones


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