Social, Cognitive and Physical Development in a Child of Three Years

Social, Cognitive and Physical Development in a Child of Three Years

Three-year-olds can be vicious as they want to explore everything, and nothing is enough to satisfy their thirst. They’re still tiny and have to hit some major milestones. They are also unstoppable which makes them prone to accidents. Let’s take a closer look at what they can and cannot do.


Parents often start setting up play dates for their children so they can relax a little. Most of the time their first friend isn’t usually someone they met in school. It is typically the kid across the street, a close cousin or their father’s best friend’s kid. Children usually start playing make-believe games and imitate adults. Their newfound friend also allows practicing their vocabulary.  These kids might stumble upon their words and make cute mistakes, but it is a part of their learning process.

As children interact with kids their age, they also get an opportunity to make simple decisions such as choosing a game. They may even show signs of empathy towards friends and try to comfort an upset friend or share a friend’s excitement. They may be afraid of foreign situations but also possess a hint of curiosity which urges them forward.


Cognitive development refers to the thinking process of a child. It refers to how children understand the outside world, make key decisions, reason, solve problems and interact with other people. As children grow older, their mental processes evolve. Researchers have noticed some patterns of behaviour which are common in children of a specific age. These are termed as milestones of development.

At the age of three, children can analyze and understand the world better. Their observation skills heighten, and they sought to satisfy their curiosity. To have a clear understanding, they start classifying things in their environment into groups based on some commonalities among them. Such categorization of objects and events is referred to as schemas.

Some of the common patterns of behaviour among children of three years are as follows:

1. They show interest and curiosity in the world around them. This may be apparent as they begin asking too many questions.
2. Their memory improves as they can recall information from the past and also remember future events.
3. Their attention span also increases.


4. They can answer simple questions such as “What is your name?”
5. They are better observers. Some of their learning takes place through observing patterns and events. They may able to correctly sort objects or toys according to colour.
6. Schemas help them in identifying common traits however these categorizations are not fully developed yet.


At three years of age, children have mastered walking, walking fast and running which means more trouble is heading your way as children want to experiment more. They may walk up and down the stairs being led by one foot only. Three-year-olds have the thirst to take part in different physical activities but not energy. This doesn’t mean that they will sit still. Every parent has had to carry their child to bed after they tired themselves to the point of fatigue.

child physical activities

These kids may try hopping, jumping and walking on one leg. However, their feet and movements are unbalanced. They still need more practice to master these activities but that doesn’t stop them which may make them prone to accidents. Kids may be comfortable on a tricycle which is a pretty safe option for their age.

They may master some fine motor skills like holding a pen or crayon in their hand and washing their hands on their own. You can give your child a paper so they can randomly scribble on it, but chances are they will attack the wall instead.

Sometimes it’s almost impossible to keep up with your child, especially if you have more than one kid below the age of 5 but remember this time will pass. So, keep encouraging physical activities so they can master their coordination and movements with time!


Your child may give you the scares more than a few times but don’t worry that is how they learn. Imperfect balance is a part of their learning process. As they grow older, their motor skills and coordination will improve. They may stumble more than a few times on their feet and words both. Until then, sit back and capture some of these moments because years down the line they will give you a reason to laugh!


• Children may be able to hop and jump but their balance isn’t perfect.
• Playdates introduce them to others like them and allow them to make small decisions such as picking a game.
• They can answer simple questions however their sentences aren’t clear yet.
• Social, cognitive and physical development happens at a gradual pace.

Social, Cognitive and Physical Development in a Child of Three Years

Physical Development





Cognitive development

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