How your 3-year-old might play now

    • She likes dressing up or pretending she's someone else
    • He loves to move and does not care to be still
    • She's reassured to hear that people love her
    • He begins to compare and contrast himself with others
    • Basic ball play—like catching or kicking a ball—can improve balance and coordination
    • He can throw a ball a short distance and can catch it if it's thrown directly in his arms
    • She starts drawing faces and people
    • He can make balls, sausages and figures out of play dough
    • Her squiggles begin to look like writing
    • He shows sympathy for storybook characters
Playsets and action figures
  • crawlerImg

    Smart Tablet

Help your child learn more:

    • What if … Prompt imaginative play with different scenarios once your child is familiar with a toy.
    • Point out heroes in your neighborhood, country or the world. Explain why heroes are special people. Your child is still too young to really know about current events, but remember how much kids absorb from hearing the news or adults' conversations.
    • Tell me a story. Asking your child to tell you about what he's pretending will encourage thinking and help develop language and communication skills. Every once in a while ask, "What did Billy Blazes do today?"

I Can Do It!


Help your child become aware of all the wonderful things she can do! This is a great way to build her self-confidence and self-esteem.


  • Magazines with pictures or picture books that show kids doing things


  • Look through magazines or picture books together that show kids doing things.
  • Ask your child if she can do the things that are shown.
  • Have her explain how she does them.
  • Let her demonstrate if she likes!
  • If she says she can't do something, ask her why not.
  • Discuss with her all the things you can and cannot do. Make sure to explain how or why not.


Make sure to select plenty of pictures of activities your child knows how to do, so she won't feel like a failure. Don't pressure her to do things she's not ready to do.

What kind of toys promote learning?

What kind of toys do you recommend for learning?
I recommend a variety of toys for learning, not just those labeled as such. In some way, all toys have some learning benefits. In fact, you’d be amazed by what children can learn from even the most basic toys. For example, blocks and building toys ??ReadMore_Label??

Tips: Why Play Is So Important

Play helps children learn about themselves and their understandings of their expanding physical and social worlds. Play gives children opportunities to figure out how things work, how to get along with others and to try on new role ??ReadMore_Label??

Problems at Preschool: Advice from Moms

From Dawn in Chicago
We had to pull our 3-year-old out of preschool because she was so active. She was taking her shoes and socks off, running everywhere, crawling under the bathroom stalls at potty time, throwing her snacks and shoving other kids. I just don't know what to do to calm her down and get her used to group settings. I'm open to suggestions. Thanks!

Alicia in Raleigh Your preschooler is learning to interact with other children, in surroundings other than home. If you put her back in preschool the teachers should help by directing her "negative" actions in a "positive" direction. My toddler gets ??ReadMore_Label??