This month you may notice your three-year-old asking endless questions; some of which you can answer: “where does Grandma live?’ and some of which will require an age appropriate answer: ‘Why is the sky that colour mummy?’ Your child’s inquisitiveness is a good thing; it means they are interested in the world around them, but that they also want to learn the words for new things.
Your three-year old may be experiencing lots of new situations: going to the dentist, going to birthday parties and going to nursery. If there is a situation that scares her, you could always try looking for a book with a story in it to help your child get used to something new. There are lots of ‘going to nursery school’ books available, as well as ‘going to the dentist’, ‘getting your hair cut’ and ‘going on holiday’. It’s normal for your child to have fears about doing new things, and it’s always better to prepare them in advance so they’re not completely shocked at the hairdressers, for example.
Three-year-olds communicative skills can vary greatly from child to child, so don’t worry if your three-year-old doesn’t talk as well as your friend’s three-year-old. Girls generally speak sooner and have a greater vocabulary than boys; this doesn’t mean your little boy won’t be a chatterbox! Three-year-olds love to mimic everyone around them so don’t be surprised if they start using phrases that you tend to say. The best way to help develop your child’s language skills is to read as much as you can to them. Keep children’s books somewhere your child can get to easily so that he can choose his favourite books, or look a the pictures when he wants.
Playing with other children will become more and more enjoyable for your three-year-old, but don’t be surprised if she still objects to sharing her toys with another child. Three-year-olds still have to learn about sharing and it may be a good idea to explain before the other child arrives, that they will be playing with your toddler’s toys, but only for a little while. Explain that it is nice to share and that perhaps when you visit friends they will share their toys with your child. It might be a good idea to hide your child’s ‘favourite’ toy if you envisage problems with sharing!
Three-year-olds love to use their imaginations when playing and pretending to be just like mum and dad will be a favourite game. If you don’t have a little kitchen for your child to play in, don’t worry; you don’t need one! Give your child and her playmate a couple of stainless steel saucepans from your cupboards and two wooden spoons. Now tell them to make pretend cakes! Three-year-olds also love getting messy, so water play (supervised) playing with play dough, or getting generally muddy in the garden or park will be fun for your little one and her playmates.