If you gather together a roomful of parents of preschoolers, chances are conversation would turn to some sort of comparison of their children, regardless of any diversities among the group.
You may find another parent sizing up your kid, or asking at what age your child began reciting his ABCs. You might hear another mom mention that her Susie knows the capital of Iowa already. Among the top questions parents of children under the age of five want to know, one thing is certain to be asked. Parents often wonder, "Is my preschooler's development on track?
While a nearly universal concern for moms and dads, most parents have little reason to worry. According to the most recent numbers from the US Census Bureau's National Health Interview Survey, fewer than 3.4 percent of children are classified as having a developmental delay, with the vast majority of children developing in a completely typical fashion.
Typical, however, doesn't necessarily mean by-the-book, or the same as a best friend's preschooler down the street. The process of child development is as individual as the child itself. Pediatric specialist, Dr. Shari Nethersole explains, "Development in young children is extremely variable. Yes, there are 'norms' for when children should reach a particular milestone, but there is quite a range around all of those norms."
But what if you suspect a problem? Trust your instincts. As a parent, you know your child better than anyone else and are therefore more likely to notice something out of the ordinary.
The following guidelines are a general indicator of expected child development between ages three through five. Guidelines are variable and do not, on their own, indicate a developmental delay or lack thereof. If you have any questions or concerns about your child's development, see your pediatrician.
Age 3 Years
- Knows own gender
- Can dress self except for buttons
- Can copy a circle
- Jumps with both feet off the ground
- Answers "who," "what," and "where" questions easily
- Builds a tower with nine blocks