• Infant Birth to 18 months
  • Toddler 19 months to 3 years
  • Preschooler 3 to 5 years

Toddler : 31 to 36 Months

Thirty-one to thirty-six month old

The last half of your child’s third year is full of exciting developmental gains. At this stage you will notice your toddler beginning to:

  • Run without falling.
  • Remove lids from jars, rotating her wrist.
  • Enjoy playing near other children, but he is not yet able to play co-operatively.
  • Enjoy looking at books and talking about the pictures.
  • Match shapes, pictures, and some colours.

By now, you’ll have a real sense of your child’s personality. She also has more self-esteem and confidence – she’s not as afraid of abandonment now, and is generally optimistic and cheerful. That won’t keep her from expressing her opinions, though, which is a healthy part of growing up.

Things to Remember...

It takes time for all children to learn to make friends and get along with others. These social skills will improve as the child learns to talk better and control his movements more. Playing with your child and getting two-way communication going in a happy, playful way help prepare your child to be with others. You can even play-act ways of dealing with new situations that the child will be facing.

Developmental Milestones at 31 to 36 Months

Social

Social Development as a toddler includes the observation of other children playing. Toddlers often play alone or at the same activity with other children for a short period of time, but will typically not engage with the other children.

Typical Skills

  • Expresses affection openly
  • Uses social conventions like ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and greetings
  • Plays alongside others comfortably
  • Is more able to play co-operatively and take turns
  • Plays make-believe games

Emerging Skills

  • Imitates adult behaviours, for example, shopping in make-believe grocery store; creates an imaginary friend to talk to
  • Is comfortable around new adults
  • Helps other children to do things
  • Develops pro-social skills like turn-taking, sharing, using words to resolve conflicts

Activities to Support Your Child's Development

Emotional

Emotional Development as a toddler, includes expression of feelings, regulations of emotions, beginning to develop empathy for others, and becoming more familiar with a sense of self and identity formation. Toddlers expressions of feelings may include emotions such as anger, happiness, and sadness. Self-regulation refers to emotional, behavioural and attention regulation as children develop and regulate their emotions, actions and focus. Toddlers begin to develop a sense of empathy as they become more aware of their feelings and the feelings of others. Identity formation and sense of self is when a child becomes increasingly aware of themselves recognizing himself in mirror and pointing to own body parts.

Typical Skills

  • Objects to major changes in routines
  • Recognizes and responds to other children’s feelings
  • Becomes more comfortable with new people
  • Wants independence but may fear new experiences
  • Desires approval and needs praise

Emerging Skills

  • Explains feelings when asked about them
  • Is more able to understand the feelings of other children, and talk about them
  • Gets excited about activities she may have done, e.g., baking cookies
  • May stamp feet when frustrated
  • May request certain stories to help resolve fears, e.g., of monsters

Activities to Support Your Child's Development

Fine Motor

Fine Motor Development for toddlers involves a continuous progress of various forms of grasps. Palmar grasp is when an infant hold an object with their entire palm. Pincer grasp is when an infant holds an object using their forefinger and thumb to lift and hold small objects. Toddlers beginning to dress themselves, pull up zippers. During this stage they begin to feed themselves using cups and utensils independently.

Typical Skills

  • Holds pencil in writing position
  • Imitates drawing a cross, circles, dots, small lines, swirls
  • Cuts paper with scissors, but may not be able to cut along straight lines
  • Turns pages of book one at a time
  • Turns rotating handles, doorknobs

Emerging Skills

  • Experiments with pencils, crayons and markers, using an adult-like grasp
  • Draws squiggles and says that’s her name
  • Participates in songs and finger plays
  • Plays with different manipulative toys, e.g., connecting straws and snap blocks
  • Puts on and takes off clothes

Activities to Support Your Child's Development

Gross Motor

Gross Motor Development refers to balancing, jumping, walking and running, climbing and using riding toys, pushing with feet to move forward and backward.

Typical Skills

  • Participates in group activities that include running, galloping, crawling, rolling over and twirling around
  • Walks on balance beam, alternating feet a few steps
  • Runs, avoiding obstacles
  • Climbs up the ladder of a slide or other play equipment
  • Pedals a tricycle

Emerging Skills

  • Walks on balance beam a few steps, going forward and backward
  • Rides tricycle, steering well and using pedals
  • Kicks ball with increasing accuracy
  • Throws ball overhand with fairly accurate aim
  • Participates in circle games involving many players, such as “The Hokey Pokey”

Activities to Support Your Child's Development

Intellectual

Intellectual Development as a toddler the exploration of  cause-and-effect, problem solving, imitation, spatial and memory exploration. Cause-and-effect exploration is repeating actions that produce similar outcomes. Problem solving is solving problems in action of trial and error, and seeking out an adult to help meet goals. Spatial and memory exploration is putting things together and taking them apart, and establishing routines.

Typical Skills

  • Develops size comparisons, using language like ‘bigger’, ‘smaller’, ‘really little’
  • Tries to dramatize thoughts and ideas (e.g., pretends to be a dinosaur)
  • Counts three objects
  • Matches similar pictures and objects, sorts different ones
  • Enjoys creative movement

Emerging Skills

  • Separates small objects from large ones
  • Makes a plan before taking action (e.g., searches for needed felt board pieces)
  • Notices changes in nature (e.g., when a seed he planted sprouts)
  • Uses words associated with an understanding of time (e.g. sleep time)
  • Pretends to be community helpers

Activities to Support Your Child's Development

Language

Language Development refers to various forms of language such as receptive and expressive language skills. Receptive language refers to toddlers listening to stories and responding to commands. For example completing the actions of ‘head and shoulders, knees and toes’. Expressive language combines words to communicate, increasing vocabulary and attempting to join conversations.

Typical Skills

  • Asks questions frequently, using ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’
  • Participates in storytelling and recites nursery rhymes
  • Repeats five-word sentences
  • Converses with adults and peers and can be understood
  • Talks to self about recent events and make-believe characters

Emerging Skills

  • Uses and understands direction and position words like around, backward, forward, inside, underneath
  • Comments on details in picture books
  • Shows an understanding of story plots, acts them out using puppets or dolls
  • Answers complex questions like, “What is this?” or “How did you do that?”
  • Responds to requests like, “Go find your coat,” or “Please get a paper towel”