During your child's third year, you may see your child develop a steady interest in other children. He is becoming more interested in socializing. He will be more in control of his emotions (feelings). Babyhood is over and you will notice that you are dealing with a "junior" human being. He may be more aware of things especially when it comes to social events. His mental (mind) powers will amaze you!
Consider enrolling him in a pre-school program. There are private and public programs available. A pre-school program will allow him additional opportunities to socialize and to learn how to get along with other children outside the home. It will also help prepare him for school. Also find out if your child is eligible for Head Start, a federally funded preschool program for low income families.
Emphasize use of scissors and making art projects. Remember, children like to cut hair, drapes, clothes, etc. Supervise play with friends, but allow freedom for problem-solving, role playing and make-believe activities.
This is my right hand; I'll raise it high;
This is my left hand; I'll touch the sky;
Right hand, Left hand (extend them)
Right hand, Left hand;
Pound, Pound, Pound.
Stand and hop on one foot
Walk up stairs using alternate feet
Walk down stairs, putting both feet on one step
Pedal large tricycles and kiddie cars
Undo buttons, especially large buttons, easily
Begin to cut with blunt-edged scissors
Pour water from a pitcher into a cup with a little spill
Be sure to supervise your child when playing with water or using scissors.
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Continue to help your child try new food - especially fruits, vegetables and lean meats.
Teach your child the habit of brushing his teeth after each meal. He will follow your example.
Allow your child to spend more time with other children his own age. Also allow him to visit with family and friends in their home on his own.
Give him building blocks to play with. Such play will now include building forts, towers and family, farm or town scenes.
Provide creative opportunities with art materials such as large crayons, paper, blunt-edged scissors, play dough, finger-paint, watercolors and paint brushes.
Allow him to dress up and pretend to be a doctor, nurse, lawyer, actor, truck driver and so on. Playing make-believe is normal and very important for brain development.
Give him time to solve problems on his own. Wait until he asks for your assistance before you help.
Allow him to watch limited educational or children's programs on TV. Continue to read to him daily.
Encourage him to tell you stories to develop original thinking and increase his vocabulary.
Singing action rhymes, songs and finger play will encourage his language development. Songs such as the "Itsy, Bitsy Spider" and "Five Little Monkeys" have rhyming words and finger play that goes with the song.
Have books for your child in your home. There are many children's books that have songs, rhymes or finger plays to go with the story. The librarian at your local library can help you find these books.