three to four years

What should my child be able to do?

Children develop at their own rate. Your child might not have all skills until the end of the age range.  


Hearing and Understanding

  • Responds when you call from another room.
  • Understands words for some colors, like red, blue, and green.
  • Understands words for some shapes, like circle and square.
  • Understands words for family, like brother, grandmother, and aunt.


Talking

  • Answers simple who, what, and where questions.
  • Says rhyming words, like hatcat.
  • Uses pronouns, like I, you, me, we, and they.
  • Uses some plural words, like toys, birds, and buses.
  • Most people understand what your child says.
  • Asks when and how questions.
  • Puts 4 words together. May make some mistakes, like “I goed to school.”
  • Talks about what happened during the day. Uses about 4 sentences at a time.

What can I do to help?

  • Cut out pictures from old magazines. Make silly pictures by gluing parts of different pictures together. For example, cut out a dog and a car. Glue the dog into the car as the driver. Help your child explain what is silly about the picture.
  • Sort pictures and objects into categories, like food, animals, or shapes. Ask your child to find the picture or object that does not belong. For example, a baby does not belong with the animals.
  • Read, sing, and talk about what you do and where you go. Use rhyming words. This will help your child learn new words and sentences.
  • Read books with a simple story. Talk about the story with your child. Help her retell the story, or act it out with props and dress-up clothes. Tell her your favorite part of the story. Ask for her favorite part.
  • Look at family pictures. Have your child tell a story about the picture.
  • Help your child understand by asking him questions. Have him try to fool you with his own questions. Make this a game by pretending that some of his questions fool you.
  • Act out daily activities, like cooking food or going to the doctor. Use dress-up and role-playing to help your child understand how others talk and act. This will help your child learn social skills and how to tell stories.
  • Talk to your child in the language you are most com