Personal and Social Skills
- Begins to play with other children
- Shares toys and takes turns with assistance
- Begins dramatic play, acting out whole scenes
- Tests limits (when adult says “no,” child acts anyway to see if adult really means “no”)
- Interprets reality to suit personal needs (“I don’t’ have to share because my brother doesn’t like cookies.”)
- Develops sense of humor; tells silly jokes
- Dresses, toilets, and eats with little help
- May develop fears (of the dark, fire, animals)
- Provide a safe, peaceful, supervised environment.
- Set up cooperative play situations (kicking a ball back and forth; working with another child to “cook” and serve an imaginary meal to dolls or adults).
- Help children solve social problems. (“Tell him you don’t’ like….)
- Describe desired behavior and have consistent expectations for behavior. (“Please walk next to me when we are in the store.”)
- Respond joyfully to child’s jokes.
- Give child enough time to dress, toilet, and eat independently.
Language and Understanding Skills
- Understands consequences of an event
- Begins to understand time concepts
- Recognizes and matches colors
- Begins to classify and group objects (by size, shape, color)
- Talks in short sentences and joins some sentences together
- Sings, learns finger plays
- Set limits on behavior and explain why they are necessary. (“Running into the street is not safe.”)
- Use appropriate words to describe past or future events (today, tomorrow, before, after, next).
- During story time ask child simple questions about the story.
- Encourage child to sort and match objects during routine tasks. (“Which things do we need to take a bath?” where do the forks go? “What other things could you wear on your feet?”)
- Teach child songs and finger plays.
- Talk about sequence of events and tell what comes next.
- Provide access to a computer with appropriate children’s software. Use it together.
Small Muscle (Fine Motor) Skills
- Begins to draw people and animals, including head and some other body parts
- Manipulates nontoxic modeling clay (making snakes and balls)
- Stacks small blocks and names structure
- Cuts with scissors
- Completes simple puzzles (6 to 8 pieces)
- Provide table toys (puzzles, beads, blocks).
- Provide large sheets of blank, unlined paper.
- Allow child to paint driveway with watercolors or plain water.
- Offer a variety of writing utensils (paint brushes, markers, colored pencils, crayons).
- Allow child to use materials independently-do not push child to “make” something.
- Provide material for child to manipulate (nontoxic modeling clay, finger paint, shaving cream, sand).
Large Muscle (Gross Motor) Skills
- Walks on a line
- Balances on one foot for several seconds
- Begins to hop on one foot
- Throws a ball a few feet with one hand
- Catches a bounced ball with two hands
- Rides a tricycle independently
- Uses a slide independently
- Make obstacles course for child to maneuver through (over chairs, under table).
- Play catch with a soft ball, increasing the distance gradually.
- Play catch with balls and beanbags of various sizes.
- Create a tricycle path with props such as stop signs and drive through windows.
- Play Follow the Leader, including challenging movements.
Play music for dancing.