- Plays with other children cooperatively
- Explores gender roles (mommy/daddy) and community helper roles (firefighter, shop keeper)
- Understands limits and defines them for others
- Respects authority, though may still test limits
- Participates in group games
- Chooses own friends
- Is sensitive about teasing
- Likes silly jokes
- Dresses, toilets, and eats independently
- Provide opportunities for role playing and pretending discourage violent play).
- Group same-age children together or invite a child of similar age for a “play date” to encourage cooperative play.
- Teach simple games (Duck, Duck, Goose).
- Allow child to help set limits. (“How many turns will each child get?”)
- Help child develop strategies for solving social problems. (“Use words, not hitting”; “what else could you do?” “What will you say next time?”)
Language and Understanding Skills
- Asks questions to gain information (Why…?, How…?)
- Understand routines and can tell what activity comes first or next in a sequence
- Plays with language, making up nonsense words
- Answer questions about stories and retells stories with assistance
- Joins sentences together
- Read storybooks to child.
- Ask child questions about stories and have child retell stories.
- Encourage child to act out stories from books or imagination and use different voices for the character.
- Engage child in what if games to encourage child’s own storytelling (“What if you could fly….)
- Expand the range of computer software available to child.
- Arrange trips to the library, zoo, and special events such as parades.
- Play rhyming games with child. (“Can you say three words that rhyme with cat?)
Small Muscle (Fine Motor) Skills
- Cuts on a line
- Copies shapes
- Prints a few letters
- Draws to represent objects
- Builds symmetrical structures with blocks
- Makes sculptures with nontoxic modeling clay
- Provide building toys such as blocks.
- Offer child a variety of surfaces to write on (construction paper, envelope, chalkboard, cardboard).
- Encourage child to represent objects and activities through drawing.
- Provide nontoxic modeling clay, sand, and paper and glue.
- Limit number of different objects child may use at one time.
Large Muscle (Gross Motor) Skills
- Walks backwards
- Walks up and down stairs without help, alternating feet
- Begins to skip
- Kicks a ball accurately
- Turns somersaults
- Follows movement directions (“Put your hand on your head, take two giant steps, then turn around.”)
- Let child help design obstacle course (balance beams, chairs to climb over, table to crawl under, see saws).
- Roll and pass large plastic hoops to each other.
- Organize a noncompetitive kick ball game.
- Take child to playground to practice climbing, balancing, and other movement activities.
- Play Simon Says, including challenging movements.
- Skip with child from the house to the car.
- Encourage child to practice walking backwards.
Play music for dancing and provide musical instruments child can play while dancing or marching.