3 to 4 Years - National Therapy Center

Expressive Language

  • Uses 4-5 word sentences with some grammatical errors
  • Uses 3-4 sentences together to talk about day
  • Starts to use regular past tense verbs (-ed) and contractions (e.g., “they’re”)
  • Asks when and how questions
  • Answers basic who, what, and where questions
  • Can be understood by most people but may make some sound substitutions/omissions (80% intelligible)

Receptive Language

  • Understands words for some colors
  • Follows directions containing 2 actions
  • Understands most prepositions (in front, in back, in, on, off, etc.)
  • Knows some shapes (circle and square)
  • Understands night and day

Social Communication and Pragmatics

  • Calms down when caregiver leaves after about 10 minutes
  • Starts playing with other children
    • Regulatory/Sensory Organization

      • Attempts challenging activities
      • Follows turn taking and rules in a game

      Fine Motor

      • Uses a tripod grasp(thumb and fingers on opposite sides) on pencil or crayon
      • Dominant hand emerges
      • Uses non-dominant hand to stabilize objects
      • Colors within lines
      • Copies simple intersecting lines and shapes (e.g., square)
      • Uses scissor to cut simple shapes
      • Manipulates objects within the hand
      • Builds a tower with 9 blocks
      • Opens ziplocks, containers and lunch boxes
      • Dresses independently with the exception of small buttons, zippers and laces

      Gross Motor

      • Jumps, climbs, and runs
      • Begins to skip and hop
      • Runs with control, avoiding obstacles
      • Climbs stairs with alternating feet (with or without railing)
      • Stands briefly on one foot
      • Pedals and rides tricycle
      • Intentionally can walk on tip-toes
      • Climbs jungle gym