Play through the ages: Ages 30 to 36 months
Children develop at their own pace with expectations for each age range. Let us look at development for ages 30 to 36 months.
As we look at the developmental age range of 30 to 36 months, the highlight of the range will be language development with a large increase in vocabulary and higher usage of words to be involved in conversation while also following more complex directions.
We will now discuss some important developmental milestones and appropriate activities associated with children ages 30 to 36 months. The discussion will revolve around five specific areas of development and fun activities associated with increasing a child’s skills within these areas. The expectations are listed in appropriate developmental order below.
Gross motor development is the large muscle movements of the body. For children ages 30 to 36 months the developmental expectations include consistently walking up and down a flight of stairs, having the ability to balance on each foot and beginning to hop on one foot.
Activities for the 30-to-36-month age range include kicking a large ball that is moving, practicing walking up and down larger flights of stairs (six to eight steps), making an obstacle course around the house involving running and jumping, jumping in and out of a hula-hoop several times in a row and practicing riding a tricycle.
Fine motor development is the small muscle movements of the body. For children ages 30 to 36 months the developmental expectations include being able to string small beads or cheerios, building a small structure out of blocks (usually with three to four blocks), consistently imitating horizontal and vertical lines and starting to imitate a cross or plus sign when shown by an adult.
Activities for the 30-to-36-month age range include practice stringing together small objects using shoe strings (cheerios, life savers), coloring with your child and practicing drawing things that crossover such as a plus sign (show them two distinct strokes to imitate) and stacking and building with multiple types of objects (blocks, boxes, cans).
Language development is a child’s ability to communicate with others verbally and nonverbally. Activities for the 30-to-36-month age range include practicing asking open-ended questions (tell me about your toy truck), using prepositions with children (on, behind, below), practicing two-step directions (go upstairs and find a book) and repeating what they say and adding extra words or a question (red truck, the truck is red with black wheels).
Social development refers to a child’s ability to interact with their environment and other people. For children ages 30 to 36 months, the developmental expectations include putting their own shoes on, feeding themselves completely, doing chores around the house, showing interest in other children, taking turns when asked and using speech to ask for help on a consistent basis.
Activities for the 30-to-36-month age range include practice asking other children to play, having them do chores with you (put dishes away, laundry in washer), using sharing words and sharing objects back and forth, using “please” and “thank you” often and giving them directions for jobs around the house.
Emotional development refers to a child’s ability to express their feelings to others and notice how others are feeling. For children ages 30 to 36 months, the developmental expectations include responding to other’s feelings, showing a range of feelings, choosing to play with others, doing almost everything on their own before asking for help and developing skills for coping with stressful situations.
Activities for the 30-to-36-month age range include labeling and modeling new feelings, putting feeling names to faces, stepping back and letting children engage other children on their own, asking a child how they are feeling and asking a child how they think other’s may be feeling (in books and in real life).
To learn about the positive impact children and families are experience due to MSU Extension programs, read our 2016 Impact Reports: “Preparing young children to success” and “Preparing the future generation for success.” Additional impact reports, highlighting even more ways Michigan 4-H and MSU Extension positively impacted individuals and communities in 2016, can be downloaded from the Michigan 4-H website.
Other articles in series
- Play through the ages: An introduction
- Play through the ages: Ages 0 to 6 months
- Play through the ages: Ages 6 to 12 months
- Play through the ages: Ages 12 to 18 months
- Play through the ages: Ages 18 to 24 months
- Play through the ages: Ages 24 to 30 months