Pre-schooler development - 30+ to 36 months

Parentree-editors 2008-08-15 01:13:14

Your child is now two-and-a-half years (30 months) old.  Preschoolers reach a number of developmental milestone between 30 and 36 months. There is also very wide variance in when they reach certain milestones.  Some preschoolers will exhibit certain behaviours early in the period, and some by the end. Remember that every child is unique and that is what we love about them.

Do bring it to your doctor's attention if there is an abnormal delay in reaching a developmental milestone. Regular visits to the paediatrician are required to ensure that your preschooler is progressing normally.

From the mouths of preschoolers

  • I will copy the behaviour and activities of the people around me. I may bring a glass to my mouth and claim "I am drinking tea" like my parents do.
  • I can speak some sentences clearly enough that people who are strangers will be able to understand them
  • I can also say "I am two years old" or "Almost three"
  • I know some of the basic alphabets and can identify a few
  • I can usually count to three and maybe up to four or five


  • Your preschooler will be able to pedal a tricycle
  • Your preschooler will also be able to catch large light balls thrown to her
  • Your preschooler may be able to undress herself without your help.


  • Your toddler will start to seek out other children of her own age and play with them. This helps them learn about social interactions and how to form relationships through give-and-take. Play dates are great ways of teaching them these skills.
  • Your child's creativity will be increasing and manifesting itself in role-play, pretend-play etc. It is important that you encourage them in this and if they assign you a role, play along. Be a kid again. 
  • Your preschooler may have started identifying favourites among nursery rhymes, stories, dolls, tv shows etc. and will ask for them repeatedly. 
  • Your preschooler will start drawing more purposefully (ie. claiming to draw a car or a sun or a moon) though the outcome may only be a scribble. Keep encouraging them. Though it may appear that they have no idea what an object looks like, that is not the case. They know what the object looks like but their hands are not fully capable of drawing the image they have in their brains. This will come over time. Enjoy the scribbles. Preserve a few for posterity.

Terrible Twos

The age between 24 to 36 months is often referred to as the "terrible twos". This is the time when your preschooler discovers communication, starts to develop some independence and then decides to try and use both to discover their boundaries. This often manifests itself as tantrums and other disagreements. It is a period where a parent has to strike a fine balance between showering love, being patient and clearly drawing lines.

If you give in to every temper tantrum, your preschooler will learn that if they cry or shout long enough, they get what they want. If you discipline them for every tantrum, they think you don't understand them and become withdrawn.

So what can you do:

  • Try to avoid a confrontation.  Distract the child if you are heading towards one.
  • If they insist on doing something themselves, let them do it as long as there is no danger.  They will soon get tired and ask for your help. All it will cost you is a little extra time. Plan your schedule so that there is extra time to indulge your preschooler's "I will do it" instinct.
  • If you ask them to do something and they refuse, try it again after a little bit of time. The circumstances may have changed.
  • Be patient. Take a deep breath if you feel are about to lose it
  • Don't get embarrassed and give in to your kids just because you want them to shut up
  • Give your preschooler a choice which makes them feel they are in charge
  • Don't get angry every time they have a tantrum. If you get angry and yell every time, you will succeed in snuffing out the tantrum. But the child starts becoming less confident and ends up with less self-esteem. You will also be teaching your child that the only way to deal with disagreements is to get angry. This will make it extremely hard for them to make friends as they grow up. Use disciplining judiciously.


  • Tricycle with pedals
  • Puzzles with up to 15 pieces
  • Construction sets with large plastic blocks and interlocking mechanisms
  • Large plastic or wooden nuts, and bolts
  • Simple set of alphabets, shapes, colours, numbers
  • Matching games
  • Dolls that talk and have more realistic features like hair
  • Different costumes or costume accessories for dolls
  • Finger paint, chalk, and crayons
  • Modelling clay
  • Safe plastic scissors and paper
  • Books with popups or tabs that are lifted to discover something underneath
  • Picture books with short storylines


1. Toy Safety Publications of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission


Child development - Baby, Toddler & Preschooler

Developmental milestones
Age appropriate toys
Physical development
Tips to nurture your child



2011-12-27 11:32:42


hi, very useful blog,actuclly taught me more and pointed my mistakes too :-) can u pls also put same developement and skills list for the age of 3+ to 4. i was jus comparing my daughter's activity with this blog yes, she does almost everything mentioned here. Now she is 3yrs and 2mons so wish to know more abt this age group. (especially now shes terrible twos)

2011-07-29 16:54:12


Thanks Roshmom, will check it out!!!

2011-07-28 14:43:52


brilladith, if u are ok with online shopping check this link best lock from funskool is really good for lttle hands. ofcourse there is lego too. hope this helps

2011-07-28 13:34:00


Hi Shobha, Where can we find the Large blocks with interlocking sys. I have been hunting for this in Chennai for quite some time. May be I am not hitting the right spot.

2011-05-03 19:30:14


Another very good blog. I did a mental 'ticking' to see what all my kid is doing at present based on the list.:) Regards!


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