Topics for conversation: Typical 3 ½ year-olds can relate experiences from the recent past and they can tell you what they are doing at that moment. They can also describe what objects are used for.
Developing a sense of identity: They can give their name, surname, age and gender as well as the names of their parents.
Language comprehension: They understand questions that start with what, who, where and why. They can follow commands that require them to keep three things in mind. For example, “Point to the cat, the dog and the cow.” They understand words such as loud, quiet, fast, slow, light (weight), heavy, hot, cold, soft, rough. They also recognise many colours.
One very effective way to stretch a three-year-old’s language and build reasoning skills is to have everyday conversations that teach them to question and think about things.
Practically speaking, when you are about to do something that is going to bring about a certain change, don’t do it straight away. Pause, ask a “What will happen” question and then have a discussion to find an answer together.
- What will happen if we put the dough into the warm oven?
- What will happen if I blow air into this balloon?
- What will happen if I add bubble solution to the water?
- What will happen if I hang the wet shirt on the washing line?