What Should A 3 Year Old Know Educationally?

Jessica Hyden - Publish Date: October 30, 2019 - Modified Date: June 3, 2020

What should a 3 year old know educationally? How can we help as parents?An interesting question because a 3-year old child is always learning, and as parents, you have to match their learning speed.

This is the time when they start exploring the world around them and learn every single bit from it. In this sense, they are like a sponge that absorbs any and every information you throw at them.

So, this may also be a good time to prepare your child for a world of learning and education.

So, What Should A 3-Year Old Know Educationally?

What are the milestones that they should reach as a part of their normal growth and development? Answers to these questions can give you an idea of what to teach a 3-year old at home. Experts have identified four broad things that they should know educationally, and they are as follows.

3 Year Old Reading Skills

Many of us think that reading skills start at school, typically around five years of age. But the truth is, kids, start building the blocks necessary for reading, even when they are infants. They hear different words and the way they are pronounced and as they get older, they try to understand the meaning of these words.

Between the ages of three to five years, children understand the “phonetic” aspect. This is why this period is a critical age to develop reading skills.

They get familiar with new words and learn to repeat them after you.

Sometimes, they even try to use it in sentences of their own and many times, in the right context as well! Also by this time, they have their favorite books. And don't be surprised if you see your 3-year old browsing through it and trying to read it all by them!

Some preschoolers learn to read and write letters and numbers by the time they are three. But on average, most children can identify alphabets and distinguish them from numbers by this age. This is an important skill needed to become excellent readers later on.

As a parent, make it a point to read books to them as often as you can. Read a variety of books, even if they are on topics that your child can't yet understand.

The idea is to expose them to different words and help them get familiar with the language, so reading follows naturally. Above everything, create a love for books that will help them to become great learners.

Identifying Objects For Toddlers

Three-year-old kids should identify different objects easily. Most times, they should also know where and how that object is used. In general, between the ages of two to three years, kids can identify different colors and shapes though they may not know the specific color or shape name.

This is why building blocks or large pieces of Lego are an ideal activity for children of this age.

This ability to identify different shapes comes handy when in education too because this is exactly how they learn to distinguish one alphabet or number from another. When they keep looking at alphabets or numbers repeatedly, they also get familiar with it and over time, understand their use too.

As parents, you should expose them to as many objects as possible so this ability to distinguish gets ingrained in them strongly. Use household items like spoons, non-glass tumblers, stones, small kid’s pillow, and just about anything that looks and feels different.

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Creating an Association Between Objects

Some children even make an association between related objects. An example, when you give children a square object and a triangle object, they are more likely to keep the triangle on top of the square to build a “house.”

This idea is based on the images they see in the book or even from images in the real-world. Such an association helps them in two distinct ways.

First off, it helps to improve their imagination and creativity. Have you ever noticed that your child tries to arrange things together in different ways and make up different objects on their own?

Those are signs of creativity and come from the fundamental idea of understanding. That objects are different, and yet they can be brought together to create new things.

This creativity, as well as understanding, will come handy when they are ready to learn different science concepts in school. When do you ask your child to sort similar objects? You are engaging them in an interesting activity. And at the same time, you are also helping them to improve their thinking skills.

Both of these are essential for them to understand science or even engineering ideas in the future.

Due to these benefits, working with your child to help them identify different objects, their shapes, and colors can set the stage to achieve excellence in education later on.

3 Year Old Vocabulary

Earlier we spoke about honing reading skills and a related skill that a three-year-old should have is vocabulary. While you can't expect a wide range of words from your child, they should still be able to convey what they want in a clear sentence. 

When you speak to your child about different things, they tend to get exposed to more words, and this increases their vocabulary. According to Kidshealth.org, a typical three-year-old should know at least 200 different words. And you can increase this number by spending time with them and talking to them often.

So, the next time you think about what to teach a 3-year old at home. You can consider these ideas as they lay the foundation for excellence in education later in life. This is a crucial age for learning, so spend a lot of time with your child and engage them in different hands-on activities.

At the same time, understand that each child is different and learns at their own pace, so create a pressure-free opportunity for learning

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