3 Years

Tips, Tricks & Resources

What to Expect

Watch your child’s memory blossom as they begin to memorize people, events, and movements! Additionally, expect your toddler to learn how to dress and undress themselves, copy words and actions, name familiar things, and walk up and down stairs (under supervision, of course!). Make sure to click on the Pre-K for All link below to learn about available programs, enrollment, FAQs, and more!

Events

Bring your little one to Tot Time!

Time: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Come play, learn, and make new friends! NYC Parks offers structured tots programs for children 6 months to 4 years old.

Toddler Creative Movement

Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Through creative movement, tots develop motor skills, reach educational milestones, and learn about communication and problem-solving.

Bilingual Story Time

Time: 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Hola! Families will enjoy 20 fun-filled minutes as they learn Spanish through stories and music, followed by 25 minutes of play-dough sensory time or craft. 

Programs

Free Pre-K for four-year-olds

Pre-K for All (Pre-K)

NYC Department of Education

Enroll your child in a free, full-day, high-quality Pre-K program.

Head start for 3 & 4 year olds

EarlyLearn NYC Head Start

NYC Administration for Children's Services

Eight hours a day of free early care and education for three and four year olds.

Early education for three-year-olds

3-K for All (3-K)

NYC Department of Education

3-K for All is free, full-day, high-quality education for New York City 3-year-olds, starting in School Districts 4, 5, 7, 16, 23, and 27.

Milestones

How your child plays, learns, speaks, and acts offers important clues about their development.

What most 3 year olds do at this age:

  • Social

    • Copy adults and friends
    • Show affection for friends without prompting
    • Take turns in games
    • Show concern for a crying friend
    • Understand ideas of “mine” and “his” or “hers”
    • Show a wide range of emotions
    • Separate easily from mom and dad
    • Can dress and undress self
  • Communication

    • Follow instructions with two or three steps
    • Can name most familiar things
    • Understand words like “in,” “on,” and “under”
    • Can say first name, age, gender
    • Can say words like “I,” “me,” “we,” and “you” and some plurals (dogs, cats)
    • Talk well enough for strangers to understand
    • Can carry on a conversation using two or three sentences
  • Learning

    • Can work toys with buttons, levers, and moving parts
    • Play make-believe with dolls, animals, and people
    • Can do puzzles with three or four pieces
    • Can copy a circle with pencil or crayon
    • Can turn book pages one at a time
    • Build towers of more than six blocks
    • Can screw and unscrew jar lids or turn door handle
  • Physical Development

    • Climb well, run easily, pedal a tricycle
    • Walk up and down stairs
  • Health

    • Have 3 ounces of grains daily
    • Have 1 cup of vegetables daily
    • Have 1 cups of fruits daily
    • Have 2 cups of milk daily
    • Have 2 ounces of meat and beans daily
    • Have at least 30 minutes of adult-led physical activity
    • Have 1 hour of free play
    • Are not inactive for more than 1 hour at a time (unless sleeping)
    • Sleep about 10-13 hours per day
    • Are on schedule with shots

Act early by talking to a doctor, teacher, or social worker if your child:

    • Drools or has unclear speech
    • Can’t work simple toys (peg boards, simple puzzles)
    • Doesn’t speak in sentences
    • Doesn’t understand simple instructions
    • Doesn’t play pretend or make-believe
    • Doesn’t want to play with other children or toys
    • Doesn’t make eye contact