What developmental milestones should my child be able to do by 36 months (3 years) of age?

Every parent strives to be the best they know how to be.  The trouble is we often do not know what to encourage prior to the age the skill should be mastered.  We are here to help you with that.

Do you have a child who is 3 years old or approaching that age?

Use the below checklist to see where your child is and what you should encourage.  Often parents have not even offered these opportunities to their children.  Now you will know just when to do that.


 ____Grasps pencil with thumb and fingers instead of fist

____Screws and unscrews jar lids

____Imitates drawing a horizontal line

____Use a fork with spilling

____Button large button

____Control liquid intake with lips while using a cup

____Wipes around nose with a tissue when reminded

____Push arms into sleeves and pulls clothes to shoulders

____Uses a fork to stab food

How did your child do?  Did you learn you need to get the crayons out more?  Maybe offer utensils like forks and spoons at dinner.  Probably your child has never tried to unscrew the lid to a jar.  Now you know that the above skills are such that you should be letting your child succeed and fail while trying to learn to perform the skills on their own.

You might need to get a pencil grip for their pencil to encourage the correct grip.

Does your child have clothes with buttons?  If not, maybe you can find dress up clothes or a siblings shirt for practice.

Weekends are a great time to try to plan for extra time to allow your child to dress themselves.  This will be less frustrating for all if you can plan a time so you and your child are not rushed.

When you are at home, have your child wipe their own nose in front of a mirror.  This will give visual feedback with your verbal tips so your child is successful.

If after a couple months of trying to master these developmental milestones with your child you are not have the success you want, reach out to your pediatrician.  Our Occupational Therapists love to teach parents tips on how to help their child.

Posted in



Developmental Checklist

Is your child meeting their developmental milestones?