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Milestones by three years old

Brother and sister reading

At three years old, your little one will be changing almost daily. They will be learning all the time and asking lots of questions about the world around them. Here are some of the milestones they're likely to meet by this age:


Your three-year-old will enjoy watching other children play, and will sometimes join in. They will feel confident asking you to play with them.

They will be able to tell how others feel and will respond to it. Their games will be becoming more complicated. Your child will also be happy making simple choices.


Your child will understand a lot of what is being said to them by this age. They will be able to follow instructions with more than one part.

They can listen to and remember simple stories with pictures.


By three, your child will able to speak in sentences. They can join four or five words together to express simple ideas. They can ask simple questions and talk about things in the past.

Their speech will be clearer too. It won’t be perfect, but you’ll be able to understand them most of the time. They might start using words, like ‘me’, ‘a’, and ‘the’.

Any concerns?

All children learn different things at different times. No two are the same. If your child is doing some of these things, but not all of them, this is normal.

If you are worried about your child's development, speak to your Health Visitor, family hub or childcare provider. They should be able to give you some simple ideas of how to support your child's development at home. Or they may suggest a visit to your GP.

Here are some other places where you may be able to find useful tips and advice: