Psychomotor development of the child - 31 to 36 months

In today’s last part of the serie about psychomotor development of the child, where we focus on the period between 31 and 36 month. We again bring you few tutorials how you can test your child at home, and whether the development of your three year old is going in the right direction. We will also try to offer you ideas for games which may be ideal for your three year old children. (previous part of the serie)


Your child is now much more active and agile. The child will be able to walk into the stairs as well as down the stairs, and at the same time switch both legs and not holding onto the handrail. The child is also proficient with riding on the tricycle and bicycle with training wheels. The child is also able to jump into the air, as well as jumping on one leg.


Testing the maturity of the rough motor skills

The test for mature rough motor skills is standing on one leg. Some children that are 3 years old can stand on one leg for 3 seconds, without significantly falling down.


3 Years

Three year old children like to compete in various games based on jumping, running and climbing. You can test by yourself how well can you child hold balance.

Tip for a game

You can play with your children by prompting them to jump on one leg with hands placed on the hips. Or they can jump on both legs as well. Rhythmically switch - the movements of the arms during walking can be supported by playing music. Children will love to play games where they can burn the excessive energie. Therefore you should go with your child to playgrounds, where they can ride on the slides, play with the seesaw, swing, jungle gym, simply any place where they can exercise their balance.

Development of the rough motor skills will be ended up until 5th year of life, when the child will be able to do:

  • Walking variations to music
  • Climbing
  • Riding on mobile toys without security elements
  • Various movement games

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When playing with cubes, three year old child can build 9 to 10 cubes on top of each other. It is important to have a flat surface on which the child will build the tower. The child will be also able to build a bridge from three cubes and assess the distance that has to be between the two cubes below, so that the cube above wouldn’t fall down.

Children, drawing with pencil will draw things that will be easily identifiable. The drawing is usually depicting figures, with detailed ears, nose and wide smile showing upper and lower lip as well as teeth, but also toes and fingers. Drawings of animals and objects is usually similar.

What can the child do?

  • The child is able to draw a circle.
  • Draw two straight lines, which are crossing in a right angle, even though it might not be completely precise.

What is the child not able to do?

  • Drawing right angled geometrical shapes
  • When coloring the coloring page, the child will doodle across the picture, even though there will be effort “fit into” the picture.

What can the child do alone?

  • If the child wants, it will be able to unzip or unbutton jacket or pants, which makes the child independent when it comes to dressing.
  • When cutting with scissors, the child can keep the line straight. More demanding picture are sheared strictly in simply geometrical shapes - rectangle, triangle. Picture of an animal from a magazine will be cut out in the shape of the photography.



First friendly bonds

Your child doesn’t have to be depending on you at all, instead the child can be more open towards other children. At the same time, children may start to create strong bonds with some adults and other children. If they see someone sad, they will try to cheer them up (e.g. handing a toy over to a crying child or younger sibling).

Forming positive attributes

It is ideal for a three year old child to be in a collective with other children. The child will learn positive characteristic such as unselfishness, and understanding the terms truth and honesty. If the child confesses doing something wrong, reward the child for speaking the truth. Wait with the punishment for later times.

Support your children in meeting other children as well as adults, the child will have healthy social connections and being able to resist (adults and children), if the child is assured that the activity is endangering its own consciousness and health.


Your child should talk more fluently, be more assured, using new words and even making up new words. Children will also realize that through talking they can affect the actions of other people, so they will start to say words like “bring me”, “can i get”, “I will try”, “you will do”, “help me” etc. The child will almost always speak in a conditional tense “if i would…”.

Development of grammar is fast. The child will usually use correct verb forms in the past and future tense (apart from irregular verbs, when the form of the verb responds to the made up form of verb in a present tense).

How to correct the children when they don’t talk correctly?

If the child is trying to find the correct form of the verb, gently help them out. Sensitively correct the mistakes. But you don’t need to correct your children all the time. You could discourage them from expressing themselves.

  • Ask the child for an opinion, if you know that you could agree with the response, the child will be very happy, because it made its own decision.
  • Use more complicated sentence structures. If your children speak to you, turn towards them and give them your attention.
  • Play chinese whisper - three year old children like to whisper, therefore you can together play chinese whisper or just whisper into each others ears, so that no one else could hear you.


Edible finger paint

Because children love to paint, we wrote down a recipe on edible finger paint. Thanks to that you can create pictures, of things you did today, books you read, saw, or with whom you have spent the day, played or talked to.

You will need:

  • Water
  • Starch
  • 75 grams of flour
  • Food colors


Mix in a pot 75 grams of flour with water, with constant mixing bring the mixture to a boiling point and add the starch mixed in small amount with cold water according to your own judgement. If the color would be too thin, it won’t stick on the fingers of the child, and painting with it would be impossible. If the color would be too thick, it will form blobs after it would get dry, and it would slough of the paper. Let the mixture cool down, and color it small amount of food color or water colors.

More articles


Published in magazine Uzliček, No: 1/2008
Author: Mgr. Iva Bílková, FYZIOklinika Ltd, Prague, Czech Republic

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