These last couple of years before your child starts school is a precious time. Cherish it! You’re still very much the centre of their world, but at three, your child is becoming more and more independent. They will be spending a lot of time getting to know who they are and learning what behaviour is ok (and isn’t). Beginning at around their third birthday, this is an era of what experts call ‘consolidation’, when children start discovering ‘me’ and ‘what I can do’. An exciting time!

There is a lot for three and four year-olds to learn and master. As well as developing their physical skills, such as hopping and using scissors, children are rapidly expanding their vocabulary. They will go from a vocab of around 200 words at the age of two, to between 500 and 5000 words by the time they start school.

They’re also discovering more about the world, getting a rudimentary sense of time, identifying what gender they are, learning to socialise, and (usually, though not always) firmly putting nappies behind them. Children this age are imaginative and naturally curious. Standby for a lot of ‘Why?’ questions. Try to be patient; this is your child’s way of saying ‘tell me more’.

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