SPEECH DEVELOPMENT IN THREE YEAR OLDS
3 years of age! Wow that time goes fast, and now you’re starting to think about Kindergarten!
Three year olds are generally pretty good communicators. They can understand and answer ‘what’, ‘where’ and ‘who’ questions. Sometimes, it sounds like they’re on repeat, asking questions repeatedly! It’s important to take the time to answer them though, as each time they hear your answer, they are processing and understanding a little bit more.
They’re better at following instructions, and these are getting more complex with multiple steps (e.g. give me the ball and cuddle the teddy). Now is a good time to make ‘helping’ and ‘packing up’ fun, for both of your benefits.
At three years of age children are mastering their categorising skills. They understand the concepts of ‘same’ and ‘different’ and they are able to sort items into groups (e.g. toys vs. food). Other concepts that three year olds are rapidly mastering are colours and shapes.
Some three year olds just don’t stop talking! They’re usually using 4 or 5 words in many of their sentences, and this include a nice range of nouns (e.g. horse), verbs (e.g. running) and adjectives (brown). They also have a range of words to talk about locations and descriptions, and talking about how things might be the same or different.
At this age, children are developing grammatical skills, such as using plurals (e.g. horses), past tense forms (e.g. jumped) and starting to use pronouns (e.g. me, you, he, she).
Three year olds’ play is also full of adventure, new ideas, creating new play themes and stories, and lots of imaginative play. This is vital for future language development, socialising skills and essential for the later schooling years.
Parents can usually understand most of what their three year old is saying, but you may still need to translate some of your child’s speech for less familiar people. Most consonant sounds are in your child’s speech, but they may still have difficulties with: s, l, r, th
If you’re concerned about how your child’s communication skills are developing, give Teagan and the team a call at Talk Time Speech and Language Pathology.