Children of this age can be even more confusing than 2 year-olds! Why? Because your child is now in the midst of enormous growth, physically and mentally as they take in masses of information about the world, sort and label and turn rapidly from baby into a small but fully-functioning person. Your child now has a clear picture of him/herself as individual and how he/she fits into the world around him/her.
Motor coordination, spatial awareness, problem solving and social interaction move on apace. Language development is amazing and many children of this age love playing with words.
In the next two years they will want to know about everything and thinking and memory develop accordingly.
During this time they are acquiring fine motor control – cutting, threading, drawing, fitting toys together. They are also able to use their large muscles with much greater control, marching, running, climbing, galloping, jumping, twisting and stopping more quickly. They learn to throw and catch and enjoy paying with hoops.
They are more anxious to watch and play with others and like to work in groups. They learn much by copying: parents and increasingly other children. This leads to imaginative play and they love pretending. Attention span increases and they have a love and need for repetition of favourite experiences.
The sheer enormity of change and development in the two years from 3 to 5 years is staggering. Their thirst for learning and sheer joy of life is uplifting and we need to cherish this special time.
What a lot is going on inside your miraculous child! Hardly surprising that there are some negative elements that need to be understood and coped with. Children of this age have short emotional spans. Because their skills fall behind their desires, they can easily become frustrated leading to quick tempers and even tantrums. This is normal. The easiest way to cope is to cleverly avoid confrontation. Let your child take their time. Emotions are on a short fuse but luckily things are quickly forgotten if something more interesting appears. Distraction can still work, though stubbornness can start to be a problem, even as they approach the stage of amicable 5 year-olds.