Motor Skills at Three!

Parenting Technique 63 – According to the literature once your child has reached the age of three he or she has all the basic motor skills. From now on the name of the game is refining these skills all the way through to adulthood… and what that means for you is good, clean, fun!

Three Years to Four

While activities up to this time have focused on skills, they now take on a more purposeful format. Your child is now able to learn more rules and be better able to follow instructions. He or she will be able to use newfound skills for many rewarding movement and game experiences… for you both!

– adapted from Constructive Parenting by Sally Goldberg, p. 63

Constructive Parenting…

Here is a sampling of activities that you and your three-year-old might enjoy together. They are explained further in Constructive Parenting, pp. 63-64.

  • Making Collages – Tear construction paper into small pieces and place them on a sheet of paper filled with paste. (pincer grasp)
  • Tying – Hang long yarn pieces on a doorknob and ty them in different ways… into knots, bows, or even braids. (general fine motor)
  • Making Patterns – Copy each other with checkers, colored golf tees, or colored swizzle sticks. (thumb and forefinger dexterity)
  • Drawing on Paper – Make all kinds of marks together on paper. Then enjoy expanding each one into more elaborate designs. (general fine motor)
  • Following Each Other – Put on the music and move! Let your child start, and then you copy. Next you do the moves for him or her to copy. Keep taking turns and having fun. (general gross motor)

NOTE: Remember what it says above about being able to learn more rules and follow more directions? Enjoy!

May! The Month of the Mothers

Play an old standby with your little one.

M is for ___________.

O is for ___________.

T is for ___________.

H is for ___________.

E is for ___________.

R is for ___________.

While your older child might enjoy writing great adjectives to describe you or even use whole descriptions to explain what you mean to him or her, your little one might like to give you any words he or she knows that go with these very special letters.

Dad, you might like to have this activity up your sleeve for when you have your own “daddy” time with the kids.

NOTE: Starting on Mother’s Day, May 12, just for the month of May, we will be switching to a Q & A tip format.

Send in your parenting question now to, and Dr. Sally will answer it as soon as possible on Tuesday Afternoon Tea. If you would like to ask your question anonymously, please indicate that on your question.

Subscribe to Tips

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *