According to Piaget, the three-year-old is in the preoperational stage of development. One main characteristic of a three-year-old is their egocentric, or self-centered, thinking. They believe that everyone sees the world as they do. They also tend to fix on one aspect of a situation and ignore others, and they cannot mentally reverse a series of events or steps. The typical three-year-old stands about 34 to 43 inches in height and weighs 25 to 44 pounds with a more adult-like appearance. They have a full set of baby teeth and usually sleep through the night without wetting the bed. As the three-year-old grows, they need nurturing environments with developmentally appropriate practices where they feel safe and loved and can thrive in all developmental areas. These areas of development include gross and fine motor, cognitive, language and social emotional. As we continue to look at the three-year-old, we will review the typical development in these areas. Fine motor skills include the child's ability to use small muscles in coordination with the eyes. The fine motor skills of a three-year-old might include holding a spoon, turning pages of a book, drawing simple shapes, using crayons, cutting with scissors, and building an 8-block tower. Fine motor development contributes to communication skills; such as handwriting. Fine motor skills are necessary for mastery of handwriting. Gross motor skills include the child's ability to use large muscles. Typical gross motor skills of a three-year-old might include running, throwing and catching a large ball, hopping, climbing, and pedaling a tricycle. Gross motor skills usually develop before fine motor. Play becomes a major factor in the area of gross motor skills by enhancing muscle development and body control. Children at this age are interested in perfecting their motors skills and will spending hours climbing the jungle gym, sliding or riding their tricycle. Cognitive development is the child's...
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