Learning to Talk and Communicate

  • Limit TV and videos to no more than 1–2 hours each day.
  • Be aware of what your child is watching on TV.
  • Read books together every day. Reading aloud will help your child get ready for preschool. Take your child to the library and story times.
  • Give your child extra time to answer questions.
  • Listen to your child carefully and repeat what is said using correct grammar.

Getting Ready for Preschool

  • Make toilet-training easier.
    • Dress your child in clothing that can easily be removed.
    • Place your child on the toilet every 1–2 hours.
    • Praise your child when she is successful.
  • Try to develop a potty routine.
  • Create a relaxed environment by reading or singing on the potty.
  • Think about preschool or Head Start for your child.
  • Join a playgroup or make playdates.

Family Routines

  • Get in the habit of reading at least once each day.
  • Your child may ask to read the same book again and again.
  • Visit zoos, museums, and other places that help your child learn.
  • Enjoy meals together as a family.
  • Have quiet pre-bedtime and bedtime routines.
  • Be active together as a family.
  • Your family should agree on how to best prepare for your growing child.
    • All family members should have the same rules.


  • Be sure that the car safety seat is correctly installed in the back seat of all vehicles.
  • Never leave your child alone inside or outside your home, especially near cars
  • Limit time in the sun. Put a hat and sunscreen on the child before he goes outside.
  • Teach your child to ask if it is OK to pet a dog or other animal before touching it.
  • Be sure your child wears an approved safety helmet when riding trikes or in a seat on adult bikes.
  • Watch your child around grills or open fires. Place a barrier around open fires, fire pits, or campfires. Put matches well out of sight and reach.
  • Install smoke detectors on every level of your home and test monthly. It is best to use smoke detectors that use long-life batteries, but if you do not, change the batteries every year.
  • Make an emergency fire escape plan.

Water Safety

  • Watch your child constantly whenever he is near water including buckets, play pools, and the toilet. An adult should be within arm’s reach at all times when your child is in or near water.
  • Empty buckets, play pools, and tubs right after use.
  • Check that pools have 4-sided fences with self-closing latches.

Getting Along With Others

  • Give your child chances to play with other toddlers.
  • Have 2 of her favorite toys or have friends buy the same toys to avoid battles.
  • Give your child choices between 2 good things in snacks, books, or toys.
  • Follow daily routines for eating, sleeping, and playing.

What to Expect at Your Child’s 3 Year Visit

We will talk about

  • Reading and talking
  • Rules and good behavior
  • Staying active as a family
  • Safety inside and outside
  • Playing with other children
Newsletter Icon
Get Our E-Newsletter