Ages 30‑36 Months
Social and Emotional Development
- Encourage imaginary play. Join in with questions: "Is the soup ready?"
- Provide chances to play with other children. Make sure a trusted adult is close by when children are playing.
- Praise good behaviour. Instead of saying "good girl," say, "Sharing your teddy with Kim was very kind."
- Accept your toddler's feelings and talk about them. Give and use words for feelings: "disappointed," "hurt," "thrilled," "excited."
What Your Toddler Is Likely to Do
- Show affection openly, for example, by hugging and kissing.
- Use social language, such as “please,” “thank you,” and “bye‑bye.”
- Play with others and take turns more easily.
- Play make‑believe games and create imaginary characters.
- Be upset with major changes in routines.
- Know and respond to other people’s feelings.
- Become more comfortable with new people.
- Want to do things by her‑ or himself, but may fear new experiences.
- Want approval and need praise.
Other Things Your Toddler May Do
- Copy adult behaviours, such as shopping, banking, parenting, breastfeeding, or cooking.
- Create an imaginary friend to talk to.
- Be more comfortable around new adults.
- Help other children to do things.
- Develop skills such as taking turns, sharing, and using words instead of fighting.
- Explain his or her feelings when asked about them.
- Understand the feelings of other children and talk about them.
- Stamp feet when frustrated.
- Ask you to tell certain stories to help deal with her or his fears.
How You Can Help Social and Emotional Development
- Introduce your toddler to familiar neighbours and community workers.
- Show affection with hugs and loving words.
- Praise good behaviour. Instead of saying “good girl,” or “good boy,” say, “Sharing your teddy with Kim was very kind.”
- Provide chances to play with other children.
- Encourage your toddler to wash, dress, and feed plastic dolls to teach caring for others.
- Encourage imaginary play. Join in with questions: “Is the tea ready?”
- Make sure you are nearby to help your toddler solve problems when playing with other children.
- Make sure a trusted adult is close by when children are playing.
- Continue to breastfeed.
- Praise your toddler’s new skills and when she or he does something without help.
- Accept your toddler’s feelings and talk about them.
- Give and use words for feelings: “disappointed,” “hurt,” “thrilled,” “excited.”
- Talk very simply about your own feelings as examples.
- Listen to and understand your toddler’s fears.
- Sing songs and read stories about emotions. Talk about the feelings of a story’s characters and why the characters might feel that way.