Your Child at 3

toddlers playing next to each other

Your little one is off to preschool, making friends, and potty training.

They will need your help as they learn to share and use the toilet independently. Your guidance, encouragement and patience will set your child up for success.

Continued wellness visits to the doctor, a trip to the dentist, toilet training, sleep changes, and learning to share will be areas of concentration this year.

At 3 years old your child should be able to:

  • Throw and kick a ball
  • Draw circles and squares
  • Begin to copy capital letters
  • Dress and undress
  • Identify same and different objects
  • Talk in short sentences so that others understand
  • Tell and remember parts of stories
  • Cooperate with other children
  • Engage in fantasy play
  • Understand that there are ways to solve problems

If you have concerns about your child's development, contact the Washtenaw ISD Early Childhood Department at (734) 994-8100, ext. 1832.

Childhood experts agree: Attending a high-quality preschool program prepares children for kindergarten and beyond. A good preschool experience will provide your child with the essential skills for a successful entry into school and life.

In Washtenaw County, Head Start and Great Start Readiness Program offer tuition free preschool to three- and four-year olds. To learn more about tuition free preschool availability, please visit Washtenaw Free Preschool.

For information about private tuition-based preschool for three year olds, visit Great Start to Quality.

Finding a Preschool

Children at age 3 may have more trouble with nightmares and night terrors than younger children. Their fears, such as monsters under the bed or a fear of the dark, may increase their resistance to bedtime.

For a complete list of common sleep concerns and how to deal with them, visit Baby Center.

As your child has grown, so have many other things, like their curiosity, their vocabulary, and their need to understand their world. Many parents report that at age three, they become overwhelmed with the question "why?".

To better understand the reasons for "why?" and for tips on how to answer this question, visit Today's Parent.

Preschool children are busy learning about the world around them. They ask lots of questions and they love to imitate adults. They are learning to share and take turns (but don't always want to). Sometimes they want to play with others and sometimes they want to be alone.

Preschoolers also are quite independent. They like to try new things and often take risks. They may try to shock you at times by using "forbidden words."

PDF DocumentGetting attention is fun, being ignored is not.

Children benefit from being read to very early in life; it prepares them to be good students, good readers, and good listeners. Washtenaw Success By 6 Great Start Collaborative has developed 10 tips to help your child to become an early reader. Also included is a list of recommended reading for various ages. Continue to expand your child's world, visit the library, get a library card, and keep on reading!

First Steps Toward Reading and Writing

Books Preschoolers Like

  • Books that tell stories
  • Books about kids that look like them and live like them—but also books about different places and different ways of living
  • Books about going to school, books about making friends
  • Books with simple text they can memorize
  • Counting books, alphabet books, vocabulary books

As your child grows, you will have many opportunities throughout your day to teach your young child about safety.

At the age of three, children are very active and very curious. The potential for accidents increases as your child becomes more independent.

It is important now that your child understand basic safety precautions, such as wearing a helmet when biking, crossing the street safely, avoiding dangerous substances, and not talking to strangers. For some tips and ideas, visit

Have fun with your child as he learns about beat and rhythm as he moves to music. Choose a variety of music and have your child show you how the music makes him feel.

Visit Family Education for more fun ideas!

ADA & Accessibility

Our School Strives To Ensure Our Website Is Accessible To All Our Visitors 

Washtenaw ISD is committed to providing a website that is fully accessible and we are currently in the process of developing a new website to better meet the needs of our customers. Our new website will include improvements to ADA compliance and accessibility, and during this transition, we remain committed to maintaining our existing website's accessibility and usability. 

ADA Compliance

Non Discrimination

It is the policy and commitment of the Washtenaw Intermediate School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, age, height, weight, familial status, marital status, genetic information, sexual orientation or any legally protected characteristic, in its educational programs, activities, admissions, or employment policies in accordance with Title IX of the 1972 Educational Amendments, executive order 11246 as amended, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and all other pertinent state and Federal regulations.

Non Discrimination Information

ADA and Title IX Coordinator ADA and Title IX Coordinator
Brian Marcel
Associate Superintendent
1819 S. Wagner Road 
Ann Arbor, MI  48103
(734) 994-8100 ext. 1402
Cassandra Harmon-Higgins
Executive Director, HR & Legal Services
1819 S. Wagner Road 
Ann Arbor, MI  48103
(734) 994-8100 ext. 1311