Happy African American family with their little girl.

3 Year Online Milestone Checklist

3-year old girl, smiling

How your child plays, learns, speaks, acts, and moves offers important clues about your child’s development. Developmental milestones are things most children (75% or more) can do by a certain age. Check the milestones your child has reached by the end of 3 years by completing the checklist below. Share it with your child’s doctor, teacher, and other providers, and be sure to talk about the milestones your child has reached and what to expect next.

Checking children’s development regularly is important. CDC’s free Milestone Tracker app is also available to complete the checklists, with reminders and helpful tips on the go!  Available on the AppStoreexternal iconexternal icon and GooglePlayexternal iconexternal icon.

Your Child at 3 Years

Milestones matter! Check the milestones your child has reached by age 3 by completing the checklist below.

*These fields are required.


CDC does not collect or share any personal information that can be used to identify you or your child.
Click the photos and videos below for examples of the milestones.
What Most Babies Do by this Age:
Social/Emotional

Copies adults and friends




Shows affection for friends without prompting




Takes turns in games




Shows concern for crying friend




Understands the idea of “mine” and “his” or “hers”




Shows a wide range of emotions




Separates easily from mom and dad




May get upset with major changes in routine




Dresses and undresses self




Language/Communication

Follows instructions with 2 or 3 steps




Can name most familiar things




Understands words like “in,” “on,” and “under”




Says first name, age, and sex




Names a friend




Says words like “I,” “me,” “we,” and “you” and some plurals (cars, dogs, cats)




Talks well enough for strangers to understand most of the time




Carries on a conversation using 2 to 3 sentences




Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)

Can work toys with buttons, levers, and moving parts




Plays make-believe with dolls, animals, and people




Does puzzles with 3 or 4 pieces




Understands what “two” means




Copies a circle with pencil or crayo




Turns book pages one at a time




Builds towers of more than 6 blocks




Screws and unscrews jar lids or turns door handle




Movement/Physical Development

Climbs well




Runs easily




Pedals a tricycle (3-wheel bike)




Walks up and down stairs, one foot on each step width=




Selected “not sure”? Watch for these milestones over the next week or two. Try some things with your child that gives him/her the chance to show the milestone. If you’re still not seeing the milestone, see the steps below.

Selected “not yet” or have other concerns or questions about your child’s development? Talk with your child’s doctor, teacher and/or another trusted provider. Share the checklist and any questions or concerns you might have. Ask about developmental screening. It’s recommended for all children. If you, the doctor, teacher, or other provider is still concerned after screening, ask to be connected with (1) a specialist who can learn more about your child AND (2) with services and other supports that may help. Visit www.cdc.gov/Concerned for more information.


– Share the checklist with your child’s healthcare provider, early educator, WIC Clinic, or other care providers by FORWARDING the email you receive.
– Be sure to add your child’s name and birthdate (if needed) when forwarding the checklist so your provider can identify it as your child’s.