Happy birthday! Edina is 3 years old…going to pre-school!
It is now three years since my beautiful grand-daughter, Edina Rose was born on September 14, 2010. Edina has given me an opportunity to not only spoil her, but to also observe her from a different perspective. When I had my own kids 30+ years ago, I, too, read the child development books. I was always trying to make sure that I was giving them the best opportunities for good health, learning and success. My two daughters have grown up to be very bright, beautiful and loving adults…I am blessed.
The demands of being a parent are tremendous; great excitement tempered with fatigue, time management challenges and basic survival! Being a grandmother and a developmental optometrist, still allows me to watch little Edina grow and develop, but without all the demands of being the parent. With my passion and interest in helping children with learning, I am, of course, closely monitoring her development.
As pre-schoolers, it is important for them to continue development of eye/hand/body coordination, eye teaming, and depth perception. Your child should have already received his first vision assessment from a developmental optometrist, it’s now time for his 2nd vision evaluation.
Remember, sending kids to school with vision problems is like going to work without the primary resources that you need for your job. Developmental visual skills are an essential part of school readiness.
By the end of 3 years, many children are able to:
- Copy/mimic adults and friends actions
- Show concern for crying friend
- Show a wide range of emotions
- Separate easily from mom and dad
- May get upset with major changes in routine
- Dress and undress self
- Follow instructions with 2 or 3 steps
- Name most familiar things
- Understand words like “in,” “on,” and “under”
- Say first name, age, and sex
- Name a friend
- Say words like “I,” “me,” “we,” and “you” and some plurals (cars, dogs, cats)
- Talk well enough for strangers to understand most of the time
- Carry on a conversation using 2 to 3 sentences
Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)
- Work toys with buttons, levers, and moving parts
- Play make-believe with dolls, animals, and people
- Do puzzles with 3 or 4 pieces
- Turn book pages one at a time
- Build towers of more than 6 blocks
- Screw and unscrew jar lids or turns door handle
- Climb well
- Run easily
- Pedal a tricycle (3-wheel bike)
- Walk up and down stairs, one foot on each step
- Have good tracking skills
- Judge distances more accurately when throwing objects (look out!)
- Look intently at a book as you read to the child
- Recognize people in photos
- Locate specific pictures in books
- Misalignment of the eyes (called strabismus) should not be present after 4-6 months.
- Your child does not seem interested in looking at objects or people
- Extreme sensitivity to lights
- Excessive tearing
- Red or encrusted eye lids
- Lack of visual attention
- Decreased movement or motor development
Act early by talking to your child’s doctor if your child:
- Falls down a lot or has trouble with stairs
- Drools or has very unclear speech
- Can’t work simple toys (such as peg boards, simple puzzles, turning handle)
- Doesn’t speak in sentences
- Doesn’t understand simple instructions
- Doesn’t play pretend or make-believe
- Doesn’t want to play with other children or with toys
- Doesn’t make eye contact
- Loses skills he once had
If you notice any of the concerns stated above, take your baby in for a professional eye examination from a developmental optometrist or ophthalmologist. Also discuss your concerns with your pediatrician or family doctor.
Way’s to encourage development
- Provide plenty of playtime, including playing alone, with peers and with their parents
- Use building blocks, puzzles and balls of all shapes and sizes to play with to boost fine motor skills
- Read or tell stories to stimulate your child’s ability to visualize and pave the way for learning and reading
- Listen to music and play with musical toys
- Provide tools for drawing, cutting and other artistic activities (crayons, markers, safe scissors, paint, clay, etc.)
- Get your child outside as much as possible–even in the colder weather. Well-chosen outdoor play games can provide for plenty of fun, exploration, education as well as physical development.
- With all the electronic media available (computers, tablets, TV, movies, etc.), electronic input for children of this age should be limited to no more than 2 hours per day (including educational programs).
Some of the information was obtained on http://www.cdc.gov
Remember, I don’t want any parents worrying about their baby because of certain developmental “cut-off” dates. Development does not always progress in a smooth manner. All children develop at their own rate. Ask your doctor or nurse if you have concerns with the development or health of your baby.
In the next several e-newsletters, academic and sports activities will be presented. Stay tuned for more! Please send me your comments and ideas for future topics!