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How Do Children Develop & Learn at the Ages of 3 to 5?

By Anne Ochs ; Updated June 13, 2017

For children, the period from ages 3 to 5 years old is generally called the preschool years. These early stages of growth and development are interrelated — one area of development influences another area of development. Your child will become more independent and will like to explore his surroundings. He will interact more with adults and children, and this is a time when he will begin to shape his personality and ways of thinking.

Emotional Development

Children between the ages of 3 and 5 do not understand the differences between reality and fantasy. Your child may move between them easily, according to the ParentFurther website. This is a time when you can teach your child how to deal with her emotions. Your child may be aggressive and throw tantrums, so take these emotions seriously and help her find a way to calm down.

Physical Development

Children aged 3 to 5 are very active. Your child will enjoy climbing, hopping, swinging and should be able to stand on one foot by the time he is 5. This is a time when your child can draw circles, copy squares, use scissors and copy some capital letters. He should be able to draw a person with at least four body parts during this stage.

Social Development

Social development of your child from ages 3 to 5 expands greatly. Your child will develop socially through imagination and fantasy play. This is a time when your child will need help learning to solve conflicts and problems without a lot of emotion.

Intellectual Development

Children between the ages of 3 and 5 begin to understand the concept of time, name colors, and understand how to count. This stage of your child's life can be stimulated through reading, talking and asking her questions.

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