Age Group: Three Year Olds

Cognitive Development and General Knowledge

Social Studies

Begins to recognize and appreciate similarities and differences in people

Three-year-olds are beginning to understand that others around them have different abilities and characteristics. Often they explore these differences with great curiosity. This is part of the process of understanding culture, community, and diversity. They show a growing understanding of characteristics, similarities, and differences when they:
  • Move over to make more space for a child in a wheel chair to join them in playing at the art table;
  • Notice and comment that someone is wearing the same shirt that they are;
  • Comment that this color crayon looks like their skin and another color crayon looks like their friend’s skin;
  • Displays basic knowledge of own heritage and background.

Glossary:

Culture: The customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group
Diversity: The inclusion of different people (as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization
Curiosity: A strong interest in learning about something; children demonstrate curiosity when they ask questions about or show interest in activities within the classroom and the world around them (e.g., a child asks questions about new materials in the art center or a bug discovered on the playground).
Culture: The customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group.

Environmental Concerns


Plan your field trips for three-year-olds carefully, and be sure they are safe.