During these two preschool years, your child is really developing his physical skills and taking a pride in acquiring each new ability. At three years, your child has become much more nimble, walking up stairs with confidence. He can jump off the bottom step and stand on one foot for a second. He can swing his arms when he walks and can ride a tricycle. At four, your child is very active and well coordinated. He races around hopping, jumping, and climbing, and can walk down stairs rapidly, with one foot per step. He can even carry a drink without spilling it. By five, your child’s coordination is finally developed. He can walk a straight line, go down stairs on alternating feet, skip a rope with alternating feet, climb confidently, and enjoy fast- moving toys and games.
ENCOURAGING SKILLS: You can encourage your three- year- old’s jumping skills by playing hopscotch or holding hands and hopping on one foot. This will work off excess energy. You can practice arm- swinging with him by marching to music. Letting him ride tricycle will strengthen his calf muscles and encourage flexibility in his feet, while backyard equipment such as a swing, seesaw, or slide will boost his physical confidence.
At four, your child should have access to outside apparatus, such as a climbing frame in the yard, to provide scope to exercise his muscles. You can also help him to master jumping rope and to try a range of other physical games.
Five- year- olds can jump rope and some may even enjoy the challenge of learning to ride a two- wheeled bicycle.
A three- year- old will have enough coordination to manage pedaling.