Content Map Terms

Toddlers' Physical Development From 30-36 Months




Between 30 and 36 months, your toddler is becoming a big kid, with physical skills that amaze you every day. At this age, children are always on the move and love doing things like turning handles and doorknobs or pedaling a tricycle. 

Physical Milestones

Your 30 to 36 month old toddler also likely:

  • Takes part in group activities that include running, galloping, crawling, rolling over, and twirling around.
  • Walks on a narrow beam, putting one foot in front of the other for a few steps.
  • Climbs the ladder of a slide or other play equipment.
  • Holds a pencil as if to print.
  • Copies drawings of a cross, circles, dots, small lines, and swirls.
  • Cuts paper with small safety scissors. However, your toddler may not be able to cut along a line.
  • Turns pages of a book one at a time.

Play and Activity

Praise your toddler's skill at dancing, climbing and other activities. These are huge accomplishments and each one should be celebrated - just make sure your child is being safe. Here are some more tips for supporting your toddler’s physical development:

  • Continue to breastfeed.
  • Set up a big target for your toddler to aim at when throwing or kicking a ball.
  • Be physically active with your toddler by doing things like playing tag or rolling down a hill.
  • Play music and provide colourful scarves to move and dance with.
  • Show your toddler movements like galloping and twirling by playing “follow the leader.”
  • Show your toddler pictures of different animals and ask him to move like them: “Show me how you move like a fish!”
  • Create a simple obstacle course with blocks and hoops.
  • Let your toddler turn the pages of the book while you are reading.
  • Provide writing and art supplies, such as pencils, markers, crayons, or chalk. Supervise the activity and only give a few supplies at a time.
  • Help your toddler cut out small pieces of paper to use as tickets for a puppet show.
  • Provide different kinds of dress up clothes with snaps, buttons, and zippers.
  • Talk about safety rules and explain how to use playground equipment carefully.

Other Physical Milestones

Between 30 and 36 months your toddler may also:

  • Walk forward and backward on a narrow beam.
  • Ride a tricycle, steering well and using the pedals.
  • Kick a ball so it sometimes goes where he wants.
  • Throw a ball overhand with fairly good aim.
  • Take part in circle games with many players, such as musical chairs, hokey pokey, or The Farmer in the Dell.
  • Scribble with pencils, crayons, and markers.
  • Draw squiggles and claim it’s her name.
  • Join in songs and finger plays.
  • Play with different manipulative toys (toys that your toddler can hold and move), such as connecting straws, snap blocks, or folding paper.
  • Put on and take off clothes.

Resources and Links:
HealthLink BC: Growth and Development, Ages 2 to 5 Years

Last Updated: April 10, 2013