Figuring out your 3-year-old’s interests

Some little ones make their interests known loud and clear, insisting on being decked out in certain clothing, and carrying around that special toy on every simple errand.

For other tots, determining where their interests lie may take a bit more work. If you’re unsure about what activities to sign Baby up for, for example, there are a few things to keep in mind as you try to figure out what they'll enjoy.

  • Exposure to different activities: The best way to learn about what Baby likes the most is by giving them plenty of chances to try new things. A trip to the zoo may spark that passion for animals that you didn’t see before, while a visit to a game or match could bring out an interest in sports.
  • Follow their lead: If you watch closely, you may realize Baby has a major talent in a certain area. They may be able to groove to a beat on the radio with great rhythm or make art that exceeds age-appropriate expectations. If this is true, and they seem to enjoy the activity, you can consider signing them up for lessons.
  • Consider personality: A child’s personality can help steer parents toward interests that are a good fit. Little ones with big energy, for example, may enjoy taking part in a sport or tumbling class that offers a chance to burn off some steam.
  • Let interests develop organically: A parent who is stumped over what their child might enjoy might feel inspired to encourage their own interests for their child, or an interest an older sibling may have had at the same age. While this is a natural instinct, in the end, you’ll both be happier if you let Baby decide what they enjoy, even if it does take a bit more time. they will let you know once they find something that resonates.
  • Minimize the investment: Young children grow out of interests faster than they do clothes, so keep that in mind before you spring for expensive accessories, or enroll Baby in an activity that requires a long-term commitment.

Three-year-olds are beginning to develop a stronger sense of self. Keep encouraging Baby’s passions while keeping your expectations realistic, and don’t fret if it takes them a little longer to decide what intrigues them – before too long, you’ll see their interests evolve right before your eyes. Once they figure out their passion, they will make sure you know about it!

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