Tuesday, March 2, 2010

You're three year old does what?

It has been my experience that something happens with gifted kids between the ages of two and four. They all of a sudden decide that they are in charge of what they want to know and learn and will seek it out. For myself, I noticed that B would start spelling words in the bathtub using the foam letters at the age of two. I thought it was cute until he just kept doing it over and over with new words each time. At some point I thought to myself "If he can spell words, can he read them too?" I soon went out to get some easy beginning books just for the fun of it. One thing I do know is if you tap into something they are currently interested in, they will devour any information that pertains to it. I laugh when people think that I pushed him into reading. My feelings are- who teaches two year old to read? By three my child taught himself to read and was reading level one books.

2 – 4 years

The following includes all/most skills in the checklist above.

* Early and extensive language development and vocabulary, forms grammatically correct sentences as compared to peers
* Interest in computers (not video games)
* Ability to solve a 20-piece puzzle by age 3
* Has a vivid imagination (includes having imaginary friends)
* Extraordinary feats of memory
* Extreme curiosity and asks many questions
* Specific talent (if any), such as artistic ability or an unusual facility for numbers - becomes more apparent by age 4
* Ability to memorize and recall facts easily
* Early development of a sense of humor
* Ability to do one-to-one counting for small quantities by age 3
* Recognition of simple signs and own written name by age 3
* Ability to write letters, numbers, words, and their names between 3 and 4 years
* Ability to read easy readers by age 4
* Rather independent on the computer by age 4
* Demonstration of musical aptitude just after 2
* Ability to do simple addition and subtraction by age 4
* High degrees of mathematical understanding by age 4


  1. My oldest gets insulted if you ask him a "normal" question for his age. He doesn't want to tell you what 1+1 is, but he'll tell you what 3 groups of 4 is. Puzzles- 100 piece are too easy for him, but he'll turn them facedown and put them together like that if he doesn't have another around. He starts kindergarten next year and this should be interesting.

  2. I had no frame of reference when my oldest was 3-4 but now that my second child is in the age range I found this very helpful. My oldest is in kindergarten at a "gifted" private school. My youngest is soooo different from him but based on your list above doing quite well for his age.

  3. Of course, then the challenge is finding books at the right reading level with the right content!

  4. Is this a list of things that a "normal" three year old does or that a "gifted" three year old does? My nearly 3.5 year old daughter has been doing all of those things for some time now but I never considered her gifted.

  5. kwilliamson622, this is a list that (if your child is doing these things) would be considered advanced for her age. They could be indicators of giftedness. Not all children do all these things, but many academically gifted children will show many of these traits.

  6. Kim,
    Yes, this is our biggest challenge right now. I know I'm not the only one!

  7. Wow! Very interesting. Teva is just now five months....of course, we think she's a pretty smart cookie. She has been an exxtremely alert baby since the moment of birth and every where we go people comment on it. Sometimes, I fear she is smarter than me! LOL! Only time will tell.

  8. This was my child 14 years ago. Although schools are slowly getting better now- don't let them slack on your child because they will try. BTW throwing more work at a kid is not the same as teaching them at their level.