4-Years-Old Child Development Milestones

4-Years-Old Child Development Milestones: Speech and Language

By the age of 4 years, a child should be able to:

He/she should be able to:

Speak in 3–4 word sentences. It is normal for preschoolers to be limited in their ability to express themselves clearly because of the rapid changes in acquiring language.

4-Year-Old Child Development Milestones: Social and Emotional

He/she should be able to:

Look to others for comfort and support when feeling upset or worried. For example, the child may seek out a parent after waking from a nightmare, or following an injury on the playground. 4-year-olds are also learning how to control their impulses more effectively, whether it’s waiting for a snack or playing with all of their toys before dinner. They will demonstrate this self-control by being patient with one another while playing board games, not taking toys away from each other at the store, or talking quietly during rest time at school. Also, they can share some of their possessions with friends—at least occasionally. 4-year-olds often exhibit brief yet intense emotional reactions such as frustration or sadness, followed by positive or neutral emotions like happiness and relaxation.

4-Year-Old Child Development Milestones: Physical

He/she should be able to:

Lift an object up to 25 lbs (e.g., a bag of groceries). Jump forward with both feet leaving the ground and then landing on both feet (without falling). Walk up and down stairs while holding an adult’s hand. Draw circles and squares (with crayons grasped in fist rather than pencil held with thumb and fingers) that are 8 cm to 10 cm in diameter. Cut the paper along a line without tearing it if using scissors that have blunted tips or that do not have a metal blade.

4-Year-Old Child Development Milestones: Cognitive

He/she should be able to:

Understand physical cause and effect relationships (e.g., if you shake the snow globe, the snow falls). Attend to tasks for increasing lengths of time (e.g., listen while mother reads a story, draw one picture more than yesterday’s). Identify some letters of the alphabet. 4-year-olds are also developing their memory skills—for example, they can remember new information if it is repeated several times during the day instead of just once. They’re starting to monitor their play activities by thinking about how well they are doing their job or how well they are playing their game. They also are starting to plan for events in the future—for instance, thinking about what they will do if it rains on the day of an outdoor party. 4-year-olds are becoming more independent by being able to select activities that are safe or appropriate for their age, and doing them alone.

4-Year-Old Child Development Milestones: Gross Motor

He/she should be able to:

Hop on one foot up to 5 times; skip; walk heel-toe; stand on one foot while swinging other foot forward 10 times without losing balance; jump forward two feet together 10 times (without falling); kick a large ball forward with sustained accuracy. Walk backward across a 6 ft wide space without falling. Jump in place 20 times without stopping.

4-Year-Old Child Development Milestones: Fine Motor

He/she should be able to:

Draw a vertical line that is 10 cm long; write own name legibly enough that it can be read by others; lace-up shoes or tie bows neatly enough that only an adult could tell they were tied in a hurry; use scissors with blades less than 6 cm long to cut paper. Button 3 buttons; zip and unzip simple garment; tie a shoelace tightly enough that it will not come undone.

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