Developmental milestones for 4 year olds: Is your child on schedule?
Can your child hop on one foot, use scissors, use short sentences and follow two- to three-part instructions already? Then he's on his way to completing developmental milestones for his age group!
At four years of age, your child is now a ball of energy who may be a bit bossy and belligerent.
His imagination and conscience starts to develop at this stage. So expect your energizer bunny to be less egocentric (yay!) and exhibit a better understanding of what is expected of him.
Your little one also willingly steps into the role of a story teller, especially when it comes to his favorite stories. He is also a budding artist, being able to draw and cut more, so bring on the artsy projects.
Note: It is worth to mention that the developmental milestones for 4 year olds listed below are not always reached on a fixed schedule. Some kids achieve these sooner or later compared to others, without any cause for concern.
Physical developmental milestones for 4 year olds
- Can stand on one foot for up to two seconds
- Can hop on one foot
- Can catch a ball (most of the time)
- Can throw a ball overhead
- Can push
- Can pull
- May still experience bedwetting
Cognitive and Language Skills
- Has vocabulary of over 1,000 words
- Knows basic grammar rules
- Can say his full name
- Can sing simple songs
- Can recite easy nursery rhymes
- Capable of telling a story
- Can talk in short sentences (stringing four to five words) that are clear
- Can name colors (at least four), shapes (at least three) and numbers
- May use inappropriate words
- Can recognize easy and common words such as "go"
- Can comprehend concept of "same" and "different" (example is identifying difference of two objects such as size or weight)
- Grasps concept of time as in past, present and future or morning, noon and night
- Is highly curious and thus asks a lot of questions
- May like playing some board games or card games
- Can use scissors
- Can begin writing a few capital letters
- Can draw two to four body pars
- Tries to be independent
- May show more aggressive behavior
- Usually has imaginary friends
- Concept of "right or wrong" is not yet fully developed
- May rebel if he feels that demands are overwhelming
- Can count up to ten or more
- Can recognize some letters
- Has a longer attention span
- Ability to follow instructions that have two to three parts, e.g. "Brush your teeth, wash your face and dress up."
- Can memorize address and a parent's phone number
Continue reading to learn more about developmental milestones for 4 year olds
Social and Emotional Growth
- Enjoys exploring and experiencing new things
- Can talk about things he likes
- Pretend play is done in a more creatively (though he may not understand the difference between make-believe and reality)
- Opts for playing with others than alone
- Is cooperative when playing with others
Usually, the following are developmental milestones for 4 year olds:
- Has perfect vision
- Sleeps 11 to 13 hours per night (typically does not nap in the afternoon)
What Parents Can Do
If you want to help your child to reach developmental milestones for 4 year olds, here are some things you can do:
- Limit TV to two hours per day
- Provide a space for physical activity to encourage more activities
- Practice and encourage art such as drawing, coloring, painting
- Encourage age-appropriate chores
- Encourage other forms of creative play such as dressing up
- Expose your child to other forms of stimulation such as visiting museums and nature spots
When to Call the Doctor
- Loses skills he has learned
- Unable to grasp the concept of "same" and "different"
- Can't hop in place
- Has no interest in playing pretend or other interactive games
- Does not interact or respond to non-family members
- Refuses activities such as sleeping, dressing and using the toilet
- Has difficulty scribbling
- Unable to retell his favorite story
- Does not speak clearly
- Unable to use pronouns "me" and "you" properly