Milestones of a 4-Year Old

One of the most fun things about being a Mom is watching your child learn new things and become a person unique to everyone else. There are skills and development that are expected of a 4- year old and I want to make sure that my daughter is of at the same stage. I would like to stress however that every child learns and develop at their own pace. These guidelines are here to help us measure the capability of our children in order for us to facilitate their growth and help them reach their potential.



  • They have more small muscle control.
  • They can make representational pictures (for example, pictures of houses, people, and flowers).
  • They run on tip toes.
  • They hop on one foot.
  • They gallop.
  • They begin to skip.
  • They throw a ball overhand.
  • They pump themselves on a swing.
  • They like unzipping, unsnapping, and unbuttoning clothes.
  • They dress themselves.
  • They can cut on a line with scissors.
  • They like lacing their own shoes (but not tying).
  • They can make designs and write crude letters.
  • They are very active and aggressive in their play.
  • Gains weight at the rate of about 6 grams per day
  • Grows to a height that is double the length at birth
  • Shows improved balance



  • They have very active imaginations.
  • They sometimes have imaginary friends.
  • They can be aggressive but want friends and enjoy being with other children.
  • They tend to brag and be bossy.
  • They are learning to take turns and to share. Games and other activities can help preschoolers learn about taking turns.
  • They enjoy pretending to be important adults (mother, father, doctor, nurse, police officer, mail carrier, etc.).
  • They need to feel important and worthwhile.
  • They need opportunities to feel more freedom and independence.
  • They appreciate praise for their achievements.



  • They are very talkative.
  • They enjoy serious discussions.
  • They ask lots of questions, including “how” and “why” questions.
  • Their language includes silly words and profanity.
  • Their classification skills and reasoning ability are developing.
  • They should understand some basic concepts such as number, size, weight, color, texture, distance, time, and position.
  • Has a vocabulary of more than 1,000 words
  • Easily puts together sentences of four or five words
  • Can use the past tense
  • Can count to four
  • Will ask the most questions of any age
  • May use words that aren’t fully understood
  • May begin using vulgar words
  • Learns and sings simple songs
  • Tries to be very independent
  • May show increased aggressive behavior
  • Talks about personal family matters to others
  • Commonly has imaginary playmates
  • Has an increased understanding of time
  • Is able to tell the difference between two objects based on things like size and weight
  • Lacks moral concepts of right and wrong
  • Rebels if too much is expected of him or her



  • Take preschoolers outside to play.
  • Let them test their sense of balance by walking on a straight line, a curved line, and a low balance beam.
  • Provide activities in which preschoolers sort objects (such as buttons or seeds) according to their characteristics.
  • Ask them to make up stories or make up the ending for a story.
  • Help them mix paint to make new colors.
  • Visit places in the community that are of interest to them (for example, the fire station or the library during a story or music hour).
  • Help them set up play stores, farms, or villages.
  • Help them plant seeds and take care of them.
  • Provide a box of dress-up clothes for a play corner. (See how the children play with these clothes. They may imitate people they know. You can learn a lot about children by watching them play.)
  • Make paper bag puppets. Then have a puppet show with the children. Children often express their feelings through this type of play.
  • Play simple board games with them.
  • Encourage and provide space for physical activity
  • Show the child how to participate in, and follow the rules of sporting activities
  • Encourage play and sharing with other children
  • Encourage creative play
  • Teach children to do small chores, such as setting the table
  • Read together
  • Limit television watching to 2 hours a day of quality programs
  • Expose the child to different stimuli by visiting local areas of interest


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