Development Milestones – 4 Years


months years
0–12 12 14 15 18 22 24 30 3 4 5

Gross motor development
(How Your Baby Moves)

Fine motor development
(How Your Baby Uses His Hands)

Receptive Language development

  • Runs
  • Goes up and down stairs without support
  • Climbs on high play structures
  • Can balance briefly on each foot
  • Catches a large ball
  • Can throw overhand
  • Rides a bicycle with training wheels
  • Copies a plus sign (+), then a square
  • Cuts a square out with scissors
  • Draws a face with eyes and mouth
  • Draws a person with two to four parts
  • Understands three-step commands (e.g., “Go upstairs, look in the cupboard, and bring me your sweater”)
  • Knows gender of self and others
  • Understands opposites

Is your child ahead of schedule? Check the 5-year milestones:

  • Walks backwards
  • Hops
  • Skips
  • Throws, catches, and kicks well
  • May be starting to ride a bicycle without training wheels
  • Copies a triangle
  • Draws a person with a body
  • Identifies and prints letters
  • Prints first name
  • Can build elaborate structures
  • Counts up to 10 objects
  • Understands four-step commands
  • Links past and present events
  • Recognizes all letters of alphabet

Expressive Language Development

Psychosocial: Emotional Development

Psychosocial: Social Development

  • Speaks 50 to 1,500 words
  • Can speak in four-to-five word sentences
  • 100% intelligible to strangers
  • Uses past tense, present tense and plurals
  • Sings songs, nursery rhymes
  • States first and last names
  • Counts to 4
  • Names four colours
  • Enjoys being silly
  • May show new fears
  • Is becoming aware of new dangers
  • Plays interactive games
  • May visit friends to play
  • Prefers peer play to solitary play
  • Gets involved in elaborate fantasy play, tells fanciful tales, has imaginary friends
  • Sings songs, dances, acts, listens to stories
  • Follows rules in simple games

Is your child ahead of schedule? Check the 5-year milestones:

  • Has a 2,700 word vocabulary
  • Understands definitions
  • Uses future tense
  • Uses mature conversation with “how” and “why” questions
  • Knows telephone number and address
  • Begins to express more feelings in words
  • Embarrasses easily
  • Cannot yet laugh at self
  • Has feelings about death
  • Shows guilt over misbehaviour
  • Likes independence
  • Has a group of friends
  • Likes make-believe and dress-up play
  • May have imaginary friends but keeps them private
  • Follows rules of games and community rules

Psychosocial: Adaptive Development

Eating: Motor Skills Development
Milestones apply for ages 4 to 5 years

Eating: Social and Personal Skills Development
Milestones apply for ages 4 to 5 years

  • Helps set the table
  • Dresses independently
  • Goes to the toilet independently
  • Becomes quite good at feeding himself
  • Uses a knife and fork
  • Prefers talking to eating
  • Peer influence becomes important
  • Is interested in where food comes from

Is your child ahead of schedule? Check the 5-year milestones:

  • Helps prepare food
  • Dresses independently
  • Goes to the toilet independently
  • Becomes quite good at feeding himself
  • Uses a knife and fork
  • Prefers talking to eating
  • Peer influence becomes important
  • Is interested in where food comes from

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