Developmental Milestones 4 years old
Developmental Milestones by the End of 4 Years

Movement
  • Hops and stands on one foot up to five seconds
  • Goes upstairs and downstairs without support
  • Kicks ball forward
  • Throws ball overhand
  • Catches bounced ball most of the time
  • Moves forward and backward with agility
  • Hand and Finger Skills
  • Copies square shapes
  • Draws a person with two to four body parts
  • Uses scissors
  • Draws circles and squares
  • Begins to copy some capital letters

Language
  • Understands the concepts of "same" and "different"
  • Has mastered some basic rules of grammar
  • Speaks in sentences of five to six words
  • Speaks clearly enough for strangers to understand
  • Tells stories

Cognitive
  • Correctly names some colors
  • Understands the concept of counting and may know a few numbers
  • Approaches problems from a single point of view
  • Begins to have a clearer sense of time
  • Follows three-part commands
  • Recalls parts of a story
  • Understands the concept of same/different
  • Engages in fantasy play

Social
  • Interested in new experiences
  • Cooperates with other children
  • Plays "Mom" or "Dad"
  • Increasingly inventive in fantasy play
  • Dresses and undresses
  • Negotiates solutions to conflicts
  • More independent

Emotional
  • Imagines that many unfamiliar images may be "monsters"
  • Views self as a whole person involving body, mind and feelings
  • Often cannot distinguish between fantasy and reality

Developmental Health Watch

Because each child develops in his/her own particular manner, it's impossible to tell exactly when or how he/she will perfect a given skill.
The developmental milestones will give you a general idea of the changes you can expect as your child gets older, but don't be alarmed if his development takes a slightly different course.
Alert your pediatrician, however, if your child displays any of the following signs of possible developmental delay for this age range.

  • Cannot throw a ball overhand
  • Cannot jump in place
  • Cannot ride a tricycle
  • Cannot grasp a crayon between thumb and fingers
  • Has difficulty scribbling
  • Cannot stack four blocks
  • Still clings or cries whenever his/her parents leave him
  • Shows no interest in interactive games
  • Ignores other children
  • Doesn't respond to people outside the family
  • Doesn't engage in fantasy play
  • Resists dressing, sleeping, using the toilet
  • Lashes out without any self-control when angry or upset
  • Cannot copy a circle
  • Doesn't use sentences of more than three words
  • Doesn't use "me" and "you" appropriately

Excerpted from Caring for Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5, Bantam 1999

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