4 Year Milestones Checklist

My Child is 4 Years Old: What should he/she be able to do?

You have a preschooler who is growing up before your eyes!?! When and how did that happen so fast? Here are the things you should expect your child to do by 4 years of age.


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

Gross Motor/Physical Movement

  • Hop and stand on one foot for a few seconds

  • Catch a bounced ball most of the time

Fine Motor/Hand-Eye Coordination

  • Cut with scissors with supervision

  • Pour a drink with supervision (may spill a little)

  • Draw a square and copy some letters

  • Draw a person with 4 body parts (may be a stick figure)

Social/Emotional

  • Enjoy doing new things

  • Is creative with imaginary play (plays house and pretends to be “Mommy” and “Daddy” or plays superheros, pirates, princesses, etc)

  • Would rather play with other children than by themselves

  • Can talk about what he/she likes or is interested in

Language/Communication

  • Knows more basic rules of grammar, such as correctly using “he” and “she”

  • Can sing an entire song from memory such as the “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” or “The ABC Song”

  • Tell a story

  • Say first and last name

Cognitive/ Learning & Problem-solving)

  • Can name most colors and can count to 20 or higher

  • Understands the concept of counting objects

  • Starts to understand the concept of time

  • Can remember parts of a story or (recent) past events

  • Can play simple board or card games

If your child is 4 years old and is doing all of these things, great!!


Tips to Help Your Child Reach Their 4 Year Milestones

  • Play time: Continue to let your child to play with toys indoors and explore outdoors as much as possible. Continue to explain things to your child, now with more detail. At this age, your child is a sponge and will soak up everything you teach them about things that interest them.

  • New activities: Children are still mostly learning through play and through things that interest them at this age. Continue to expose your child to new things and/or the things they have grown to love. Get creative and let your child be involved in choosing activities.

  • Talk and explain: This is the age of LOTS OF QUESTIONS! Try to respond to your child and answer their questions as much as possible as this is just their way of learning more and more about the world around them. It is ok to set limits and ask for quiet every now and then but try not to stifle your child's interests and eagerness to learn and explore.

  • Read: Continue to read books with your child. Your child is now in the pre-reading stage and may now be able to recite their favorite parts of books and start to recognize sight words and some letter sounds. Start to practice identifying letters, their sounds, and some sight words with your child.


When to Be Worried

If your child is already 4 years of age and is not meeting these milestones, talk to your child’s pediatrician. You know your child better than anyone else. If you are concerned your child may have a delay in his/her development, it is better to intervene sooner rather than later. This gives your child the best chance of catching up to his/her peers by the time he or she reaches school age.


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All content on this website, including medical opinion and any other health-related information is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a specific diagnosis or treatment plan for any individual situation. Use of this website and the information contained does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor before starting any specific treatment plan.

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