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)
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
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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