Child Development: 4 years

Watching a child grow and develop is a unique and unforgettable experience. Most children develop skills and abilities in roughly the same order, but the timeframes involved aren’t exact. Milestones are things that a child can do at a certain age. Different organizations may have slightly different ways of describing milestones. Familiarity with milestones can help shape the experiences provided to a child or alert us if there are any concerns.

As children grow, they develop skills they different developmental areas. These include fine and gross motor, language, social-emotional and cognitive areas.

Your Developing Child: 4 Years

  • Walks up stairs and down stairs, with one foot on each step.
  • Hops or stands on one foot for up to three seconds.
  • Runs easily.
  • Bends over easily without falling.
  • Cuts out a circle and a square with children’s scissors.
  • Copies a circle and a cross.
  • Draws a person with two to four body parts.
  • Can use sentences with four or more words and answer simple questions.
  • Asks many questions like “what,” “where,” and “why.”
  • Tells stories and sings songs.
  • Does a finger-to-thumb sequence (e.g., Itsy-Bitsy Spider)
  • Speaks clearly enough to be understood by most people.
  • Enjoys being in a play group.
  • Can negotiate solutions to conflicts.
  • Imagine monsters.
  • Can name the shapes of a circle, square and triangle.
  • Counts out loud to 10.
  • Talks about things that happened in the past.
  • Knows and names four colors.
  • Dresses and undresses, including zippers and large buttons in the front.

There are many ways you can help your child’s development.

Play is a learning experience for children. Play is a universal and vital process for the healthy development of every child. Play is the living work of children and allows an opportunity to develop and explore the world.

If you have any concerns about your child’s development, talk to your public health nurse or family doctor.

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Last updated: 2024-01-04