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Developmental milestones record - 4 years

Alternative names

This article describes the skills and growth markers relevant to 4 year-old children.


Physical and motor:

  • During the 4th year there is usually a weight gain of about 6 grams per day
  • The height of your child during the 4th year should be double their length at birth
  • Improved balance
  • Hops on one foot without losing balance
  • Throws a ball overhand with coordination
  • Skillfully cuts out a picture using scissors
  • May not be able to tie shoelaces
  • Bed wetting at this age is still considered normal
Sensory and cognitive:
  • Vocabulary has increased to over 1500 words
  • Easily composes sentences of 4 to 5 words
  • Can use the past tense
  • Can count to 4
  • The age when your child will ask the most questions
  • May use words outside their comprehension
  • May begin using vulgar terms depending on their exposure
  • Learns and sings simple songs
  • Tries to be very independent
  • Increased aggressive behavior
  • Readily discloses personal family matters to others
  • Imaginary playmates are common
  • Increased comprehension of time
  • Able to distinguish between two objects based on simple criteria (such as size, weight, etc.)
  • Less egocentric behavior
  • Believes that their thoughts and emotions are causative events
  • Lacks moral concepts of right and wrong
  • Rebellion is common if expectations are excessive
  • Encourage and provide the necessary space for physical activity
  • Instruct the child how to participate in, and follow the rules of sporting activities
  • Encourage play with other children in the area to help develop their socialization skills
  • Encourage creative play
  • Read together
  • Monitor both the time and content of television viewing
  • Expose the child to different stimuli by visiting local areas of interest

Update Date: 4/15/2003

Elizabeth Hait, M.D., Department of Pediatrics, Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT