Children usually progress in a natural, predictable sequence from one developmental
milestone to the next. However, each child grows and gains skills at his or her own pace. Some children may be advanced in one area, such as language, but behind in another, such as sensory and motor development.
Most children by age 4:
Have gained about 4.4lb (2kg) and grown about 1.5in. (4cm) to 2in. (5cm) since their third birthday. Can say their first and last names. Understand the concept of counting and may know some numbers. Better understand concepts of time.
Can name some colors. Understand the difference between things that are the same and things that are different.
Are aware of their own gender and can identify the gender of others. Understand that events are connected, although their interpretation may not always be logical. For example, a child may understand the logic that glass may break if hit with a rock, but he or she may still throw the rock thinking that it won’t break this time (magical thinking).
Know the difference between fantasy and reality. However, they still play “pretend”, which becomes increasingly inventive. They also may blur fantasy and reality when they are stressed or have extreme emotions.
They may develop new fears as a result of their active imaginations. View themselves as whole people, with a body, mind, and feelings. Are aware that they can be hurt physically, which sometimes causes them to be very sensitive about their bodies.
Are interested in new experiences. Cooperate with other children and, with help, can negotiate solutions to conflicts. Alternate between being demanding and cooperative. Dress and undress themselves. May pretend to be a mom or dad during play.
Are noticeably more independent. Use sentences of 5 to 6 words. Speak clearly enough for strangers to understand them. Have mastered some basic rules of grammar. Will describe something that has happened to them. Sing songs.
Tell a short story as well as recall parts of a story. May go through a normal period (a few weeks) of repeating words or seeming to stutter.
Hop and jump on one foot. Move forward and backwards easily. Can go up and down
stairs without holding on to anything for support. Ride a tricycle or bicycle with
training wheels. Throw a ball overhand and sometimes catch a bounced ball.
They also can kick a ball forward.
Build a tower of 10 blocks. Draw a circle and squares. Draw a person with 2 to 4 parts.
Use scissors. Write some capital letters.