What Are The Milestones For A 4 Year Old

Milestone Moments Matter – 4 Years

Have you ever wondered what your child is supposed to do by age four? By the time your child reaches four years old, you like me are already thinking about school. In our case, when we look at the milestone guidelines we wonder if our grand-nephew Jaxon will be ready to take the next step in his little life – prekindergarten.

I can say that as of right now Jaxon is nowhere close to being ready. He will be four in November and he has shown very little interest in potty training. While he can do some things brilliantly for his age, he falls way behind on a good number of measures used in the book we have been looking at regarding milestones. Jaxon has yet to meet many of the two-year-old guidelines.

The information shared in this post is taken from a little booklet that describes various milestones for kids from ages two months to five years old. It’s called ‘Milestone Moments: Learn The Early Signs. Act Early,” by the Centers For Disease Control (CDC).

I share this with you because there may be others who are unaware of what the CDC defines as milestones for children. These milestones are things to watch for in your child and tips on how you can help your child learn and grow.

“Your Child By 4 Years – What most children do by this age.”

Social/Emotional Milestones

  • Enjoys doing new things
  • Is more and more creative with make-believe play
  • Would rather play with other children than by himself
  • Cooperates with other children
  • Plays “Mom” or “Dad”
  • Often can’t tell what’s real and what’s make-believe
  • Talks about what she likes and what she is interested in

Language/Communication Milestones

  • Tells stories
  • Sings a song or says a poem from memory such as the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” or “Wheels on the Bus”
  • Knows some basic rules of grammar, such as correctly using “he” and “she”
  • Can say first and last name

How you can help your child’s development

  1. Play make-believe with your child. Let her be the leader and copy what she is doing.
  2. Suggest your child pretend play an upcoming event that might make him nervous, like going to preschool or staying overnight at a grandparent’s house.
  3. Give your child simple choices whenever you can. Let your child choose what to wear, play, or eat for a snack. Limit choices to 2 or 3.
  4. During playdates, let your child solve her problems with friends, but be nearby to help out if needed.
  5. Encourage your child to use words, share toys, and take turns playing games of one another’s choice.
  6. Give your child toys to build imagination, like dress-up clothes, kitchen sets, and blocks.
  7. Use good grammar when speaking to your child. Instead of “Mommy wants you to come here,” say, “I want you to come here.”

Cognitive Milestones (learning, thinking, problem-solving)

  • Names some colors and some numbers
  • Understands the idea of counting
  • Starts to understand time
  • Remembers parts of a story
  • Understands the idea of “same” and “different”
  • Draws a person with 2 to 4 body parts
  • Uses scissors
  • Starts to copy some capital letters
  • Plays board or card games
  • Tells you what he thinks is going to happen next in a book

Movement/Physical Development Milestones

  • Hops and stands on one foot up to 2 seconds
  • Pours, cuts with supervision, and mashes own food
  • Catches a bounced ball most of the time

How can you help your child’s development?

  • Use words like “first,” “second,” and “finally” when talking about everyday activities. This will help your child learn about sequence of events.
  • Take time to answer your child’s “why questions. If you don’t know the answer, say “I don’t know,” or help your child find the answer in a book, on the internet, or from another adult.
  • When you read with your child, ask him to tell you what happened in the story as you go.
  • Say colors in books, pictures, and things at home. Count common items, like the number of snack crackers, stairs, or toy trains.
  • Teach your child to play outdoor games like tag, follow the leader, and duck, duck, goose.
  • Play your child’s favorite music and dance with your child. Take turns copying each other’s moves.

Act early if your child:

  • Is missing milestones
  • Has trouble scribbling
  • Shows no interest in interactive games or make-believe
  • Ignores other children or doesn’t respond to people outside the family.
  • Can’t jump in place
  • Resists dressing, sleeping, and using the toilet
  • Doesn’t understand “same” and “different”
  • Doesn’t use “me” and “you” correctly
  • Doesn’t follow 3-part commands
  • Can’t retell a favorite story
  • Speaks unclearly
  • Loses skills he once had

Don’t wait. You know your child best.

Tell your child’s doctor or nurse if you notice any of these signs of possible developmental delay and ask for a developmental screening.

If you or the doctor is still concerned,

Ask for a referral to a specialist and,

Call any local public elementary school for a free evaluation to find out if your child can get services to help.

For more information, go to cdc.gov/Concerned.

Talk with your child’s doctor at every visit about the milestones your child has reached and what to expect next.

The above information was taken from the booklet titled Milestone Moments – Learn the Signs. Act Early.

DISCLAIMER: The CDC recently lowered some of the standards for the milestones in 2022. For those updates, it is best to visit their website. The information contained herein comes from this little booklet which was published in 1991,1993, 1998, 2004, and 2009 by the American Academy of Pediatrics and Bright Futures. This booklet was obtained from a doctor’s office in the fall of 2021. We recognize every child is different and what you do with the information is your decision. We are not making suggestions, simply sharing what we found.

Proverbs 1:5, “Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance,”


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