Make sure your little one isn't falling behind.

Developmental Checklist for 4 Year Old

by Mario Ramos

It's awesome to watch your child grow up and discover the world around her. When she's around other kids her age, though, it might be hard to know whether she's growing fast enough or falling behind. With a handy checklist, you can keep tabs on your little one's growth and make sure she stays on the right track.

Language Milestones

Your child's vocabulary should be pretty extensive by this time, with more than a thousand words. (Don't worry, you'll be able to tell--no need to count.) She'll also be able to use the past tense and form complex sentences. You'll soon find out whether your little one has a good singing voice, because she'll start to memorize simple songs and belt them out!

Cognitive Milestones

Kids are naturally curious at age four, so don't be surprised if your child asks an endless amount of questions. At this stage, your child will be able to distinguish between two or more different objects based on simple traits like size or color. Her thinking will start to become literal, so try to keep this in mind when you speak to her. If you say, "I've got eyes in the back of my head," she will definitely think that there are a pair of eyes buried under all that hair back there. (Needless to say, her imagination will be pretty vivid at this stage.)

Physical Development and Motor Skills

At four years old, your child should be able to brush her teeth, comb her hair and dress herself with little to no assistance. Balancing on one foot will be an exciting skill for her, and even more so when she learns to hop along. She'll be able to play more games because she'll be able to throw and bounce a ball, but don't break out the baseball mitt just yet--catching a ball still might be too hard for her.

Social Skills

Socially, your child's world will start to expand beyond herself. You'll still notice a serious independent streak in her, but she will also learn how to play well with others and how to work together with them. Sharing and taking turns with her peers won't be so hard for her anymore. And luckily for them, she will also have learned how to express her anger verbally instead of physically.

About the Author

Mario has been acting onstage and on camera for over a decade, beginning in 2002 at university and extending presently to Philadelphia, New York City and even Seoul (South Korea) and Buenos Aires. He is easy to direct and pleasant to work with. Onscreen, Mario comes across as natural and affable, professional and articulate. He currently resides in Boston.

Photo Credits

  • Michael Blann/Digital Vision/Getty Images