A preschooler or 4-year-old’s thinking and learning skills are in full bloom.
An activity can hold their attention for 10 to 15 minutes, and they have developed the ability to remember many things, like parts from their favorite stories.
Four-year-olds enjoy pretending and have vivid imaginations.
They invent things like princesses and monsters.
By four, a child can understand concepts like big, little, tall and short.
They are able to correctly name some colors, usually red, blue and yellow.
A preschooler understands the concept of counting and is able to count out five objects, and may recognize some numbers.
A four-year-old is capable of following three instructions given at the same time such as, “put the toys away now, wash your hands, and come to eat.
“Most 4-year-olds are interested in new experiences and quite curious.
They ask and answer the “who,” “what,” “when,” where,” and “why” questions.
2. Social and Emotional Development
Preschoolers display more self-confidence and separate easily from their parents around four years.
Four-year-olds enjoy playing together with other children.
They are capable of taking turns, sharing and cooperating— but disagreement still happen. Anger is expressed verbally rather than physically, and children at this age can feel jealousy.
3. Language and Communication Development
conversation with a four-year-old and she uses complete sentences and asks endless questions during the conversations.
These conversations with a preschooler are often very dramatic and imaginative.
Four-year-olds have learned words are powerful, and they use words to get their points across.
Don’t be surprised if some the words your four-year-old uses are not ones you want to hear from your child.
Try not to overreact if your child utters swear words.
(Child) “Right now.” A four-year-old can be very bossy at times, perhaps telling you to “stop talking” or her playmates to “come here now.”
Using the words “please” and “thank-you” when you’re talking to your child helps them learn a positive social language.
4. Large and Small Muscle Development
What gross motor skills should a 4-year-old have?
A four-year-old needs plenty of opportunities to play and exercise.
These are some physical skills that a four-year-old should be able to do:
Go upstairs and downstairs without your help.
Run! The running is more controlled at this age, too.
He can start, stop and turn when he is running.
Hop on one foot and/or balance on one foot for a few seconds.
Kick a ball forward.
Throw a ball overhand and catch a bounced ball most of the time.
A four-year-old’s small muscle or fine motor skills have developed to the point where he can:
draw recognizable simple objects;
copy crosses and squares.
print some letters.
complete simple puzzles.
build a tall tower of blocks.
There are several things you can do to help your four-year-old grow and learn.
Some ways you can support your child’s development are to
read aloud or tell stories and encourage your preschooler to look at books on his own.
Encourage interest in writing and words.
Provide him with paper and notebooks for writing.
Print letters and numerals for him to see and copy.
Provide a variety of art experiences.
Sort and count everything in sight like silverware, socks, rocks, and leaves.
Talk about things being in, on, under, behind, beside, before or after, larger than, or smaller than.
Build self-esteem by praising accomplishments, and providing opportunities to experience freedom and independence.
Be sure your child has lots of outdoor play.
Provide a variety of props and dress up clothes to play grocery store, birthday party or firefighter.
Limit TV watching; if you do watch TV, do it together so you can discuss what is happening.
Sometimes, children aren’t developing as typically expected.
These signs indicate that your child may not be developing as other four-year-old children when she is unable to:
throw a ball overhand.
jump in place.
grasp a crayon between her thumb and finger.
stack four blocks; use sentences of more than three words.
Other signs are if your child:
still clings or cries when you leave him.
ignores other children
doesn’t respond to people outside the family
doesn’t engage in pretend play
lashes out without any self-control when he is angry or upset.
If you have concerns about your child’s development milestones, you should contact your child’s doctor to discuss it.
The best way to support children in their growth is to be close to them, to spend time with them, to encourage them to enter their world and, above all, to give them a lot of love. It is not only the time we spend with them but also the quality of this time. Children feel encouraged when they feel loved and protected.