Child writing letters.

Navigating the enchanting world of a 4-year-old's development is a journey filled with discovery and growth. This developmental checklist is designed to guide you through the milestones and potential considerations in your child's expansive journey from 48 to 60 months.

This checklist is the foundation of the ABCJesusLovesMe 4 Year Curriculum and serves as a roadmap for understanding how a child typically develops during these crucial months. Whether you're a dedicated teacher or a caring parent, this comprehensive overview explores key developmental areas. Utilize this tool and should any questions arise, seek professional guidance for a deeper understanding of the child's unique developmental path.

images shared by marie

4 Year Development Checklist

FREE 4 Year Development Checklist

Print your free 4-Year Development Checklist now! Stay proactive in monitoring your child's development. 

Always consult with a professional with any concerns.

Physical Development for a 4-year-old

  • walks backward toe-heel
  • jumps forward 10 times without falling
  • walks up and down stairs, alternating feet, without support
  • turns somersaults
  • moves forward and backward with agility
  • catches bounced ball most of the time
  • hops and stands on one foot up to 10 seconds
  • catches a ball in hands only
  • begins to skip

Drawing & Cutting of a 4-year-old

  • continuously cuts on line
  • copies triangle and other geometric patterns
  • prints and copies some capital letters
  • draws a person with 2-4 body parts
  • prints some letters

Personal Care of a 4-year-old

  • dresses and undresses independently
  • uses zippers, buttons, and snaps
  • uses fork and spoon
  • cares for own toilet needs
  • brushes teeth

Speech Development of a 4-year-old

  • •100% understandable by strangers
  • uses past, present, and future tense
  • vocabulary of about 1500 words
  • has mastered some basic rules of grammar
  • speaks in sentences of 5-6 words
  • tells longer stories

Sensory and Thinking Skills of a 4-year-old

  • approaches problems from a single point of view
  • begins to have a clearer sense of time
  • follows 3-part commands
  • interested in new experiences
  • cooperates with other children, wants to please
  • plays "Mom" or "Dad"
  • increasingly inventive in fantasy play
  • more independent

Cognitive Development of a 4-year-old

  • count 10 or more objects
  • correctly names basic colors
  • tells what comes next in well-known story
  • understand “same” and “different”
  • plays board or card games

Be Watchful for...

Because each child develops in his own particular manner, it's impossible to tell exactly when or how he'll perfect a given skill. The developmental milestones will give you a general idea of the changes you can expect as your child gets older, but don't be alarmed if his development takes a slightly different course. Alert your pediatrician, however, if your child displays any of the following signs of possible developmental delay for this age range.

  • cannot throw a ball overhand
  • unable to jump in place
  • cannot ride a tricycle
  • unable to grasp crayon between thumb and fingers
  • cannot stack 4 blocks
  • clings or cries whenever parents leave
  • shows no interest in interactive games
  • doesn’t express wide range of emotions
  • doesn't respond to people outside the family
  • doesn't engage in fantasy play
  • resists dressing, sleeping, using the toilet
  • lashes out without self-control when angry or upset
  • avoids or seems aloof with children and adults
  • doesn't use sentences of more than 3 words
  • unable to use "me" and "you" appropriately


Discover More Ideas


This article information is pulled from the following sources as well as many years of training. This information is provided as a guide only.  Because every child is different consult your pediatrician as this list is a generalization.

This page may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Parenting to Impress Podcast
Listen to the Parenting to Impress Podcast to be encouraged and empowered.

Listen Now

4 Year Curriculum

Prepare your preschooler for kindergarten.

Learn More

Handwriting Workbook

Adopt frustration-free methods for teaching handwriting.

Buy Now