Preschoolers with a apple.

Below is a development guide for children ages four to five years old.  These guidelines are available to help you know what objectives to work on with your child.  These guidelines are also the basis of the ABCJLM 4 Year Curriculum .  According to Kyla Boyse, R. N., "Developmental milestones are a set of functional skills or age-specific tasks that most children can do at a certain age range.  Your pediatrician uses milestones to help check how your child is developing.  Although each milestone has an age level, the actual age when a normally developing child reaches that milestone can vary quite a bit."  Any concerns that you have should be addressed with your pediatrician.

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• walks backward toe-heel
• jumps forward 10 times without falling
• walks up and down stair independently, alternating feet without support
• turns somersault
• moves forward and backward with agility
• catches bounced ball most of the time
• hops and stands on one foot up to five seconds
• catches a ball reliably (in hands only)
• beginning to skip

Drawing & Cutting

• cuts on line continuously
• copies cross
• copies square
• prints some capital letters
• draws a person with two to four body parts
• draws circles and squares
• begins to copy some capital letters

Personal Care

• Zippers, buttons, and snaps


• uses past tense
• vocabulary of about 1500 words
• understands the concepts of "same" and "different"
• has mastered some basic rules of grammar
• speaks in sentences of five to six words
• speaks clearly enough for strangers to understand
• tells stories
• recalls parts of a story

Sensory and Thinking Skills

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

Developmental Health Watch

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
• Cannot jump in place
• Cannot ride a tricycle
• Cannot grasp a crayon between thumb and fingers
• Has difficulty scribbling
• Cannot stack four blocks
• Still clings or cries whenever his parents leave him
• Shows no interest in interactive games
• Ignores other children
• Doesn't respond to people outside the family
• Doesn't engage in fantasy play
• Resists dressing, sleeping, using the toilet
• Lashes out without any self-control when angry or upset
• Cannot copy a circle
• Doesn't use sentences of more than three words
• Doesn't use "me" and "you" appropriately

Excerpted from Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5 , Bantam 1999
Additional Information:  Article #1

This information is provided as a guide only.  Because every child is different consult your pediatrician as this list is a generalization.


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