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Growth and Development for a 4 year old

Physical Development

  • Gross motor skills: Your 4-year-old will become aware of their own place in space and be less likely to bump into others while moving. Their running abilities will improve dramatically and they may even be able to dribble a soccer ball.
  • Fine motor skills: At age 4, your child should have improved hand-eye coordination which results in an ability to string beads, complete puzzles, and color inside the lines.
  • Major highlights: By this age, most kids can dress themselves, brush their teeth with supervision, and are usually potty-trained.

Emotional Development

  • Becomes more aware of other people’s feelings.
  • Experiences a broad range of emotions, such as jealousy, excitement, anger, and fear.
  • May become more focused on winning when playing games.

Social Development

  • Establishes real friendships, and may even have a "best friend."
  • More readily shares and takes turns with peers.
  • Still looks to a trusted adult for help when needed.

Cognitive Development

  • Shows an interest in goal setting for herself—like learning how to ride a two-wheeler, or learning how to pump a swing.
  • Wants to make decisions on their own, such as picking out their own clothing or choosing a snack.
  • Understands the concepts of numbers—that the number four represents four flowers or four balls.

When to be concerned

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