Developmental Milestones: 4 Year Olds

Untitled design (8)(Photo by Mindy Gerecke)

4 Year Olds

The attention span of a 4 year old has increased dramatically. They can take part and master memory games – although try to keep these short and exciting to ensure you keep their attention. The length and complexity can be increased gradually.

Motivation has become part of their world and easily achievable rewards for creating a finished piece of work is a great confidence booster.

Social development is considered to be the most important area of development for pre-school children so toys that encourage social interaction and skills such as sharing, turn-taking and communication are really good for this age group.

Children are in a lot of control now over their body’s movements, and running and playing is a huge part of their entertainment whilst being great exercise and promotion of a healthy lifestyle from a young age.

 


 

Please keep in mind that these milestones are guidelines only, as all children are different and develop at their own pace. Do not be concerned if your child does not perfectly ‘tick all the boxes’ and avoid comparing your child to other children of a similar age. If you are worried that your child’s development is particularly delayed, visit your GP.

 


 

Cognitive

 

  • Attention is sufficiently developed to enable mastery of simple memory games.

 

  • Games and activities should be quick and exciting to keep their attention. The time can be gradually increased to improve the child’s attention span

 

  • Exploring and trying new things will become increasingly attractive particularly as confidence to try different things grows

 

  • Problem solving is becoming possible and if they are faced with a problem, rather than calling for an adult they may try and resolve it themselves. For example, getting a dolls pushchair caught on a bush

 

  • Number and colour recognition are part of their learning

 

  • They may try and predict the end of a story book

 

Children love to play and this is a great way to support their development and learning. See below for our independently tested and approved toys and apps to support your 4 year old’s cognitive development.

Personal, Social & Emotional

 

  • Satisfaction in creating a finished item is motivating. Rewards for progress need to be frequent and easily achieved to boost their confidence

 

  • Friendships will be forming as they develop more social skills and you may find they want to play together more than on their own

 

  • The ability to share and play with others will be getting better. Games, toys or crafts that encourage team play and turn taking are great in developing their social skills and getting them ready for school

 

  • They will love learning and trying new things as they become ever more inquisitive

 

Children love to play and this is a great way to support their development and learning. See below for our independently tested and approved toys and apps to support your 4 year old’s personal, social and emotional development.

Physical & Motor

 

  • Children are a lot more in control of their movements by this age and can start to make complex movements and join sequences of different movements together to achieve a goal

 

  • Activities such as Hop Scotch and catching a ball may be possible

 

  • They can start to use movement as part of play, running, chasing and catching

 

Children love to play and this is a great way to support their development and learning. See below for our independently tested and approved toys and apps to support your 4 year old’s physical and motor development.

Speech, Language & Communication

 

  • Communication has a wide range of purposes and once the words have been mastered, children learn to use speech to negotiate, express themselves, question, compromise, object and reassure

 

  • The social aspect of language can not be over-stated and whilst children can learn a lot about language via digital activities, it’s vital for future friendships and mental health that children communicate with other people, especially whilst they are learning the intricacies of human interactions

 

  • Repeating a simple nursery rhyme from memory is now possible and they enjoy singing the songs to you  they have learnt at nursery

 

Children love to play and this is a great way to support their development and learning. See below for our independently tested and approved toys and apps to support your 4 year old’s speech, language and communication development.

Creativity

 

  • Role play and drama will be a key feature in their play. Dressing up and putting on shows are all great ways to express themselves through the arts, developing their communication skills and confidence

 

  • Drawing and painting are still as popular as ever with this age group. Model making is a great next step

 

Children love to play and this is a great way to support their development and learning. See below for our independently tested and approved toys and apps to support your 4 year old’s creative development.

Understanding the World

 

  • 4 year olds are able to notice and comment on similarities, differences, patterns and change

 

  • They ask ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions to increase their knowledge of the world

 

  • Children investigate and identify the features of living things and objects

 

  • They can decide what they want to construct and use tools and techniques appropriately to achieve their goal, adapting their approach where necessary

 

  • They are able to use age-appropriate software on computers and tablets

 

  • Children will be able to differentiate between past and present, and will show an interest in learning about events experienced by themselves and others (for example, they may like to look through old photo albums)

 

  • They will start to recognise the change between seasons

 

  • 4 year olds will start being able to make short-term future plans, for example, saying that they would like to go to the park tomorrow

 

  • They will be able to observe and compare features of their environment, including the natural world, and identify the features they like or dislike

 

  • Children feel that they belong to a particular community, and are gaining an awareness of their own culture and beliefs and how these may be different to other people’s

 

Children love to play and this is a great way to support their development and learning. See below for our independently tested and approved toys and apps to support your 4 year old’s understanding of the world.