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Children progress at different rates. They have different interests, abilities, and personalities. But there are some common milestones many children reach from ages 4 to 5.
As your child grows, you’ll notice him or her developing new and exciting abilities.
A child age 4:
Sings a song
Skips and hops on one foot
Catches and throws a ball overhand
Walks downstairs alone
Draws a person with 3 separate body parts
Builds a block tower with 10 blocks
Understands the difference between fantasy and reality
A child age 5:
Balances on one foot with eyes closed
Begins learning to tie shoes
Copies shapes while drawing
Dresses himself or herself
Knows his or her address and phone number
Recognizes and recites the alphabet
Speech development in children is very exciting for parents. They can watch their children become social beings that can interact with others.
May put 4 to 5 words together into a sentence
Will ask questions constantly
May know 1 or more colors
Likes to tell stories
May use some "bad" words (if he or she has heard them spoken repeatedly)
May put 6 to 8 words together into a sentence
May know 4 or more colors
Knows the days of the week and months
Can name coins and money
Can understand commands with multiple instructions
As a child's vocabulary gets larger, so does his or her understanding of the world around him or her. Children at this age begin to understand concepts and can compare abstract ideas.
Begins to understand time
Begins to become more aware of people around him or her
May obey parent's rules, but doesn’t understand right from wrong
Believes that his or her own thoughts can make things happen
A child age 5:
Has more understanding of time
Is curious about real facts about the world
May compare rules of parents with that of friends
An important part of growing up is learning to interact and socialize with others. This can be a frustrating transition for the parent. Children go through different stages. Some of these are not always easy to handle.
Is very independent, wants to do things on his or her own
Is selfish, and doesn’t like to share
Is moody. Mood swings are common.
May be aggressive during mood swings and become aggressive to family members
Has a number of fears
May have imaginary playmates
Likes to explore the body and may play healthcare provider
Might "run away" or threaten to do so
Fights with siblings
Will often play with others in groups
Is generally more cooperative than 4-year-olds
Is generally more responsible than 4-year-olds
Is eager to please others and make them happy
Has good manners
Dresses himself or herself completely without help
Gets along well with parents
Likes to cook and play sports
May become more attached to a parent as he or she starts attending school
You can help boost your preschool child's social abilities by:
Offering compliments for good behavior and achievements
Encouraging your child to talk to you and be open with his or her feelings
Reading to your child, singing songs, and talking with him or her
Spending quality time with your child and showing him or her new experiences
Encouraging your child to ask questions and explore
Encouraging physical activity with supervision
Arranging times for your child to be with other children, such as in play groups
Giving your child the chance to make choices, when appropriate
Using time-out for behavior that isn’t acceptable
Encouraging your child to express his or her anger in an appropriate manner
Limiting TV time (or other screen time) to 1 to 2 hours a day. Encouraging free time to be used for other activities.
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