Growth milestones for children - 4 years

Alternative names 
Normal childhood growth milestones - 4 years; Developmental milestones record - 4 years; Childhood growth milestones - 4 years

Definition
This article describes the skills and growth markers relevant to 4 year-old children.

Information

Physical and motor:

     
  • During the 4th year there is usually a weight gain of about 6 grams per day  
  • The height of your child during the 4th year should be double their length at birth  
  • Improved balance  
  • Hops on one foot without losing balance  
  • Throws a ball overhand with coordination  
  • Skillfully cuts out a picture using scissors  
  • May not be able to tie shoelaces  
  • Bed wetting at this age is still considered normal

Sensory and cognitive:

     
  • Vocabulary has increased to over 1500 words  
  • Easily composes sentences of 4 to 5 words  
  • Can use the past tense  
  • Can count to 4  
  • The age when your child will ask the most questions  
  • May use words outside their comprehension  
  • May begin using vulgar terms depending on their exposure  
  • Learns and sings simple songs  
  • Tries to be very independent  
  • Increased aggressive behavior  
  • Readily discloses personal family matters to others  
  • Imaginary playmates are common  
  • Increased comprehension of time  
  • Able to distinguish between two objects based on simple criteria (such as size, weight, etc.)  
  • Less egocentric behavior  
  • Believes that their thoughts and emotions are causative events  
  • Lacks moral concepts of right and wrong  
  • Rebellion is common if expectations are excessive

Play:

     
  • Encourage and provide the necessary space for physical activity  
  • Instruct the child how to participate in, and follow the rules of sporting activities  
  • Encourage play with other children in the area to help develop their socialization skills  
  • Encourage creative play  
  • Read together  
  • Monitor both the time and content of television viewing  
  • Expose the child to different stimuli by visiting local areas of interest

 

Johns Hopkins patient information

Last revised: December 3, 2012
by Martin A. Harms, M.D.

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