Important Milestones: By the End of 4 Years (48 Months)
At four years old your child may be involved in fantasy play. He or she may also be able to solve really easy problems. Use the “Learn the Signs. Act Early” fact sheet to find out what usually happens when a child is four years old. You can also use the information in the fact sheet to talk with your child's doctor about growth and development milestones.
The following fact sheet is provided courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control’s "Learn the Signs. Act Early." Campaign.
See PDF Version: Important Milestones: By the End of 4 Years (48 Months) [PDF, 147KB]
Children develop at their own pace, so it's impossible to tell exactly when yours will learn a given skill. The developmental milestones below will give you a general idea of the changes you can expect as your child gets older, but don't be alarmed if your child takes a slightly different course.
- Interested in new experiences
- Cooperates with other children
- Plays "Mom" or "Dad"
- Increasingly inventive in fantasy play
- Dresses and undresses
- Negotiates solutions to conflicts
- More independent
- Imagines that many unfamiliar images may be "monsters"
- Views self as a whole person involving body, mind, and feelings
- Often cannot tell the difference between fantasy and reality
- Correctly names some colors
- Understands the concept of counting and may know a few numbers
- Tries to solve problems from a single point of view
- Begins to have a clearer sense of time
- Follows three-part commands
- Recalls parts of a story
- Understands the concepts of "same" and "different"
- Engages in fantasy play
- Has mastered some basic rules of grammar
- Speaks in sentences of five to six words
- Speaks clearly enough for strangers to understand
- Tells stories
- Hops and stands on one foot up to five seconds
- Goes upstairs and downstairs without support
- Kicks ball forward
- Throws ball overhand
- Catches bounced ball most of the time
- Moves forward and backward with agility
- Copies square shapes
- Draws a person with two to four body parts
- Uses scissors
- Draws circles and squares
- Begins to copy some capital letters
From CARING FOR YOUR BABY AND YOUNG CHILD: BIRTH TO AGE 5 by Steven Shelov, Robert E. Hannermann, © 1991, 1993, 1998, 2004 by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Used by permission of Bantam Books, a division of Random House, Inc.
"Important Milestones: By the End of 4 Years (48 Months)." Learn the Signs. Act Early. HHS/CDC. 2005. English. [PDF, 147KB].
Last Reviewed: December 2010
Last Updated: September 5, 2014