Children change from clumsy toddlers into lively explorers of their world.

Development Milestones

Ages 4-5 Years

  • Speaks fairly complex sentences
  • Enjoys singing simple songs, rhymes, and nonsense words
  • Adapts language to listener’s level of understanding
  • Learns name, address, and phone number if taught
  • Asks and answers who, what, when, why, where questions
  • Able to memorize address and phone number
  • Understands that stories have a beginning, middle, and end
  • Enjoys telling his or her own stories
  • Jumps over objects 5-6 inches high
  • Runs, jumps, hops, skips around obstacles with ease
  • Stacks 10 or more blocks
  • Forms shapes and objects out of clay or play dough
  • Threads small beads on a string
  • Catches, bounces, and throws a ball easily
  • Throws ball overhead
  • Rides a tricycle skillfully, may show interest in riding a bicycle with training wheels
  • Enjoys showing off and bragging about possessions
  • Fearful of the dark and monsters
  • Begins to understand danger—at times can become quite fearful
  • Has difficulty separating make-believe from reality
  • Lies sometimes to protect self and friends, but doesn’t truly understand the concept of lying – imagination often gets in the way
  • Likes to shock others by using “forbidden” words
  • Still throws tantrums over minor frustrations
  • Expresses anger verbally rather than physically (most of the time)
  • Invents games with simple rules
  • Organizes other children and toys for pretend play