Growth and Development, Ages 4-5
Human development is a lifelong process of physical, behavioral, cognitive, and emotional growth and change. In the early stages of life—from babyhood to childhood, childhood to adolescence, and adolescence to adulthood—enormous changes take place. Throughout the process, each person develops attitudes and values that guide choices, relationships, and understanding.
Sexuality is also a lifelong process. Infants, children, teens, and adults are sexual beings. Just as it is important to enhance a child's physical, emotional, and cognitive growth, so it is important to lay foundations for a child's sexual growth. Adults have a responsibility to help children understand and accept their evolving sexuality.
Each stage of development encompasses specific markers. The following developmental guidelines apply to most children in this age group. However, each child is an individual and may reach these stages of development earlier or later than other children the same age. When concerns arise about a specific child's development, parents or other caregivers should consult a doctor or other child development professional.
Most children aged four to five will:
- Continue to grow, but at a slower rate than during infancy and the toddler years [Some parts grow faster or sooner than others. For example, organs grow faster than the body, giving preschoolers a rounded tummy.]
- Reach at least 50 percent of their adult height and about 20 percent of their adult weight by age five
- Develop more coordinated large motor skills, enabling them to skip, run, and climb up and down stairs
- Develop fine motor skills, enabling them to tie shoelaces, button shirts, use scissors, and draw recognizable figures
- Continue significant brain development, completing 90 percent of such development by age five
- Develop increased lung capacity and the ability to breathe more deeply
- Lose their "baby look" as their limbs grow longer
- Appear about the same size, regardless of gender
- Increase in overall health and gain resistance to germs
Reprinted with the permission of Advocates for Youth.
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