Social and Emotional Developmental Milestones: By the End of 3, 4, and 5 Years
Is your child on track? To find out what's typical in terms of social and emotional development by the end of 3, 4, and 5 years old, read on!
By the end of 3 years (36 months): Social
- Imitates adults and playmates
- Spontaneously shows affection for familiar playmates
- Can take turns in games
- Understands concept of "mine" and "his/hers"
- Expresses affection openly
- Expresses a wide range of emotions
- By 3, separates easily from parents
- Objects to major changes in routine
By the end of 4 years (48 months):
- 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
By the end of 5 years (60 months):
- Wants to please friends
- Wants to be like her friends
- More likely to agree to rules
- Likes to sing, dance, and act
- Shows more independence and may even visit a next-door neighbor by herself
- Aware of gender
- Able to distinguish fantasy from reality
- Sometimes demanding, sometimes eagerly cooperative
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention content is free and public domain.
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