Developmental Milestones in Preschoolers: Is Your Child on Track?
Your preschooler is becoming a “big kid”! He’ll reach many developmental milestones during this stage. His brain power will blossom, and he’ll grow socially, emotionally, and physically. Whether or not he attends preschool, you’ll be able to observe and support much of his development.
How will you know what’s normal development and what you should be concerned about? Below is a guide to typical development for 3- to 5-year old children. Use this information to keep track of your child's progress, making notes of both his strengths and challenges.
Your preschooler is growing and learning at a rapid pace. He’s probably excited about learning and is curious about the world around him. He’s talkative and enjoys learning and using new words. At this age, he:
- Asks a lot of questions, including why, when, how, and where.
- Can pay attention for 10 or 15 minutes at a time.
- Learns to sort objects by shape, color, and size.
- Understands similarities and differences, as well as simple opposites.
- Understands comparatives such as big, bigger, and biggest.
- Can draw a square and print some capital letters.
- Can draw a human figure with a head, body, arms, and legs.
- Speaks clearly, using sentences of at least five words.
- Describes experiences and simple events in proper sequence.
- Recites short rhymes and songs from memory.
- Can answer questions, give information, and express ideas.
- Tells jokes and uses silly language.
- Can follow two or three unrelated commands.
Your child has loads of energy and needs to be on the move! His physical coordination is improving. He can:
- Jump in place, or jump over an object with both feet.
- Throw a ball purposely overhand.
- Catch a ball with both hands.
- Climb up stairs with one foot per step.
- Put simple parts together (like a puzzle with large pieces).
- Build a tower out of blocks.
- Use fine motor skills (such as cutting with scissors).
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