During the fourth grade school year students crave physical challenges more than ever. Fourth graders are ready for serious cooperative and competitive games, and thirsty for self-challenge. You'll begin to notice some of these new movement milestones in your fourth grade child, as they grow bigger, faster, and more capable by the day:

Motor Skills

Fourth graders can both refine previous learned movements and combinations, and learn more advanced ones. Your child should be able to:

  • perform a variety of movement combinations while adapting to a fluid, game-like environment
  • perform a variety of rhythmic movements while listening to instructions or following a pattern (line dancing)
  • develop a pattern and follow it while on beat (first movement for eight count, change to new movement, etc)
  • demonstrate coordination (bounce, kick, throw, or catch a ball or strike an object with an implement) in a fluid environment and adapt speed and direction when needed


Fitness assessment is integral at the fourth grade level. Fourth graders enjoy the challenges of fitness and desire physical  improvement and recognition for achievements. Your child should be able to:

  • participate in activities that improve aerobic capacity (continued, consistent effort resulting in elevated heart rate)
  • measure exertion through taking pulse, heart rate monitors, or feelings of fatigue
  • apply the health related components by choosing a variety of activities that develop each: muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, body composition
  • boys perform between 7 and 20 push ups, girls between 7 and 15
  • boys complete the mile between 9:00 and 11:30 minutes, girls between 9:30 and 12:30 minutes

Social Development

Because of the competitive nature of fourth graders, acceptance and cooperation should be emphasized. Your child should be able to:

  • adjust behaviors to resolve conflicts prior to arguing or coming to an adult
  • demonstrate an understanding of and willingness to follow rules of activities or games
  • informally assess peers and provide specific feedback in a positive manner that may lead to peer improvement
  • choose healthful activities and when asked be able to describe which health related component(s) is being developed
  • recognize when someone is being excluded and take steps to include them

Fourth grade is a great time to target the specific health related components of fitness. Take advantage of your fourth grader's competitive nature and encourage them to strive for new physical achievements. By applying fitness awareness to a variety of games and activities, your child will create a fitness foundation for life!