5 Developmental Milestones: 4 - 5 Years Old

Learn about the social, emotional, physical and intellectual milestones of children in your child's age group.

Click on an item in the set below to see more info.

Pushing through Preschool

4 to 5 year olds may start preschool and start to learn about being part of a class. These busy and active youngsters begin to: Learn the difference between reality and fantasy. Become comfortable with their gender. Understand links between feelings, thoughts, and actions. Actively create and initiate to solve problems.

Physical Growth

Traits: Busy and active, preschoolers are always on the go! Sometimes physically aggressive, these kiddos are learning to function in their growing bodies.

Advice for Parents: Provide indoor and outdoor places to play. Make time for naps. Ensure nutrition with ample protein in diet.

Cognitive Breakthroughs

Traits: Vocabulary grows to 1500 - 2000 words. Fascinated by words and silly sounds. Talks incessantly. Asks countless questions. Scares from nightmares. Engages with imaginary friends and fantasy play.

Advice for Parents: Tell interesting stories. Play word games. Patiently answer questions. Accept fears as real. Empower children to counter fears.

Social Development

Traits: Learns to share, accept rules, and take turns. Selects playmates in groups. May disagree with peers during play. Copies adult activities. Plays pretend. May display physical aggression.

Advice for Parents: Sign up for preschool or a play group. Encourage group play. Allow for peer disagreements. Expect kids to follow simple rules.

Emotional Attributes

Traits: Sometimes whines, cries, or complains. May name-call. Can act bossy one minute and shy the next. Tests boundaries and people. Starts to develop insecurities.

Advice for Parents: Provide physical, creative, and social ways to express self. Set and stick to limits. Point out things child can do for self. Assure child he is loved.

Moral Maturation

Traits: Starts to know right from wrong. Wants to be right. Can blame others for own misconduct.

Advice for Parents: Help your preschooler understand the consequences of his behavior. Recognize your feelings. Try to understand your child's viewpoint.

Possible Setbacks?

Preschoolers may experience struggles as they encounter situations for the first time. Common hardships include: Restricted play or speech. Speech problems. Peers who bully or threaten. Extreme separation anxiety. Excessive fear of strangers. Toileting troubles. Wetting the bed. These struggles may also be present for children ages 3 to 7.

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