Age 4 Years

Following are information, activities and resource links for the five main areas of development for children ages 4 years old.

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5 Areas of Development


Communication Skills

  • Says sentences of 4-5 words; uses adult-like
  • Asks many questions
  • Answers “who, how many, why” questions
  • Uses pronouns correctly (I, me, you, he, she)
  • Speech is understood 80-100% of the time

Fine Motor Skills

  • Pours, cuts and mashes food with supervision
  • Draws a person with 2-4 body parts
  • Cuts on a line with scissors
  • Likes to copy shapes, may show interest in
    copying letters or name

Gross Motor Skills

  • Can throw and kick with accuracy
  • Enjoys fast moving activities—running, climbing,
  • Hops and stands on one foot up to 2 seconds
  • Catches a ball most of the time

Personal Social Skills

  • Can brush teeth, wash face, and dress self
  • Can help with simple tasks like putting away toys
  • Plays cooperatively with 2 or 3 other children
  • May use “bathroom” words and swear
  • May “tattle” on others

Problem Solving Skills

  • Starting to understand time
  • Plays board or card games
  • Tells you what is going to happen next in a book
  • Has an attention span of 8-12 minutes


Communication Activities

  • Encourage pretend play with boxes, blocks, cars, figures
    and help your child create stories
  • Help your child classify things by groups: food, toys,
    vehicles, etc.
  • Pick out household items that go together (shoe/
    sock, salt/pepper, spoon/fork)
  • Mix up 3-4 pictures of a family vacation/birthday party
    and let your child put them in order and tell you
    what happened

Fine Motor Activities

  • With supervision allow child to spread peanut butter
    and jelly, peel a banana, cut with a butter knife, pour
    cereal and add milk
  • Make a necklace you can eat by stringing Cheerios or
    Fruit Loops on a piece of yarn or string
  • Make bubbles using 1/4 cup Dawn or Joy dishwashing
    liquid with 2-2/3 cup water, use straws to blow

Gross Motor Activities

  • Using old pillow cases or towels, show child how to
    hop forward in a race to the finish line
  • Draw squares on sidewalk with chalk, teach child
    how to play hopscotch jumping from number to number
  • Play “bucket hoops”, throwing a medium size ball at
    a bucket or trash can

Personal Social and Problem Solving Activities

  • Put small toys/household items into bag, have child
    reach in and without looking describe object
  • Find items in house to compare, discuss how they
    are similar/different in weight and size, good activity
    to use canned foods or glasses of water
  • Take a pack of playing cards and choose five matching
    sets, lay face up and help your child find the pairs,
    discuss “same” and “different”
  • Make puppets out of paper bags, let your child decorate,
    encourage them to use puppets to express feelings
    and emotions