• Developmental Milestones

    What are some of the developmental milestones my child should reach by three to four years of age?

    With your child’s third birthday, the “terrible twos” are officially over and the “magic years” of three and four begin—a time when your child’s world will be dominated by fantasy and vivid imagination. During the next two years, he’ll mature in many areas.

    Here are some milestones to look for.

    Movement milestones

    • Hops and stands on one foot up to five seconds
    • Goes upstairs and downstairs without support
    • Kicks ball forward
    • Throws ball overhand
    • Catches bounced ball most of the time
    • Moves forward and backward with agility

    Milestones in hand and finger skills

    • Copies square shapes
    • Draws a person with two to four body parts
    • Uses scissors
    • Draws circles and squares
    • Begins to copy some capital letters

    Language milestones

    • Understands the concepts of “same” and “different”
    • Has mastered some basic rules of grammar
    • Speaks in sentences of five to six words
    • Speaks clearly enough for strangers to understand
    • Tells stories

    Cognitive milestones

    • Correctly names some colors
    • Understands the concept of counting and may know a few numbers
    • Approaches problems from a single point of view
    • Begins to have a clearer sense of time
    • Follows three-part commands
    • Recalls parts of a story
    • Understands the concept of same/different
    • Engages in fantasy play

    Social and emotional milestones

    • 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 distinguish between fantasy and reality
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