Parents need to track their children’s growth and development milestones and discuss any concerns they may have with a qualified medical care professional.

Here is what you can expect at the four-year mark.

Remember, there are other developments and activities you can do with your child that are not mentioned here. This is a father-focused list and accounts for time spent and work and active involvement of the mother and other family members.

Developmental Milestones

  • Catches a bounced ball most of the time
  • Pours, cuts with supervision and mashes own food
  • Hops and stands on foot up to 2 seconds
  • Names some colors and numbers
  • Understands the idea of counting and starts to understand time
  • Remembers parts of a story
  • Understands the idea of “same” and “different”
  • More and more creative with make believe play
  • Would rather play with other children than by self. Cooperates with other children
  • Talks about likes and dislikes
  • Often can’t differentiate between what is real and what is make belief

How You Can Help with Development

  • Play make believe with your child. Let them lead
  • Give your child simple choices whenever possible
  • Let you child resolve their own playground/playdate problems with friends. Be close to offer assistance if needed
  • Use good grammar with your child
  • Encourage your child to use toys that build their imagination
  • Use words like “First”, “Second” and “Finally”. This will help them understand sequence of events
  • Take the time to answer your child’s “why” questions. Never say “I don’t know”. If indeed you don’t know, then help them find the answer
  • Talk, read, sing and play with your child

Developmental Concerns

  • Can’t jump in place
  • Has trouble scribbling
  • Shows no interest in interactive games or make believe
  • Ignores other children or doesn’t respond to people outside of family
  • Resists dressing, sleeping and using the toilet
  • Doesn’t understand “same” and “different”
  • Doesn’t use “me” and “you” correctly
  • Doesn’t follow 3-part commands
  • Can’t retell a favorite story
  • Speaks unclearly
  • Loses skills they once had

Remember that all children are different and develop at varying paces. If you do notice any of the listed concerns, we recommend erring on the side of caution and talking to your child’s doctor.

This information has been curated from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC. Always consult with a qualified medical professional or childcare expert when taking important decisions regarding your child and their health.

Impress your partner with key facts, take better co-parenting decisions and be 'in the know'. Visit our Partners & Parents resource center for more.


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