As your child steps into early childhood, you may notice some interesting changes in the way your child plays, learns and grows. As they are ready to enter kindergarten, these kids are eager to acquire more skills and knowledge about their environment. Having a good idea about their key milestones of this age would help you track the status of your child’s growth, both physically and cognitively.

4years

Gross Motor Skills

  • Skips on one foot
  • Climbs stairs, alternating feet without support

Fine Motor Skills

  • Draws a person with at least 3 body parts
  • Draws a simple cross
  • Unbuttons and buttons medium-sized buttons
  • Grasps pencil with thumb and fingers instead of fist

Verbal Language Skills

  • Answers questions like “What do you do when you are cold?”
  • Uses 4-word sentences
  • Speaks in words that are 100% understandable to strangers
  • Draws recognizable pictures
  • Tells parent a story from a book
  • Follows simple rules when playing board/card games

Social Language and Self-help Skills

  • Enters bathroom and has bowel movement by self
  • Brushes teeth
  • Dresses and undresses without much help
  • Engages in well-developed imaginative play

The way your child plays, moves, speaks, learns, and acts can give you important clues about your child’s development. Your child would be able to sit for a longer time and follow some instructions as given by the instructor.

5 years

Gross Motor Skills

  • Enjoys catching, throwing, kicking a ball
  • Has good balance when playing large muscle games (tumbling, throwing, basketball)
  • Tries to skip on both feet and hops

Fine Motor Skills

  • Ties a knot
  • Dresses self including buttoning and zipping
  • Shows interest in writing
  • Copies squares and triangles

Verbal Language Skills

  • Has good articulation and language skills
  • Counts up to 10 numbers

Social Language and Self-help Skills

  • Follows three steps directions in the order given (get the ball, put it into the box, come to the table)
  • Enjoys playing organized games (rule based) with other children

You might be witnessing your child learning to regulate emotions. Still, they are prone to meltdowns. Understanding between the concepts of right and wrong, making new friends, and trying to do new things are many of them that you would be cherishing.

6 years

Gross Motor Skills

  • Gains greater control over gross and fine motor skills
  • Enjoys vigorous running, jumping, climbing, throwing, etc.

Fine Motor Skills

  • Writes some letters and numbers
  • Enjoys challenging puzzles, stacks, and mazes
  • Draws a person with at least 6 body parts

Verbal Language Skills

  • Has fluent speech
  • Names at least 5 colors by now
  • Loves telling jokes and riddles
  • Converses in small sentences

Social Language and Self-help Skills

  • Dresses with minimal assistance
  • Uses language to express emotions (That’s mine! Don’t touch it!)
  • Anxious to please; needs and seeks adult approval
  • Mimics dating behavior such as kissing, cuddling, and holding hands

When to Be Concerned?

All children develop at slightly different rates. But, there are some things that could signal potential developmental issues. 

We recommend you consult an expert if the child:

  • Doesn’t show a wide range of emotions
  • Loses skills your child once had
  • Having trouble focusing for more than 5 minutes
  • Being usually withdrawn and not active
  • Doesn’t draw pictures
  • Doesn’t talk about daily activities or experiences
  • Can’t tell what’s real and what’s make-believe
  • Doesn’t use plural or past tense properly
  • Shows extreme behaviors like being fearful, shy, aggressive, or sad
  • Can’t brush teeth, wash arms and legs, or get undressed without help

In case you observe any such issues, it is recommended to consult your pediatrician and get a developmental screening done. If you think you need any kind of support such as speech consultation or assessment, or any kind of therapies for helping children with developmental delays, our expert psychologists, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, behavioral therapists, and special educators at Wellness hub are happy to help you. Happy Parenting!