What a difference a year makes! Your four-year-old isn't a toddler anymore, but a full-fledged preschooler. Like many parents, you may be wondering what developmental milestones await you and your four-year-old, particularly as you anticipate kindergarten in the not-so-distant future. Keeping in mind that every child develops in his or her unique way, here are some of the key milestones you may observe:
- Understands the idea of what a word is in print — and that words and sentences are read from left to right
- Holds a book correctly and turns pages front to back
- Has memorized some favorite books and can recite them along with you.
- Knows some upper- and lowercase letters, and understands that letters stand for sounds (“B makes the buh sound”)
- Can recognize his name and some familiar words in signs around them (such as “stop”)
- Can identify whether or not two words rhyme, or whether they start with the same sound
Your Checklist for Reading Development
Write and Wipe ABC 123 — Need an easy way to get your little one writing letters without accumulating piles and piles of worksheets? This book provides an easy-to-clean, reusable surface for kids to practice writing upper- and lowercase letters and numbers.
BOB Books Set #1: Beginning Readers — Introduce your child to sight words, rhyming words, and letter sounds with this BOB Books set perfect for kids beginning their reading journey. Created by a literacy expert, this set features ten books that gradually include more letter sounds until your child has read every letter of the alphabet.
- On average, a 4-year-old knows about 1,500 words, but don’t start counting! If your child’s vocabulary is increasing — and she shows an interest in learning and using new words — she’s on track!
- His sentences are getting longer (4 to 5 words) and may have more variety (“Grandma got me that, didn’t she?”)
- Can listen to details and retell a story
Your Checklist for Language Development
Scholastic First Picture Dictionary — A visually engaging way to expand your child's vocabulary is with this robust picture dictionary featuring over 700 words and stunning, colorful photos selected by specialists.
- Can walk heel-to-toe and run
- May be able to climb jungle gyms at the playground (but needs close supervision!)
- Can kick a ball
- Can stand on one foot for four or five seconds
- Can draw simple shapes, use scissors, and string beads
- Can dress, undress, and brush teeth
Your Checklist for Physical Development
Draw with Clifford the Big Red Dog: Activities for Building Fine–Motor and Early Writing Skills — Help give your future da Vinci a solid foundation of drawing and fine-motor skills with these activities that help strengthen visual perception and hand-eye coordination.
- Still has difficulty sharing but is beginning to understand taking turns
- Wants to please friends (and maybe you too!)
- May be quick to get angry but tries to control it or express it through words
- Knows what tasks are expected but may lose focus on following through
Your Checklist for Emotional Development
Llama Llama Time to Share — Even your child's favorite fictional characters have trouble sharing at first — in Llama Llama, Time to Share, Llama Llama doesn't want to share his toys with his new neighbor! But Llama Llama learns a valuable lesson that'll surely encourage your little one to share with his friends.
When Sophie Gets Angry – Really, Really Angry... — Open up a conversation with your child on tantrums and anger with the help of Sophie, a little girl who is understandably really, really angry after her sister snatches her toy away.