Developmental Milestone for Your 3-4 Year Old

2 year(s) ago
Developmental Milestone for Your 3-4 Year Old

The developmental journey of your child is just so fascinating to watch. Sometimes, you see a process like an eruption of a tooth and sometimes you are amazed at something your child does or says that she was unable to do so till yesterday! This period can also be considered as a transition phase from babyhood to childhood. A four-year-old child can be quite a handful and this is what you can expect from 3 to 4 years.

I. Physical Development

Physical Development includes the mastering of movement and balance and the development of both gross and fine motor skills.

Gross motor skills involve the use of body's big muscles and fine motor skills involve the use of small muscles.

A. Gross Motor Development

  • On an average, the height of a 4 year old is approximately double the birth length.
  • A 4 year old can run, hop, skip, jump, swing and climb up and down stairs with ease.
  • He can throw and catch a ball most of the time with coordination.
  • He can hop and stand on 1 foot for up to 2 seconds.

B. Fine Motor Development

  • Pencil hold has developed.
  • The child can button his clothes.
  • He can pour liquids in a glass.
  • He can use his fingers for mashing.
  • He can cut with a scissors under supervision.
  • He can also copy some capital letters.
  • The child can also draw basic figures.

II. Language Development

A child is exposed to language even before his birth as language development begins with hearing and hearing begins in the mother's womb. Language development is the ability to listen, understand the spoken word and express oneself verbally.

  • By the 4th birthday, a child's vocabulary is more than 1000 words.
  • Basic rules of grammar are understood.
  • The child can recite poems and narrate stories.
  • He can also speak in 4-5 word sentences.
  • When asked his name, the child usually states his name and surname.

III. Cognitive Development

Cognitive development is the ability through which a child learns to reason, solve problems and think systematically. It includes the development of all skills pertaining to learning and thinking.

  • By this age, the child understands the concept of past tense. He can distinguish between what has already happened and what is currently happening.
  • He can identify a few colours and numbers.
  • The concept of counting is developing and he can count objects till 4.
  • What is characteristic of this age is the curiosity of the child. He asks a lot of questions. This is a sign of appropriate cognitive development and is something that parents should always encourage.
  • By this age, there is also an understanding of the concept of time.
  • When stories are often repeated, the child can remember parts of these stories. Even with unknown stories, the child can predict what will happen next.
  • The child can draw a human figure with about 2-4 appropriate body parts.
  • By 4, the child starts playing board games or card games.

IV. Social Emotional Development

Social and emotional development often go hand in hand as the development in one area often have an impact on the development in the other. Social development is the ability to interact and communicate with others and develop and maintain relationships. Emotional development is the ability to express and manage our emotions. Development in this area has a direct impact on the self-esteem and self-confidence of the child.

  • 3-4-year-old engage in a lot of make believe or pretend play. They now improvise on this play and bring about a lot of creativity. A simple example would be multiple uses and functions of a simple object like a box.
  • Role playing also starts. When playing house, children take up roles of mother and father.
  • Parallel play now gives way to co-operative play. The child enjoys playing with other children and doing new things.
  • He can now express in words his likes and interests.
  • Gradually learn to take turns but not when he is are upset.
  • A sense of humour starts developing and they love to laugh at silly words and situations.

Click on the link to watch a video about your child's developmental milestones.

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Prachi Chitre
Prachi has more than 15 years experience in the field of Mental Health. During this time, she has helped parents manage a variety of issues ranging from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD), Autism, giftedness, cognitive impairment, emotional and behavioural difficulties to daily child development/ parental concerns. She holds a Masters in Human Development and Bachelors in Psychology. Her 11 year old son and gang of nieces and nephews offer her multiple opportunities to practice the concepts of Child Development, lest she forgets to view things from a child’s point of view.

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