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Ages and Stages

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Home > My Child > Ages and Stages > 4 to 5 Years

My Child
4 to 5 Years

Four-year olds are growing in self-esteem, independence and confidence. They tend to be more even-tempered and cooperative with parents, even though they will continue to stand up for what they want. However, children will vary in all these areas of development.

Play the Game (88K)

Welcome to the Zap Family
Junior Zap "Plays" Mom and Dad Against Each Other
Junior Zap Builds a Sandcastle
Junior Zap Doesn't Finish His Dinner
Junior Zap Dresses Himself
Junior Zap Gets More Control Than He Can Handle
Junior Zap Interrupts Mom
Junior Zap Plays Hockey
Junior Zap Spends Time With Dad
Junior Zap Throws a Tantrum
Preschoolers: A developmental overview

At This Stage

  • A four-year old is full of energy and loves testing his body in indoor and outdoor activities, such as climbing, hopping, skipping and even pedalling a tricycle.

  • Your child can now focus for longer periods on activities like cutting and drawing and creating interesting projects.

  • The drive for independence continues with the desire to dress, undress and feed themselves, but help may still be needed with buttons and shoe laces.

  • Four-year olds speak in complete sentences, use language to make up stories, repeat rhymes and songs, love to play with words and ask lots of questions, especially "Why?"

  • Imagination is also developing with make-believe play, and the mind is busy sorting reality from fantasy and beginning to realize what past, present and future mean.

Reading many different types of books will enchant your four-year old. Watch and listen for "themes" that reflect what is being heard in books and explored in play. Be prepared to answer endless questions.

Find out more about what to expect.

Comfort, Play & Teach: A Positive Approach to Parenting™

To help you to encourage your child's social, emotional and intellectual development, we have created Comfort, Play & Teach: a Positive Approach to Parenting™. This simple approach is built on everyday activities that are part of your daily routine.

What may seem like the simplest and most automatic activities that you do with your child every day - like putting a bandage on a "boo boo", playing hide and go seek, or cuddling with your baby – are in fact among the most important ways parents can help children reach their full potential.

When you comfort, play with and teach your child, you open up a world of possibilities for her. Through simple activities that are easy and natural to do, you encourage your child's ability to learn and to create, to communicate to love and to trust and to approach life with confidence and enthusiasm.

  • When you comfort your child, she learns to feel secure, loved and valued.
  • When you play with your child, he learns to explore and discover the world and his role in it.
  • When you teach your child, she learns how to relate to others, solve problems and communicate.

All areas of your child's development are interconnected and depend on nurturing the whole child. Comfort, Play & Teach: A Positive Approach to Parenting™ provides a practical and natural way to support your child's healthy development. When you comfort, play with and teach your child, you are encouraging all aspects of his development:


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Your Child's First Five Years