Your Child From 3 to 4 Years
From Observer to Explorer:
The Most Important Developmental Achievements
Typically Can: Typically Can:
green-arrow.gif Begin to grasp concept of sharing green-arrow.gif Point to 6 common shapes (e.g., star, triangle)
green-arrow.gif Show attachment to one playmate green-arrow.gif Understand "nearest" and "longest"
green-arrow.gif Enjoy games with rules green-arrow.gif Recall events in recent past
green-arrow.gif Show interest in sex differences and may undress with other children green-arrow.gif Begin to match pictures in simple lotto games
green-arrow.gif Enjoy dramatic play with others green-arrow.gif Understand difference between reality and fantasy
green-arrow.gif Takes turns green-arrow.gif Count to 5
green-arrow.gif Generally stops napping green-arrow.gif Distinguish something alive from an object
Emerging Skills: Emerging Skills:
green-arrow.gif Show concern for younger or hurt person green-arrow.gif Count up to 10 and understand number concepts up to 3
green-arrow.gif Be a team leader green-arrow.gif Use increasing number of pronouns and prepositions with understanding
green-arrow.gif Play cooperatively in a group green-arrow.gif Understand "It's time to"
Typically Can: Typically Can:
green-arrow.gif Play with language and make up new words green-arrow.gif Control frustration and anger much better
green-arrow.gif Use average vocabulary of 2000 words green-arrow.gif Experience positive self-esteem and feels good about themselves and what they do
green-arrow.gif Use correct grammatical structure green-arrow.gif Talk about feelings such as hungry, sleepy, not well
green-arrow.gif Talk about imaginary conditions green-arrow.gif Comply to requests from parents a greater percentage of the time
green-arrow.gif Use negatives (e.g., "I don't want to go") green-arrow.gif Concentrate for up to 20 minutes
green-arrow.gif Understand the two prepositions "on top of", "under" green-arrow.gif Show strong interest and feelings for family
green-arrow.gif Carry a tune green-arrow.gif Persevere on a difficult task for longer
green-arrow.gif Use plural nouns (e.g., dogs)
Emerging Skills: Emerging Skills:
green-arrow.gif Ask questions of "why and "how" green-arrow.gif Show desire to fit into routines of homes
green-arrow.gif Recite nursery rhyme or sing a song green-arrow.gif Carry out small chores to fit into family and be responsible
green-arrow.gif Use past, present and future verbs (e.g., talked, talk and will talk) green-arrow.gif Show self-reflection (e.g., "What I said isn't nice")
green-arrow.gif Understand top, middle and bottom green-arrow.gif Understand and have positive and negative feelings about another person
green-arrow.gif Say most speech sounds accurately
green-arrow.gif Be 80% understandable to people outside the family
green-arrow.gif Use 5 or 6 word sentences
green-arrow.gif Speak with grammatical correctness
Typically Can: Typically Can:
green-arrow.gif Walk on tiptoes for 10 feet green-arrow.gif Put large jigsaws together
green-arrow.gif Balance on walking board green-arrow.gif Cut with play scissors
green-arrow.gif Ride tricycle without bumping into things green-arrow.gif Paint with a large brush on large paper
green-arrow.gif Enjoy throwing and catching games green-arrow.gif Toss bean bags into holes in targets
green-arrow.gif Move to music in rhythm green-arrow.gif Manipulate clay
green-arrow.gif Walk up and downstairs alternating feet green-arrow.gif Draw a person with 3 parts
green-arrow.gif Fold paper
Emerging Skills: Emerging Skills:
green-arrow.gif Bounce on trampoline green-arrow.gif Button or unbutton buttons
green-arrow.gif Carry out rudimentary galloping green-arrow.gif Cut on line with scissors
green-arrow.gif Jump down from 2 foot height green-arrow.gif Carry cup without spilling
green-arrow.gif String small beads to make a necklace

Encourage your child to express language by:
1. Sharing likes, dislikes and feelings.
2. Talking about big and little, fast and slow, near and far.
3. Having the child tell all s/he can about him/herself.
4. Pausing in a story and asking how the person may have been feeling.
5. Reading stories regularly.

Rough-house games encourage children to have fun running and rolling, both inside and outside. Four-year-olds need opportunities to run, climb, gallop and jump. Outdoor time and just "getting the wiggles out" can be great for all the family.

Pretend play using your old clothing allows children to use their imagination and role-play. Encourage pretend play by having dress-up clothes available and helping children to make up a play or a puppet act.

Fine motor activities such as painting, cutting, building with cubes, printing letters and puzzles should be continued. Activities like these increase attention span, and fine motor skills.

Books, language games and story-telling continue to be important as your child's language expands. If these can reflect a child's interest, they will be especially inviting. Try and be patient in answering children's endless questions.

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For more information please call 1-877-583-KIDS.

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