All children develop a little differently. If you are concerned about your child's development, talk to your child's health care provider.
PHYSICAL AND MOTOR
During the fourth year, a child typically:
Gains weight at the rate of about 6 grams (less than one quarter of an ounce) per day
- Weighs 40 pounds (18.14 kilograms) and is 40 inches tall
- Has 20/20 vision
- Sleeps 11 to 13 hours at night, usually without a daytime nap
- Grows to a height that is double the birth length
- Shows improved balance
- Hops on 1 foot without losing balance
- Throws a ball overhand with coordination
- Can cut out a picture using scissors
- May still wet the bed
SENSORY AND COGNITIVE
The typical 4-year-old:
- Has a vocabulary of more than 1,000 words
- Easily puts together sentences of 4 or 5 words
- Can use the past tense
- Can count to 4
- Will be curious and ask a lot of questions
- May use words they do not fully understand
- May begin using vulgar words
- Learns and sings simple songs
- Tries to be very independent
- May show increased aggressive behavior
- Talks about personal family matters to others
- Commonly has imaginary playmates
- Has an increased understanding of time
- Is able to tell the difference between 2 objects based on things like size and weight
- Lacks moral concepts of right and wrong
- Rebels if too much is expected of them
As the parent of a 4-year-old, you should:
- Encourage and provide space for physical activity.
- Show your child how to participate in and follow the rules of sporting activities.
- Encourage play and sharing with other children.
- Encourage creative play.
- Teach your child to do small chores, such as setting the table.
- Read together.
- Limit screen time (television and other media) to 2 hours a day of quality programs.
- Expose your child to different stimuli by visiting local areas of interest.