Developmental Milestones Prek For Children 4-5 Years Old

Developmental Milestones Prek Children

As we discussed on the developmental milestones main page, children develop in specific ways but at their own pace. Some of your young preschoolers may still be developing their younger preschool or already be developing their Kindergarten skills!

The list below, although not exhaustive, shows the key abilities and processes that can be reasonably expect from a 4-5 year old in seven developmental areas.

Social Development

  • Asks for help when needed.
  • Engages in cooperative play with small groups of children frequently.
  • Gives attention to stories for 10-15 minutes.
  • Says "please" and "thank you" without reminders.
  • Joins in mealtime conversations.
  • Initiates friendships with peers.
  • Plays interactive games.
  • Plays with peers with minimal conflict.
  • Interacts with adults in a cooperative, socially appropriate manner.
  • Asks permission to use items belonging to others.

Cognitive Development

  • Makes suns, animals, trees, flowers, etc.
  • Counts to 10 by rote.
  • Names picture that has been hidden.
  • Comprehends concept of opposites.
  • Works a 12-piece (or larger) puzzle.
  • Draws a two-part (or 3-part) person.
  • Counts four or more objects.
  • Identifies four colors when named.
  • Identifies shapes.
  • Extends sentences logically.

Emotional Development

  • Developing sense of humor.
  • Shows increasing levels of positive interactions and friendliness in small-group settings.
  • Responds to a specific need/disire when expressed by another child.
  • Verbalizes and is comfortable expressing a wider variety of emotions.
  • Openly and warmly expresses affection to other children.
  • Comforts other children.
  • Is able to return to equilibrium after experiencing stress.
  • Exhibits concern for fairness in what happens to others by sharing and/or taking turns.

Physical Development: Large/Gross Motor Skills

  • Balances on one foot for 5-10 seconds.
  • Jumps over a stationary rope held 6" above the ground.
  • Pedals a tricycle around obstacles and sharp corners.
  • Catches a ball in hands, arms flexed.
  • Hops around on one foot without support.
  • Walks backward.
  • Throws a ball with accuracy.

Physical Development: Small/Fine Motor Skills

  • Holds paper in place with one hand while writing with the other.
  • Cuts with scissors along a thick, straight line.
  • Draws recognizable pictures.
  • Draws or copies shapes.
  • Laces shoes or lacing board.
  • Cuts with scissors following a simple outline.

Communication and Language Development

  • Follows 3-step directions without distraction.
  • Demonstrates understanding of difference between "is" and "is not" by pointing to objects.
  • Uses possessive forms of nouns.
  • Uses a series of conjunctions.
  • Averages at least five-word sentences in conversations.
  • Describes items and/or objects in books.
  • Speech is clear and can be understood by others.

Creativity Development

  • Assigns roles or takes assigned roles during play.
  • Takes on characteristics and actions during role play.
  • Uses language to create and sustain plots during play.
  • Uses elaborate themes, ideas, details during play.


As with all milestones, remember that there can be a 6 to 8 month window with typical development. This means that children may exhibit skills 6 to 8 months before or after the age the skills are listed under.

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