Getting to know your child’s milestones is as simple as playing with your child.

Skills such as taking a first step, smiling for the first time, and waving “hi” are called developmental milestones. As children grow, they reach milestones in how they play, learn, speak, act, and move. While all children grow and change at their own rate, experts on child development target a window of time when a child may reach each milestone.

To review milestones below, click on the age you want to learn more about.

4 Years

  • Names at least three items from a common category, i.e. cow, dog, pig
  • Follows three unrelated instructions, i.e. clap hands, open book, sit down
  • Sings a song from memory, i.e. Itsy-Bitsy Spider
Gross Motor
  • Catches a large ball with both hands from five feet away
  • Climbs up ladder of playground slide and slides down without help
  • Hops up and down on one foot without losing balance
Fine Motor
  • Puts together a five to seven-piece puzzle
  • Cuts a paper in half with child-safe scissors
  • Colors mostly within the lines in a coloring book
  • Draws a body with at least three body parts
Problem Solving
  • Identifies small circle when given choice of three different circle sizes
  • Names at least five different colors
  • Counts up to five objects in a row using the correct number and order
  • Dresses up and pretends to be a different person or imaginary animal
Personal Social
  • Washes hands with soap and water and dries off without help
  • Tells the names of two or more playmates (not siblings)
  • Dress or undresses self without help (except for snaps, buttons, zippers)
  • Wants to please friends
Talk to Doctor If
  • Has trouble scribbling
  • Shows no interest in make-believe or interactive games
  • Resists dressing, sleeping and using the toilet
  • Ignores other children or doesn’t respond to people outside of family
  • Can’t retell a favorite story
  • Doesn’t understand “same” and “different”
  • Loses skills once able to do

Learn more with a Developmental Screening

To get a more in-depth picture of how your child is developing, we invite you to take a free developmental screening.

Making Meaning from a Screening

After you complete the screening, you may have questions. One in six children have developmental concerns that would benefit from follow up. Research has shown that the sooner the developmental services are started, the better the outcome. There are many services that can support a child’s development, including speech therapy, physical therapy, and developmentally appropriate social activities.

Talking with their health care provider about your concerns can help you determine the best next steps. Your child’s daycare or preschool can also be a partner in supporting your child’s development.

At any time in the process, Help Me Grow is here to walk you through the screening results and to answer your questions.

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