Child development chart: Preschool milestones

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Child development chart: Preschool milestones

Every child grows and develops at his or her own pace. Still, child development tends to follow a fairly predictable path. Check out this child development chart for milestones from ages 2 to 5. If your child's development seems to be lagging behind in certain areas, share your concerns with your child's doctor.

Age 2Age 3Age 4Age 5
Language skills
Speaks about 50 words Speaks 250 to 500 or more words Answers simple questions Understands rhyming
Links two words together Speaks in three-and four-word sentences Speaks in complete sentences Uses compound and complex sentences
Uses some adjectives (big, happy) Uses pronouns (I, you, we, they) and some plurals Uses prepositions (under, beside, in front) Uses future tense
Speaks clearly enough for parents to understand some of the words States first name Speaks clearly enough for strangers to understand States full name and address
Social skills
Becomes aware of his or her identity as a separate individual Imitates parents and playmates Cooperates with playmates Wants to be like friends
May become defiant Takes turns Tries to solve problems Follows rules
Becomes interested in playing with other children Expresses affection openly May have a best friend Understands gender
Separation anxiety begins to fade Easily separates from parents Becomes more independent Wants to do things alone
Cognitive skills
Begins to play make-believe Asks "why" questions Becomes involved in more complex imaginary play Uses imagination to create stories
Begins to sort objects by shape and color Correctly names some colors Prints some capital letters Correctly counts 10 or more objects
Scribbles Copies a circle Draws a person with two to four body parts Copies a triangle and other geometric patterns
Finds hidden objects Understands the concepts of same and different Understands the concepts of morning, afternoon and night Understands the concepts of time and sequential order
Physical skills
Walks alone and stands on tiptoe Walks up and down stairs, alternating feet Stands on one foot for at least five seconds Stands on one foot for at least 10 seconds
Climbs on furniture and begins to run Kicks, climbs, runs and pedals a tricycle Throws ball overhand, kicks ball forward and catches bounced ball most of the time Hops, swings and somersaults
Builds a tower of six or more blocks Builds a tower of nine or more blocks Dresses and undresses May learn to ride a bike and swim
Empties objects from a container Manipulates small objects and turns book pages one at a time Uses scissors Brushes own teeth and cares for other personal needs
Last Updated: 2010-07-30
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