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Developmental Characteristics of K4 Students

Developmental Characteristics of K4 Students

Every child’s development is unique. Although children develop through a generally predictable sequence of milestones, we cannot say exactly when a child will reach each and every stage. Every child has his or her own timetable. The characteristics below are offered only as a reference to give you a better understanding of your child. Feel free to contact your pediatrician and/or your child’s school if you have any questions.

The Four-Year-Old

Physical Development

  • High motor drive: runs, climbs, bikes, spins, swings
  • Beats out rhythms and enjoys music
  • Increased physical coordination
  • Uses hands more than arms to catch small balls
  • Improved small muscle control: buttons, zips, strings beads, puts puzzles together
  • Colors with large motions

Social and Emotional Development

  • Joyous, energetic, ready for anything
  • Finds power in him/herself, more self-assured
  • Emotions can be extreme and intense (very happy, sad or mad)
  • Fluid imagination
  • Doesn’t stay with one activity for long
  • Develops greater self-control and ingenuity
  • Pretend play is more complex
  • Wants to be more self reliant and independent
  • Learning what causes certain feelings and explores with coping skills

Intellectual Development

  • Greatly increased vocabulary
  • Shows curiosity with the written word and numbers
  • Loves to talk and responds to conversations
  • Wants challenges
  • Shows an increased attention span
  • Improved understanding of concepts: big/small, long/short, behind/in front of, on top of/under
  • Enjoys books, both being read to and looking through them
  • Excited about own abilities and can be boastful
  • Insatiable curiosity and is always seeking the answer to “why”

The Five-Year-Old

Physical Development

  • Requires 10-11 hours of sleep each night
  • Dresses self-independently
  • Throws and catches balls
  • Rides a tricycle skillfully; may show interest in riding a bicycle with training wheels
  • Uses a fork and knife well
  • Left or right hand dominance is established
  • Walks down stairs, alternating feet without using a handrail
  • Interested in performing tricks like standing on head, performing dance steps
  • Capable of learning complex body coordination skills like swimming, ice or roller skating
  • Runs, skips, hops and gallops
  • Learning to tie shoelaces
  • Copies shapes and cuts with scissors

Social and Emotional Development

  • Can take turns and share
  • Understands and respects rules
  • Tries new things and takes risks
  • Likes to make own decisions
  • Begins understanding of right and wrong
  • Carries on conversation with other children/adults
  • Still confuses fantasy with reality sometimes
  • Often fears loud noises, the dark, animals, and some people
  • Expresses anger and jealously physically
  • Likes to test muscular strength and motor skills, but is not emotionally ready for competition
  • Sometimes can be very bossy
  • Notices when another child is angry or sad-more sensitive to feelings of others

Intellectual Development

  • Likes to reason; uses words like “because”
  • Enjoys riddles and jokes
  • Understands that stories have a beginning, middle, and end
  • Able to remember stories and repeat them
  • Understands “more,” “less,” and “same”
  • Recognizes categories (“These are all animals; these are all toys.”)
  • Interested in cause and effect
  • Can understand time concepts like yesterday, today, and tomorrow
  • Learning address, phone number and birthday
  • Memorizes and repeats rhymes and stories
  • Draws pictures that represent objects
  • Sorts and compares objects
  • Identifies and writes letters and numbers
  • Counts and identifies sets to ten
  • Developing good attention span
  • Likes to feel grown up; boasts about self to younger, less capable children
  • Sometimes needs to get away and be alone
  • Has a good sense of humor, and enjoys sharing jokes and laughter with adults

Reference: "GCISD - Curriculum Guides and Developmental Characteristics." 2002. Grapevine-Colleyville ISD. 7 Dec. 2007 .