Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here
The world and your Catholic life, all in one place.
Subscribe to Aleteia's free newsletter!

Not Prepared to Donate?

Here are 5 ways you can still help Aleteia:

  1. Pray for our team and the success of our mission
  2. Talk about Aleteia in your parish
  3. Share Aleteia content with friends and family
  4. Turn off your ad blockers when you visit
  5. Subscribe to our free newsletter and read us daily
Thank you!
Team Aleteia



The most important milestones for your toddler to reach by age 4


Every child is unique but you can do your part by loving them and cheering them on.

The “magical years” begin around the 3rd birthday, when your child’s world is filled with fantasy and vivid imagination. These are also years of tremendous growth. So what are some of the important developmental milestones your child should reach by three or four years old?

Following the criteria established by the American Academy of Pediatrics, let’s consider some of the specific achievements at this age according to their book, Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5:

 Gross motor skills

  • Can jump and stand on one foot for up to five seconds
  • Can go up and down stairs without support
  • Can kick a ball forward
  • Can throw a ball
  • Can catch a bouncing ball most of the time
  • Can move back and forth quickly

 Fine motor skills

  • Can copy square shapes
  • Can draw a person with two to four body parts
  • Can use scissors
  • Can draw circles and squares
  • Can start copying some uppercase letters

Speech achievements

  • Has mastered some basic rules of grammar
  • Can speak in sentences of five to six words
  • Can speak clearly enough to be understood by strangers
  • Can tell stories

 Cognitive achievements

  • Can name some colors correctly
  • Can understand the concept of counting and knows some numbers
  • Can deal with problems from an individual point of view
  • Starts to have a clear sense of time
  • Can follow three-part orders
  • Can remember parts of a story
  • Can understand the concepts of same/different
  • Can participate in fantasy games

 Social and emotional milestones

  • Interested in new experiences
  • Collaborates with other children
  • Plays “mom” or “dad”
  • Increasingly creative in fantasy games
  • Can dress and undress himself
  • Can negotiate solutions for conflicts
  • Is more independent
  • Views himself as a person with a body, mind, and feelings
  • Frequently, cannot distinguish between fantasy and reality

Remember, each child develops at his own pace

Because each child develops in his or her own way, it’s impossible to say exactly when or how each one should perfect a particular skill. These development milestones give a general idea of ​​the changes that can be expected as children grow, but you don’t have to be alarmed if it takes your child more or less time to reach them — every child is unique.

The best way to support children in their growth is to be close to them, dedicate time to them, stimulate them by entering their world, and above all, give them lots of love. It’s not just the amount of time we spend with them, it’s also the quality of that time. Children feel stimulated when they feel loved and protected.

Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.
Aleteia offers you this space to comment on articles. This space should always reflect Aleteia values.
[See Comment Policy]
Readers like you contribute to Aleteia's Mission.

Since our inception in 2012, Aleteia’s readership has grown rapidly worldwide. Our team is committed to a mission of providing articles that enrich, inspire and inform a Catholic life. That's why we want our articles to be freely accessible to everyone, but we need your help to do that. Quality journalism has a cost (more than selling ads on Aleteia can cover). That's why readers like you make a major difference by donating as little as $3 a month.