A Blog from Your Kaiser Permanente Pediatricians in Northern California


Your 4-Year-Old

Four is such a fun age! Your child will love playing games with you. They’ll learn card, board, and rhyming games. Say a word and ask what rhymes with it. You can also sing together. They can tell you in simple terms about an experience they’ve had. They might even make up a few details!

Most children this age can:

  • Name 1 color.
  • Balance on each foot for 2 seconds.
  • Copy a circle.
  • Have speech that’s all understandable.
  • Say their name.
  • Match things that are the same (such as a pairs of socks).
  • Tell the difference between fantasy and reality. But a 4-year-old’s active imagination can create all kinds of scary and threatening scenarios.
  • Master most grammar skills.
  • Speak in sentences with at least 5 or 6 words.
  • Pedal a tricycle.
  • Throw a ball overhand.
  • Go up and down stairs without holding onto anything.
  • Use safety scissors.

Your child may be ready to:

  • Sing songs.
  • Write some capital letters.
  • Hop on one foot.
  • Name 4 colors (about 12 % of boys are red-green color blind so, keep your eyes out for this).
  • Play board games—get ready for endless games of Candyland. Good luck!

Remember, all children develop at their own pace. So, if your kiddo isn’t doing all these things just yet, you’ll likely see them soon. If you’re concerned about your child’s development, talk to your pediatrician at your next well-child visit, or send an email with your question anytime.

Disclaimer: If you have an emergency medical condition, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. An emergency medical condition is any of the following: (1) a medical condition that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) such that you could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in serious jeopardy to your health or body functions or organs; (2) active labor when there isn't enough time for safe transfer to a Plan hospital (or designated hospital) before delivery, or if transfer poses a threat to your (or your unborn child's) health and safety, or (3) a mental disorder that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity such that either you are an immediate danger to yourself or others, or you are not immediately able to provide for, or use, food, shelter, or clothing, due to the mental disorder. This information is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of specific medical advice or care you receive from your physician or other health care professional. If you have persistent health problems, or if you have additional questions, please consult with your doctor. If you have questions or need more information about your medication, please speak to your pharmacist. Kaiser Permanente does not endorse the medications or products mentioned. Any trade names listed are for easy identification only.