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Your Child's Physical Development 4-5 years

4 to 5 Years

Your child at a glance

Your child's confidence in her physical skill is ever increasing, and fine motor skills such as drawing will improve. During this stage you are likely to see your child:
  • Walking backwards hop on one foot 1-3 times
  • Jumping on one foot and jump forward several times
  • Throwing and catching large ball
  • Developing control and skills on tricycle, including curves and spins
  • Stringing small beads
  • Drawing squares and more detailed pictures of people

Your child’s story

Your child’s physical confidence is ever increasing, and he is building on the skills he has already acquired. This year he will learn to hop on one foot as well as balance on one foot (for a few seconds). He is practicing his skills on the tricycle, and starts trying new things such as curves and spins. Going up and down stairs will be no feat for your toddler at this stage, and you will find he can move very well both forward and backward.

As well as kicking a ball, your child will now be able to throw it overhead, and will take great joy in bouncing a large ball and in particular catching it, which she is getting much better at during this stage.

Child cutting paperAs for fine motor skills, your toddler will be able to build towers as high as ten blocks, and starts stringing small beads as well as large ones. He can use safety scissors and cut on a line continuously. He dresses and undresses without your assistance, and will usually manage buttons and zippers.

When drawing, your child is starting to include more detail, and producing more concrete drawings. However, it is still worth remembering that she may see a specific image within her more abstract drawings too. In addition to circles and crosses, you may find that your toddler can draw squares, imitating you or copying a square she sees on the paper. At this age, she is likely to stop switching hand in the middle of the activity she’s engages in, and may show clear handedness (if right handed). Getting school ready, your child may even start to write a few capital letters during this stage.

What you can do to support and encourage your child’s development

Your child is still working on increasing his physical skills; eg. he will master more equipment in the playground and show real confidence and skill with his tricycle. Encourage and support him in his endeavours while you ensure he keeps safe. He will love games where you join in, e.g. playing catch with a large ball and making up games that involve jumping and balancing.

Engaging in artwork remains an activity you can enjoy together. Praise and encourage your toddler's efforts, and show her new things she can try to copy and do herself. It can be great fun to draw familiar things around you, as your child’s art is becoming more concrete. She may also start to draw recent situations or events she has experienced. Provide strings, smaller and larger beads, or even dry penne pasta. Her attention span at this stage is about 30 min, about 5-10 min per activity.

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