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Preschooler Milestones Checklist: A Must-Know Guide for Parents

Preschooler Milestones Checklist: A Must-Know Guide for Parents

From 3 to 5 years old, your little one is considered a preschooler. This stage is crucial as it is your child’s time to transition from being the adventurous toddler to a more independent and sociable grade-schooler. To monitor if their growth and development are on track, here’s a preschooler milestones checklist you can refer to.

Preschooler milestone checklist

Physical Development

Most 3-year-olds can:

  • Run and climb easily
  • Climb up and down the stairs
  • Pedal a 3-wheeled bike

Most 4-year-olds can:

  • Hop and stand on one foot for about 2 seconds
  • Coordinate their hands well: they can cut, pour, and mash their foods with supervision
  • Catch a ball most of the time

Most 5-year-olds can:

  • Hop and stand on one foot for about 10 seconds or longer
  • Use utensils
  • Swing
  • Use the bathroom on their own

Home Safety Rules For Preschoolers

Language Development

Most 3-year-olds can:

  • Understand and use common prepositions such as “in,” “on,” and “under”
  • Understand and use pronouns such as “I,” “you,” and “we”
  • Introduce themselves using their name, age, and gender
  • Talk to someone, even strangers, using 2 to 3 sentences
  • Name their friends and familiar objects

Most 4-year-olds can:

  • Use basic grammar, including pronouns like “he” and “she”
  • Use their memory to recite short poems or sing songs
  • Tell stories

Most 5-year-olds can:

  • Speak very clearly
  • Use full sentences with correct tense (Daddy was here, Mommy will give me…)
  • Recite their address

How to Help You Preschooler Develop Their Language Skills

Social and Emotional Development

Most 3-year-olds can:

  • Show affection to friends and family even without encouragement or urging from parents.
  • Understand the idea of possession, “it’s mine,” “that’s yours”
  • Separate with parents easily
  • Take turns during games and activities
  • Exhibit a wide range of feelings
  • Get upset if something in their routine changes

Most 4-year-olds can:

  • Have fun doing new things
  • Show that they enjoy playing with other children than by themselves; shows cooperation
  • Be more creative in pretend plays but unable to understand when something is real or just make-believe
  • Talk about things and activities that they like

Most 5-year-olds can:

  • Understand when things are real or make-believe
  • Show that they want to please their peers or they want their friends to like them
  • Agree with rules
  • Understand genders
  • Be more independent; sometimes wanting to do things on their own
  • Be demanding or cooperative

Nurturing the Socio-Emotional Development of Preschoolers

Cognitive Development

Most 3-year-olds can:

  • Play with toys with several parts, such as buttons and levers
  • Play with puzzles with 3 to 4 pieces
  • Turns a book one page at a time
  • Turn door knob
  • Screw and unscrew lids of jars or bottles
  • Enjoy pretend play with dolls, etc.
  • Copies a circle with a crayon or pencil
  • Put on shoes, but may do so incorrectly (right goes to left, vice versa)

Most 4-year-olds can:

  • Name and understand some colors and numbers
  • Remember parts of stories
  • Understand the idea of time and counting
  • Draw a person with up to 4 body parts
  • Play board games
  • Share with you what they think will happen in the next part of the story
  • Start to copy some capital letters.
  • Understand the idea of “the same” and “different”
  • Lace shoes

Most 5-year-olds can:

  • Counts 10 or more things
  • Draw a person with up to 6 body parts
  • Understand everyday things such as food and money
  • Copy shapes and print some letters and numbers

Preschool Stage: Nurturing Cognitive Development

Reminder: Preschooler Milestones Checklist

When using this preschooler milestones checklist, remember that kids grow and develop differently from one another. This checklist is a guide, a list of functional tasks and skills that most children can do at a certain age.

It’s possible for a child to be a little advanced or late for their age. That’s why, if you notice that your preschooler cannot do some of the tasks and skills included here, it doesn’t automatically mean that there’s a problem. It could be that they just need more time to practice.

If you’re worried about your child’s growth development, trust your instinct: Set an appointment with a doctor. Don’t resort to the “let’s wait and see” approach. Remember that if your child indeed has a developmental problem, early intervention is crucial.

Learn more about Parenting a Preschooler here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. Updated Feb 21
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel