Happy birthday 4 year old! Over the next year your child will develop many new skills and her current skills will greatly improve. Curiosity and energy are your child’s strongest characteristics now, so pretend play and outdoor play are probably her favorites. She is also developing and defining her physical, emotional, and social skills.
Your Child’s Development
A 4 year old child’s favorite two words are ‘Why’ and ‘How’. She wants to learn about everything these days and it seems that the answers she gets are never enough to satisfy her curiosity. As a result of this high level of curiosity, it’s a great time to get your child involved in outside activities that feed her curiosity. If she is interested in a particular subject, seek out activities that will help her learn more about it. For instance, if she loves music, look for children’s music programs that not only can teach her how to play an instrument, but will teach her about the history of music and introduce her to different types of music.
Physically, your child is now at the age where they love to dance and play more physical games such as hide and seek, or tag. These types of games help your child learn about spatial awareness. When playing hide and seek for instance, she must decide if a hiding space is big enough to conceal her.
Your four year old is also eager and happy to help with small chores around the house. Most children of this age can clean up their room or the playroom, help put away groceries, put clothes in the laundry, fold washcloths and towels, help set the table for dinner, and help with chores in the garden.
Emotionally, your 4 year old is temperamental. She may go from extreme happiness one minute to being sad and crying the next. The fortunate thing is that she will get over being sad just as quickly as she became sad. A 4 year old is also very self-absorbed and may think that every decision made during the day should cater to her needs. This year she will begin to understand that it is not always just about her. This lesson is learned quickly after starting school and having to share attention with so many other children.
Socially, your little one is learning how to get along with other children and to share. Still, quarrels and telling tales are common at this age. As her social skills develop, you will also notice an interest in pretend play in which she will imitate the adults in her life. She also now understands the meaning of friendship and is empathetic to others. She knows when someone is sad and will often give hugs or kisses to make them feel better.