4 years old Milestone

Balancing, drawing and climbing … here’s what to expect.

The majority of children will achieve these milestones by the time they turn 4 years. All children develop at different rates. Some children are slower than others (developmentally delayed) but catch up with time. Other children, however, may have an underlying problem that causes their development to be delayed, and they may not catch up.

Download Checklist

Evaluate your child with this checklist

It is important for these children to get as much treatment (early intervention) as possible. So if you are concerned about any aspect of your child’s development, see your child health nurse or doctor for help as soon as you can. If in doubt, it is better to have your concerns checked than to ‘wait and see’.

Gross Motor

  • Walk alone up and down stairs, one foot per step
  • Run well on flat surface, turning sharp corners
  • Climb playground ladders and other equipment easily
  • Ride tricycle and pedals easily
  • Catch, bounce, throw and kick a ball

Fine Motor

  • Hold pencil between thumb and 1-3 other fingers
  • Draw a basic human figure
  • Draw other simple pictures (e.g. a house)
  • Brush teeth with supervision
  • Wipe after using toilet
  • Dress except for hard to reach buttons, bows and shoelaces

Talking and understanding

  • Use two or more personal pronouns (I, you, he, she, etc.)
  • Name colours and shapes
  • Hold conversations
  • Tell story in past and future tense
  • Repeat back a sentence of 10 sounds
  • Be easily understood by strangers
  • Understand human feelings (e.g. cold, tired, hungry)
  • Give first and last name
  • Understand prepositions (e.g. in, out and beside)


  • Do up buttons, put on socks and shoes
  • Name age in years
  • Play cooperatively with other children
  • Begin to play games in groups with simple rules
  • Fully undress
  • Create play reflecting complex social situations


  • Create play with stories with different roles
  • Able to compare object as higher or longer
  • Count to five
  • Count objects as well as rote counting
  • Repeat back four numbers

Youthrive is providing this as general information only and it should not be relied upon as professional or medical advice. You should seek professional and medical advice for particular health concerns or manifestations. Our best efforts have been used to ensure this information is considered correct and current in accordance with accepted best practice in Queensland as at the date of production.

Originally produced by Child Development Network.

First Appointment

If you are a parent who has not had any experience with therapy services for your child, the process can seem quite overwhelming. Here’s what to expect at your first appointment.


Initial Consultation

The initial appointment is typically one hour in duration. Your child will attend this session for Speech Pathology, Dietetics and Occupational Therapy. For Psychology appointments you will need to check if your child is required for the initial consultation at the time of booking.


Information Session

The therapist will ask detailed information about your child’s family history, health and development, education and any concerns you may have.


Goals & Assessment

An assessment may be commenced during this initial appointment and goals for therapy will be established.