African American 5 Year Old

Toddlers  3-5  years of age

Early Learning Tools/Resources:  For Families, Caregivers and Early Learning Educators

Many parents and caregivers, as well as teachers and early learning providers, are eager for information and resources on how to connect with babies and toddlers, manage young children's behavior, and help children develop relationships, regulate their behavior and emotions, and talk about their feelings. When the adults in children's lives have appropriate expectations of children's development at different ages, they have greater success—and much less frustration—with young children.  Click the arrow button above to learn more.

Developmental Achievements

Skills such as naming colors, showing affection, and hopping on one foot are called developmental milestones. Developmental milestones are things most children can do by a certain age. Children reach milestones in how they play, learn, speak, behave, and move (like crawling, walking, or jumping).

As children grow into early childhood, their world will begin to open up. They will become more independent and begin to focus more on adults and children outside of the family. They will want to explore and ask about the things around them even more. Their interactions with family and those around them will help to shape their personality and their own ways of thinking and moving. During this stage, children should be able to ride a tricycle, use safety scissors, notice a difference between girls and boys, help to dress and undress themselves, play with other children, recall part of a story, and sing a song.

What children do by ages four and five :

Social and Emotional Milestones at Four

Social and Emotional Milestones at Five

  • Enjoys doing new things 

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  • Plays “Mom” and “Dad” 

  • Is more and more creative with make-believe play 

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  • Would rather play with other children than by himself 

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  • Cooperates with other children 

  • Often can’t tell what’s real and what’s make-believe 

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  • Talks about what she likes and what she is interested in 

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  • Wants to please friends 

  • Wants to be like friends 

  • More likely to agree with rules 

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  • Likes to sing, dance, and act 

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  • Is aware of gender 

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  • Can tell what’s real and what’s make-believe 

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  • Shows more independence (for example, may visit a next-door neighbor by himself [adult supervision is still needed]) 

  • Is sometimes demanding and sometimes very cooperative 

Language and Communication at Four

  • Knows some basic rules of grammar, such as correctly using “he” and “she” 

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  • Sings a song or says a poem from memory such as the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” or the “Wheels on the Bus” 

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  • Tells stories 

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  • Can say first and last name

Language and Communication at Five

  • speaks very clearly 

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  • Tells a simple story using full sentences 

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  • Uses future tense; for example, “Grandma will be here.” 

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  • Says name and address

Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)

at age Four

  • Enjoys doing new things 

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  • Plays “Mom” and “Dad” 

  • Is more and more creative with make-believe play 

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  • Would rather play with other children than by himself 

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  • Cooperates with other children 

  • Often can’t tell what’s real and what’s make-believe 

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  • Talks about what she likes and what she is interested in 

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  Cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving)

  at age Five

  • Counts 10 or more things 

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  • Can draw a person with at least 6 body parts 

  • Can print some letters or numbers 

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  • Copies a triangle and other geometric shapes 

  • Knows about things used every day, like money and food 

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Interactive Positive Parenting

Following are some of the things you, as a parent, can do to help your preschooler during this time:
  • Continue to read to your child. Nurture her love for books by taking her to the library or bookstore.

  • Let your child help with simple chores.

  • Encourage your child to play with other children. This helps him to learn the value of sharing and friendship.

  • Be clear and consistent when disciplining your child. Explain and show the behavior that you expect from her. Whenever you tell her no, follow up with what he should be doing instead.

  • Help your child develop good language skills by speaking to him in complete sentences and using “grown up” words. Help him to use the correct words and phrases.

  • Help your child through the steps to solve problems when she is upset.

  • Give your child a limited number of simple choices (for example, deciding what to wear, when to play, and what to eat for snack).

Child Safety First

As your child becomes more independent and spends more time in the outside world, it is important that you and your child are aware of ways to stay safe. Here are a few tips to protect your child:

  • Tell your child why it is important to stay out of traffic. Tell him not to play in the street or run after stray balls.

  • Be cautious when letting your child ride her tricycle. Keep her on the sidewalk and away from the street and always have her wear a helmet.

  • Check outdoor playground equipment. Make sure there are no loose parts or sharp edges.

  • Watch your child at all times, especially when he is playing outside.

  • Be safe in the water. Teach your child to swim, but watch her at all times when she is in or around any body of water (this includes kiddie pools).

  • Teach your child how to be safe around strangers.

  • Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until he reaches the top height or weight limit allowed by the car seat’s manufacturer. Once your child outgrows the forward-facing car seat with a harness, it will be time for him to travel in a booster seat, but still in the back seat of the vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Cdc-pdf  (2 pages   External) has information on how to keep your child safe while riding in a vehicle.

Healthy Bodies

  • Eat meals with your child whenever possible. Let your child see you enjoying fruits, vegetables, and whole grains at meals and snacks. Your child should eat and drink only a limited amount of food and beverages that contain added sugars, solid fats, or salt.

  • Limit screen time for your child to no more than 1 to 2 hours per day of quality programming, at home, school, or child care.

  • Provide your child with age-appropriate play equipment, like balls and plastic bats, but let your preschooler choose what to play. This makes moving and being active fun for your preschooler.

  • Make sure your child gets the recommended amount of sleep each night: For preschoolers 3-5 years, 10–13 hours per 24 hours (including naps)

 

Take your completed Child Development Tracker form, created by age, with you and talk with your child’s doctor at every well-child visit about the milestones your child has reached. 

Content Source: 

The CDC are partners that support children & family wellness. Their researchers, scientists, doctors, nurses, economists, communicators, educators, technologists, epidemiologists and many other professionals all contribute their expertise to improving public health and is a major component of the Department of Health and Human Services and is recognized as the nation’s premiere health promotion, prevention, and preparedness agency.

The National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) strives to advance the health and well-being of our nation’s population, including our most vulnerable populations. National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention