Preschooler Milestones: 2 to 5 years Old

Your little one is growing up, and with greater physical maturity will come new developmental milestones. Here are a few of the developments that you can expect to see as your child grows from an active 2-year-old into a more self-sufficient 5-year-old.  


2-3 Years Old
 
  • Washes and dries hands 
  • Jumps on both feet
  • Brushes teeth with help
  • Identifies some pictures by naming
  • Prepares a bowl of cereal 
  • Dresses with some help
  • Identifies some colors by name
  • Stacks and knocks down objects
  • Learns to handle paper pages
  • Finds favorite pictures in books
  • Finishes growing all 20 baby teeth
  • Copies lines and circles
  • Strings beads
  • Runs without tripping
  • Climbs up and down stairs independently
  • Balances on one foot
  • Develops a larger vocabulary
  • Improves in comprehension
  • Follows directions with prepositions
  • Understands simple stories
  • Develops a vivid imagination
  • Matches pictures to real life
  • Enjoys simple puzzles
  • Plays house
  • Names objects and actions 
  • Counts to three
  • Shows interest in other children
  • Understands rules
  • Declares things "mine"
  • Recognizes its gender identity
  • Should be ready for toilet training
  • Steadily increases its vocabulary
  • Speaks with 75% clarity


3-4 Years Old
  • Develops friendships independently at preschool, for instance
  • Plays with other children instead of just side by side
  • Uses a spoon and fork like an adult
  • Masters toilet training
  • Brushes teeth with supervision
  • Uses an adult toilet
  • Stays dry most nights
  • Develops a right or left-hand preference
  • Walks on tip toes 
  • Stands on one foot  
  • Builds towers of 6-9 blocks 
  • Catches a ball 
  • Draws or paints in vertical, horizontal, and circular motions
  • Can handle small objects such as puzzles  
  • Communicates needs, ideas and questions more clearly 
  • Scribbles with crayons
  • Speaks in short sentences
  • Holds crayons well
  • Throws and catches a large ball
  • Pedals a tricycle
  • Confuses fantasy and reality
  • Handles books competently

4-5 Years Old

  • ‚ÄčBrushes teeth with little or no supervision
  • Begins losing baby teeth 
  • Improves at emotional control
  • Shows empathy
  • Has more small muscle control
  • Hops on one foot
  • Begins to skip 
  • Throws a ball overhand 
  • Pumps itself on a swing 
  • Dresses itself 
  • Can cut along a line with scissors 
  • Can make designs and write crude letters  
  • Develops a very active imagination 
  • Creates imaginary friends 
  • Tends to brag and be bossy
  • Enjoys pretending to be an important adult  
  • Becomes very talkative 
  • Enjoys serious discussions 
  • Asks lots of questions, including "how" and "why" questions 
  • Should be able to understand some basic concepts such as number, size, weight, color, texture, distance, time, and position
  • Engages with books
  • Makes attempts to read and write
  • Identifies familiar signs and labels
  • Participates in rhyming games
  • Identifies some letters and sounds
  • Turns paper pages one at a time
  • Listens to longer stories
  • Can retell a familiar story
  • Offers to help
  • Hops, climbs and skips
  • Listens with interest to explanations
  • Pronounces words more clearly
  • Tells creative stories
  • Answers simple questions
  • Uses shape and color names
  • Understands past, present and future
  • Develops new fears
  • Shares with others
  • Plays by the rules
  • Imitates TV characters
  • Controls its urges