Developmentally Delayed Pre-K

Developmental Skills and Activities 4 to 5 Years

Development during the preschool years encompasses a broad range of normal. The following checklist of skills depicts what we expect most children to develop during a specific range. Remember that children develop at different rates and this is only a guide to help you determine what skills are appropriate to work on with your child.

Personal and Social Skills

Developmental Skills
  • Plays with other children cooperatively
  • Explores gender roles (mommy/daddy) and community helper roles (firefighter, shopkeeper)
  • Understands limits and defines them for others
  • Respects authority, though may still test limits
  • Participates in group games
  • Chooses own friends
  • Is sensitive about teasing
  • Likes silly jokes
  • Dresses, toilets, and eats independently
  • Interested in new experiences
  • Increasingly inventive in fantasy play
  • Dresses and undresses
  • Negotiates solutions to conflicts
  • More independent
  • Imagines that many unfamiliar images may be "monsters"
  • Views self as a whole person involving body, mind, and feelings
  • Often cannot tell the difference between fantasy and reality
Supporting Activities
  • Provide opportunities for role playing and pretending (discourage violent play).
  • Group same-age children together or invite a child of similar age for a "play date" to encourage cooperative play.
  • Teach simple games. (Duck, Duck, Goose)
  • Allow child to help set limits. ("How many turns will each child get?")
  • Help child develop strategies for solving social problems. ("Use words, not hitting."; "What else could you do? What will you you say next time?")

Language and Understanding Skills

Developmental Skills
  • Asks questions to gain information (Why...?, How...?)
  • Understands routines and can tell what activity comes first or next in a sequence
  • Plays with language, making up nonsense words
  • Answers questions about stories and retells stories with assistance
  • Joins sentences together
  • Correctly names some colors
  • Understands the concept of counting and may know a few numbers
  • Tries to solve problems from a single point of view
  • Begins to have a clearer sense of time
  • Follows three-part commands
  • Recalls parts of a story
  • Has mastered some basic rules of grammar
  • Speaks in sentences of five to six words
  • Speaks clearly enough for strangers to understand
  • Tells stories
Supporting Activities
  • Read story books to child.
  • Ask child questions about stories and have child retell stories.
  • Encourage child to act out stories from books or imagination and use different voices for the characters.
  • Engage child in what if games to encourage child's own storytelling. ("What if you could fly...?")
  • Expand the range of computer software available to the child.
  • Arrange trips to the library, zoo, and special events such as parades.
  • Play rhyming games with child. ("Can you say three words that rhyme with cat?")

Small Muscle Skills

Developmental Skills
  • Cuts on a line
  • Copies shapes
  • Prints a few letters
  • Draws to represent objects
  • Builds symmetrical structures with blocks
  • Makes sculptures with nontoxic modeling clay
  • Draws a person with two to four body parts
Supporting Activities
  • Provide building toys such as blocks.
  • Offer child a variety of surfaces to write on. (construction paper, envelope, chalkboard, cardboard).
  • Encourage child to represent objects and activities through drawing.
  • Provide nontoxic modeling clay, sand, paper and glue.
  • Limit number of different objects child may use at one time.

Large Muscle Skills

Developmental Skills
  • Walks backwards
  • Walks up and down stairs without help, alternating feet
  • Hops
  • Begins to skip
  • Kicks a ball accurately
  • Turns somersaults
  • Follows movement directions ("Put your hand on your head, take two giant steps, then turn around.")
  • Hops and stands on one foot up to five seconds
  • Throws ball overhand
  • Moves forward and backward with agility
Supporting Activities
  • Let child help design obstacle course (balance beams, chairs to climb over, tables to crawl under, see saws).
  • Roll and pass large plastic hoops to each other.
  • Organize a noncompetitive kick ball game.
  • Take child to playground to practice climbing, balancing, and other movement activities.
  • Play Simon Says, including challenging movements.
  • Skip with child from the house to the car.
  • Encourage child to practice walking backwards.
  • Play music for dancing and provide musical instruments child can play while dancing or marching.
*Welcome to the World: An Overview of Your Growing Child
Florida Department of Education (FLDOE)

*Center for Disease Control and Prevention- Learn the Signs. Act Early