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Developmentally Delayed Pre-K

Development during the preschool years encompasses a broad range of normal. The following checklist of skills depcits 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

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

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 Overviewing of Your Growing Child

Florida Department of Education (FLDOE)

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