|Age 2||Age 3||Age 4||Age 5|
|Links two words together||Identifies most common objects||Describes the uses of common objects||Uses compound and complex sentences|
|Speaks clearly enough for parents to understand about half the words||Says first name and age||Speaks clearly enough for strangers to understand||Says full name and address|
|Knows some adjectives (big, happy)||Uses pronouns (I, you, we, they) and some plurals||Uses verbs that end in “ing” and some irregular past tense verbs, such as ran and fell||Uses future tense|
|Speaks about 50 words||Answers simple questions||Tells simple stories||Understands rhyming|
|Becomes aware of his or her identity as a separate individual||Imitates parents and playmates||Cooperates with playmates||Wants to be like friends|
|May become defiant||Takes turns||Tries to solve problems||Follows rules|
|Becomes interested in playing with other children||Expresses affection openly||Becomes interested in new experiences||Understands gender|
|Separation anxiety begins to fade||Easily separates from parents||Becomes more independent||Wants to do things alone|
|Begins to play make-believe||Plays make-believe||Becomes involved in more complex imaginary play||Uses imagination to create stories|
|Begins to sort objects by shape and color||More confidently sorts objects by shape and color||Prints some capital letters and names some colors||Correctly names at least four colors and counts at least 10 objects|
|Understands some spatial concepts (in, on)||Understands more spatial concepts (over, under)||Understands more complex spatial concepts (behind, next to)||Distinguishes between fantasy and reality|
|Scribbles||Copies a circle||Draws a person with two to four body parts||Copies a triangle and other geometric patterns|
|Finds hidden objects||Understands the concept of two||Understands the concepts of same and different||Understands the concepts of time and sequential order|
|Walks alone and stands on tiptoe||Walks up and down stairs, alternating feet||Stands on one foot for at least five seconds||Stands on one foot for at least 10 seconds|
|Climbs on furniture and begins to run||Kicks, climbs, runs and pedals tricycle||Throws ball overhand, kicks ball forward and catches bounced ball most of the time||Hops, swings and somersaults|
|Builds a tower of four blocks or more||Builds a tower of more than six blocks||Dresses and undresses||May learn to skip, ride a bike and swim|
|Empties objects from a container||Manipulates small objects and turns book pages one at a time||Uses scissors||Brushes own teeth and cares for other personal needs|
Most parents get too anxious to score their child on the chart, and they need some help in the process.
Here are some suggestions:
It’s easy to look at such a chart and become anxious because your child is 3 and not yet taking turns, for example. But the fact is, there is not really a specific age for any stage. This is simply a general guideline. Researchers are more sure about the ORDER of what comes first, but cannot say that any stage should happen at a particular age.
Is the child growing? Just as the weight gain of an infant is a general growth indicator, you can look at others. Do you notice more vocabulary words? More understanding? Does curiosity move the child forward? Your child is growing.
Language is important. In the past, we gave time for language development to manifest itself. Recent research sends parent to speech therapists at a younger age now. There is an important reason: Speech is the key for both social and emotional development. Without language, a child is more vulnerable to frustrations and temper tantrums, and will experience a harder time in moving from solitary play to cooperative play without becoming aggressive.
Your child’s development is nurtured by you witnessing it. So, go ahead, become your child’s cheerleader!