Things a Four Year Old Should Be Able To Do

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I was reading a post at Ready for Ten on things a ten year old should be able to do and it got me to thinking about what a four year old should be able to do, or rather what it’s helpful for them to be able to do, as I’m comfortable with kids progressing at their own pace.

My daughter’s four and about to start school so I’m very aware of the need for me to help her fill in any skill gaps to make that progression a bit easier. I’ve made a wee list of some of the things I think are helpful for a four year old to be able to do;

* Get dressed and undressed
* Put shoes on right feet
* Say please and thank you
* Use the toilet unaided
* Brush teeth on their own
* Write their own name
* Count to ten
* Help around the house by doing basic chores
* Use a knife and fork to some extent
* Use a pair of scissors
* Ride a bike with stabilisers
* Ride a scooter
* Plant a seed
* Make a sandwich

What would you add?


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10 Responses to Things a Four Year Old Should Be Able To Do

  1. Emily O says:

    Having a four year old, I’d agree that’s a reasonably achievable list. There are certainly some things which are helpful for a child to be able to do before they go to school and I’m thinking along the lines of self-care such as using the toilet. At the risk of sounding controversial, I am wary of lists of what a child should be able to do by a certain age. If your child isn’t doing something on ‘the list’ it’s easy to worry, and each child develops at their own pace. A list is useful as a very rough guide maybe.

  2. TheMadHouse says:

    I am not sure, Mini is nearly four and still can not dress himelf or put on his shoes. I think boys develop a little later than girls on these things!

    He also has no idea of how to write his name, yes he can spell it and read books, but again writing comes harder for boys. I am always really careful with things like this, as they always make me feel as though I am not trying hard enough to teach him these things – I feel a post coming on

  3. I think for starting school, getting dressed and undressed, putting shoes on right feet and using toilet unaided are essential (unless child in question will be getting extra help for any reason, of course).

    Other than that, I think at this early age it’s difficult to say. AI think the rest of them are useful, but not essential.

    I’d add be able to sit still and listen for at least 5 minutes, preferably a bit longer. We have been giving Rosemary tips for sitting/standing still, since noticing that she tends to fidget and jump out a lot when trying to listen to someone – sit on your hands; hold your hands together behind your back; put your feet in a ballet position and keep them there. I think that’s going to be the hardest thing for her when she starts school!

  4. Little Mummy says:

    The MadHouse – As I said I’m comfortable with kids progressing at their own pace, I was just thinking along the lines of which skills were helpful at this stage.

  5. Little Mummy says:

    Yes Tasha, listening may be a problem for Erin as she would much prefer to be doing the talking ;)

  6. kairi says:

    my kid is just 2yrs 2mos and she can already put her shoes on the right feet! :) loves bath time and can brush her teeth, well not perfectly.

    though, i’d like to add some in your list:
    – being able to wash their hands before/after eating
    – throw food wrappers in the trash bin

    well, mostly my concern is being clean. :)

  7. Little Mummy says:

    Kairi – I like the food wrappers thing, does my head in when there’s rubbish left lying. We recycle in our area so I also had to teach Erin which materials go where.

  8. Personally i think writing and counting is not a big one at this age , i know our school at least discourage teaching letters before primary one. I really don’t know many 4 year olds that write there name

  9. Little Mummy says:

    Really? Our nursery seems to have taught the kids to write their name, because I’ve never shown her!

  10. loreen says:

    sorry i had to comment on this post my 2 year old is doing all these things that a 4 year old shoul be doing

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