Ages four to Five

What should my child be able to do at Ages Four to Five Years?

Hearing and Understanding

  • Pays attention to a short story and answers simple questions about them.

  • Hears and understands most of what is said in school.


  • Uses sentences that give lots of details ("The biggest peach is mine").

  • Tells stories that stick to topic.

  • Communicates easily with other children and adults.

  • Says most sounds correctly except a few like l,s,r,v,z,ch,sh,th.

  • Sways rhyming words.

  • Names some letters and numbers.

  • Uses the same grammar as the rest of the family.

What can I do to help?

  • Talk about spatial relationships (first middle and last; right and left) and opposites (up and down, big and little).

  • Offer a description or clues and have your child identify what you are describing.

  • Work on forming and explaining categories (fruits, furniture, shapes).

  • Follow your child's direction as she or he explains how to do something.

  • Give full attention to your child when he or she is speaking, and acknowledge, praise and encourage him or her afterward. Before you speak to your child, be sure to get his or her undivided attention. Pause after speaking, allowing him or her to respond to what you have said.

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