Content Map Terms

Physical Development: 4-5 years





Your toddler's physical development is amazing to watch. Here you'll learn what to expect, from running to jumping to grasping a pencil.

Motor skill development

At this age, your child will be able to move well when walking, climbing, hopping, skipping, (but might lose her balance when jumping). She’ll be able to walk heel-to-toe, skip unevenly and run well.

He’ll be able to walk down steps using alternating feet, and judge his footholds well when climbing.

Your child might be able to balance while doing a forward roll without falling over. He’ll be able to support his weight on a combination of body parts – for example, on his head and hands.

Your child will be getting better at throwing, catching, kicking and bouncing a ball. She’ll be learning how to kick a ball while moving behind it.

Your child’s hand-eye coordination will be getting better. Letting her build block structures, do puzzles, string beads, and pour liquid into small containers. She’ll be getting better at writing, drawing and using art tools like pencils, markers, chalk and paint brushes. She may also be showing a preference for being right-handed or left-handed.

Your child will spill less frequently when using a cup or spoon. He’ll be able to dress and undress by himself but may still need help with laces, buttons and zippers.

Health status and practices

At this age, your child will be able to comb his hair on his own, he can wash and dry his hands before eating and after using the toilet, and he can clean up without constant supervision.

Your child might be more willing try new foods. She might also enjoy helping you make simple, healthy snacks.

Your child will continue to build awareness of her surroundings and her ability to follow basic health and safety rules, such as staying on the sidewalk, but she’ll still need appropriate supervision to keep her safe.

Tip: At 4-5 years, your child shows greater judgment and awareness of his own limitations, but will still need your help to keep him safe.

© Raising Children Network Limited, reproduced with permission.

Resources & Links:

HealthLink BC: Growth and Development, Ages 2 to 5 Years 
HealthLink BC: Health and Safety, Ages 2 to 5 Years 


Last Updated: November 30, 2014