Development Information

Speech & Language Development Fine and Gross Motor Development Confidentiality Disclaimer


Speech & Language Development

Two years

  • Can name a number of objects common to his surroundings
  • Is able to use at least two prepositions, usually chosen from the following: in, on, under
  • Combines words into a short sentence-largely noun-verb combinations (mean) length of sentences is given as 1.2 words
  • Approximately 2/3 of what child says should be intelligible
  •   Vocabulary of approximately 150-300 words
  • Rhythm and fluency often poor
  • Volume and pitch of voice not yet well-controlled
  • Can use two pronouns correctly: I, me, you, although me and I are often confused
  • My and mine are beginning to emerge
  • Responds to such commands as “show me your eyes (nose, mouth, hair)”

Three years

  • Use pronouns I, you, me correctly
  • Is using some plurals and past tenses
  • Knows at least three prepositions, usually in, on, under
  • Knows chief parts of body and should be able to indicate these if not name
  • Handles three word sentences easily
  • Has in the neighborhood of 900-1000 words
  • About 90% of what child says should be intelligible
  • Verbs begin to predominate
  • Understands most simple questions dealing with his environment and activities
  • Relates his experiences so that they can be followed with reason
  • Able to reason out such questions as “what must you do when you are sleepy, hungry, cool, or thirsty?”
  • Should be able to give his sex, name, age
  • Should not be expected to answer all questions even though he understands what is expected

Four years

  • Knows names of familiar animals
  • Can use at least four prepositions or can demonstrate his understanding of their meaning when given commands
  • Names common objects in picture books or magazines
  • Knows one or more colors
  • Can repeat 4 digits when they are given slowly
  • Can usually repeat words of four syllables
  • Demonstrates understanding of over and under
  • Has most vowels and diphthongs and the consonants p, b, m, w, n well established
  • Often indulges in make-believe
  • Extensive verbalization as he carries out activities
  • Understands such concepts as longer, larger, when a contrast is presented
  • Readily follows simple commands even thought the stimulus objects are not in sight
  • Much repetition of words, phrases, syllables, and even sounds

Five Years

  • Can use many descriptive words spontaneously-both adjectives and adverbs
  • Knows common opposites: big-little, hard-soft, heave-light, etc
  • Has number concepts of 4 or more
  • Can count to ten
  • Speech should be completely intelligible, in spite of articulation problems
  • Should have all vowels and the consonants, m,p,b,h,w,k,g,t,d,n,ng,y (yellow)
  • Should be able to repeat sentences as long as nine words
  • Should be able to define common objects in terms of use (hat, shoe, chair)
  • Should be able to follow three commands given without interruptions
  • Should know his age
  • Should have simple time concepts: morning, afternoon, night, day, later, after, while
  • Tomorrow, yesterday, today
  • Should be using fairly long sentences and should use some compound and some complex sentences
  • Speech on the whole should be grammatically correct

Six Years

  • In addition to the above consonants these should be mastered: f, v, sh, zh, th,1
  • He should have concepts of 7
  • Speech should be completely intelligible and socially useful
  • Should be able to tell one a rather connected story about a picture, seeing relationships
  • Between objects and happenings

Seven Years

  • Should have mastered the consonants s-z, r, voiceless th, ch, wh, and the soft g as in George
  • Should handle opposite analogies easily: girl-boy, man-woman, flies-swims, blunt-sharp short-long, sweet-sour, etc
  • Understands such terms as: alike, different, beginning, end, etc
  • Should be able to tell time to quarter hour
  • Should be able to do simple reading and to write or print many words

Eight Years

  • Can relate rather involved accounts of events, many of which occurred at some time in the past
  • Complex and compound sentences should be used easily
  • Should be few lapses in grammatical constrictions-tense, pronouns, plurals
  • All speech sounds, including consonant blends should be established
  • Should be reading with considerable ease and now writing simple compositions
  • Social amenities should be present in his speech in appropriate situations
  • Control of rate, pitch, and volume are generally well and appropriately established
  • Can carry on conversation at adult level
  • Follows fairly complex directions with little repetition
  • Has well-developed time and number concepts
  • **Adopted from Language Development Chart**


Fine and Gross Motor Development

Most children develop by:

Two Years


  • Runs without falling
  • Walks up stairs 3 steps using step-to gait (placing both feet on 1 step) without holding on
  • Walks down stairs 3 steps with 1 hand on rail using step-to gait (placing both feet on 1 step)
  • Throws tennis ball underhand 3ft while standing
  • Throws tennis ball 3-5 feet in direction of target
  • Jumps up 2 inches from floor with both feet
  • Jumps from bottom step, may lead with 1 foot


  • Imitates horizontal stroke
  • Imitates 3-block train
  • Snips with scissors
  • Holds crayon with thumb and fingers
  • Washes hands
  • Holds spoon in fingers — palm up
  • Pulls pants down with assistance
  • Displays shyness in outside situations
  • Engages best in peer interaction with one older child, not a sibling
  • Initiates own play, but needs supervision to carry out ideas
  • Dramatizes using a doll

Three Years


  • Jumps down 14-24” elevation with 2-footed take-off and landing
  • Jumps forward 24” with 2-footed take-off and landing
  • Walks up stairs while placing 1 foot on each step (alternating gait) 4 steps without holding on
  • Peddles tricycle short distances
  • Makes sharp turns around corners when running
  • Avoids obstacles in path
  • Imitates one foot standing 1-5 seconds
  • Catches ball with hands and arms extended
  • Climbs jungle gyms and ladders
  • Kicks ball 6 feet


  • Imitates a cross
  • Puts together simple puzzles
  • Cuts along a line
  • Builds 9-10 block tower
  • Self-feeds with spoon, some spilling
  • Puts shoes/socks on
  • Brushes own hair
  • Plays with another child
  • Shares toys with another
  • Stays in group during activity

Four Years


  • Stands on one foot for 5 seconds
  • Stands on tiptoes with hands overhead more than 3 secs.
  • Hops on one foot forward 1-3 times
  • Walks down stairs by placing 1 foot on each step (alternating gait) 4 steps
  • Able to walk on 2” line for 10 feet without stepping off once
  • Throws tennis ball underhand 10 feet using upper trunk rotation, arms and legs moving in opposition and initiating throw by moving arm down and back
  • Pedals tricycle for long distances and able to turn corners and make u-turn
  • Gallops 5 feet


  • Demonstrates a hand preference
  • Holds marker/crayon with thumb, index, and middle finger (static tripod grasp)
  • Imitates a square
  • Matches 6 colors
  • Cuts out a small square/triangle
  • Buttons front-opening clothing
  • Undresses daily at designated times without reminders
  • Dresses independently when asked
  • Verbalizes feelings prior to physical expression
  • Participates in cooperative play
  • Comforts playmates in distress
  • Quiets down after active period and waits for instructions
  • Returns objects to assigned place when asked

Five Years


  • Completes somersault with chin tuck and without turning to side
  • Gallops 10 feet with weight transferred smoothly and evenly; arms move freely in opposition lo legs
  • Jumps and turns so feet land in opposite direction from starting position (180 degree turn in the air)
  • Hops 8 consecutive times on one foot followed by 8 hops on other foot
  • Skips 8 steps using opposing arm and leg movements and using alternating feet while maintaining balance
  • Hits a target with tennis ball 12 feet away using overhead throw
  • Catches tennis ball with hands only from 5 feet away
  • Runs while pumping arms


  • Uses a refined and fluid grasp on crayons/pencil (dynamic tripod grasp)
  • Imitates triangle
  • Prints own name
  • Prints 10-19 letters per minute
  • Draws a picture of at least 3 objects
  • Cuts with a knife
  • Places shoes on correct feet and laces shoes
  • Plays games with rules (Candyland, Checkers, Kickball)

Six Years


  • Hops 20 feet without falling or letting free foot touch the floor
  • Skips 10 feet using opposing arm and leg movements and using alternating feet, while maintaining balance and rhythm
  • Stands on one foot for 10 seconds for each leg without swaying and with hands on hips
  • Completes 5 sit-ups in 20 seconds
  • Completes 8 push-ups (lift off chest only) in 20 seconds
  • Bounces tennis ball on floor and catches it with 1 hand
  • Kicks ball so that it travels 12 feet in the air
  • Walks on tiptoes 15 feet


  • Prints 14-25 letters per minute
  • Ties shoes
  • Dresses/undresses without help
  • Zips/unzips
  • Able to play games such as “Twister”
  • Uses right and left to direct others
  • Plays difficult games without knowing rules beforehand
  • Accepts friendly teasing
  • Pauses to allow others to speak
  • Offers to help others voluntarily

Information adapted from: Folio, R.M., & Fewell, R.R. (2002). Peabody Scales of Motor Development – 2nd edition. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed, Inc.

Furuno, S. et al. (1994). Revised Hawaii Early Learning Profile. Palo Alto, CA: VORT Corporation.

Gardner, M.F. (2003). Test of handwriting skills manual. Novato, CA: Academic Therapy Publications

Schafer, D. Sue & Moersch, Martha S. (1981). Developmental Programming for Infants and Young Children. ISBN 9780472081431.

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