The language becomes more differentiated – In the fourth year of life, small children develop more and more to become independent. They want to test their own skills, make contact with other children and develop their first friendships. They become aware that they are a boy or a girl, develop fears and learn to empathize with others.
The vocabulary grows
In the previous year , the child has already considerably expanded its vocabulary. In the fourth year of life, it learns to differentiate objects more and more. In addition to language , the toddler discovers his own emotional world more intensively and distinguishes between angry, happy or sad.
The thirst for knowledge in this section of the development calendar is high. It can be challenging when a toddler wants to know why the sky is blue or why the water is wet. It is important to take such questions seriously and to give clear answers that are as easy to understand as possible.
Keep in mind: The questions are not aimed at chemical or physical causes for a toddler in the fourth year of life. It wants to explore and learn to understand the environment. So the answer to the question why the water is wet could be that it washes the dirt off your hands and keeps the laundry clean.
In the following months, the child also learns to find explanations for itself by describing the perceived environment. Maybe one dog is smaller than another because it’s a poodle. The sky can be blue to show the clouds.
The grammar in the vocabulary of the little ones is also differentiated: personal pronouns and the plural are used correctly, they understand the difference between ‘one’ and ‘many’ and can already count to ten. They can also enter their name, gender and often their age.
Physical development and independence
Running , jumping, climbing – some children seem to have inexhaustible energy reserves. Sometimes toddlers in their fourth year are very willing to experiment. You want to know how fast they run, how far they jump and how high they can climb. In this way they get to know their skills and refine their coordination.
Many toddlers in these months of life can already climb stairs with one foot on each step, but still use both feet to go down stairs. Riding a tricycle is a good way to refine motor skills. Ball games are ideal for promoting not only motor skills but also the ability to concentrate. Most children are now able to throw bigger balls and catch them with both hands, and enjoy playing soccer while still using all their physical strength.
In addition, manual skills develop quickly: children can now hold pencils with an efficient 3-point grip. You can already trace some letters and depict people with a head and possibly also arms and legs. Simple constructions with building blocks are rebuilt and really big towers are stacked on top of each other.
In addition, the child wants to be more actively involved in the small things of everyday life. It learns to dress and undress itself, and you can also encourage it to brush and wash its teeth . Always keep in mind that the development steps do not take place according to a fixed schedule: the abilities of small children are different, as is the speed of learning.
The increasing interaction with the environment in the fourth year of life is an ideal opportunity to integrate children into everyday routines. Even if small children are not yet a real help in the household, they enjoy helping you with small tasks.
Let the child help to find the right stockings from the laundry, straighten the bedspread or pass the sugar while baking. You can also involve your child in these months of life with small clean-up tasks.
Such activities in turn support the development of motor skills, language and the ability to concentrate. In addition, the child feels included in the daily routine and increasingly recognizes itself as an important part of the family.
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contacts with other children
Whether on the playground or in kindergarten , contacts are made in the fourth year of life. Playing with others is now on the curriculum in the development calendar. This includes, in particular, social interaction: sharing and waiting until it is the child’s turn becomes part of the newly learned play behavior.
For small children, playing together not only means having fun, but can also lead to arguments – not every child wants to share their toys .
In the fourth year of life, it is important to discover not only your own emotional world but also those of other children.
A foundation for social interaction is laid here.
For example, remind your child of a time when they were sad or angry themselves, and explain that the other child is feeling the same way. In this way, it learns to understand and accept different reactions.
Involve young children in the action
The increasing interaction with the environment in the fourth year of life is an ideal opportunity to integrate children into everyday routines. Even if small children are of course no real help in the household, many have fun supporting you with small tasks.
Let the child help to find the right stockings from the laundry, straighten the bedspread or pass the sugar while baking. You can also involve your child in these months of life for small clean-up tasks.
Such activities in turn support the development of fine motor skills and the ability to concentrate. In addition, the child feels included in the daily routine and becomes an important part of the family.
learn to let go
You may find it difficult to leave your child “alone” in kindergarten. Give them trust: Show your child that you think they are independent enough to make friends and get along with other children. In this way you strengthen his self-confidence, separation anxiety is alleviated.
Your child learns to let go of you for a while, to face different situations and to master them.
- more intense perception of the environment
- Language and emotional experience become more differentiated
- own skills are tested
- making social contacts
- Involve your child in everyday routines