Ages Stages Child Development
3-8 Years Old

ages stages child development

Ages stages child development - As babies mature, they progress through a series of child development milestones on their way to adulthood.

These developmental landmarks are characterized by the emergence of new gross motor, fine motor, language, cognitive, social, and emotional skills. As new skills develop, children are able to participate in more complex activities.

See what to expect along the way and how you can help in the developmental process just by playing games with your child!

We'll start with 3 year olds and progress through the elementary school years identifying specific behaviors that are characteristic of each age.

But please remember, these are only general guidelines. Your child will NOT fit exactly within these parameters.

Click on links below to find child development stages by age

Looking for child development milestones for younger kids? 

You might also be interested in the following topics:

*Child Growth and Development & Implications for Physical Activity
*Child Motor Development Stages

3-Year Old: Friend or Enemy?

Ages Stages Child Development
3 Years Old

Handles objects with better control
Strings beads
Cuts with scissors
Balances on 1 foot for 3-4 sec
Walks on a 1" straight line
Walks on 4" wide beam altern steps
Feeds self
Opens doors
Washes and dries hands
Throws a ball overhead
Tries to catch a large ball
Walks on tiptoes
Kicks a ball forward
Jumps with both feet
Pedals a tricycle
Pays attention for about 3 min
Knows some numbers
Knows where things usually belong
Matches circles and squares
Matches an object to its picture
Match objects with same function
Counts 2 to 3 objects
Follows simple one-step commands
Makes 3-5 word sentences
Names at least 10 familiar objects
Names at least one color correctly
Helps with simple tasks
Plays spontaneously with 2-3 kids 
Catches a bounced ball
Moves forward & back with agility
Draws a person with 2-4 body parts
Understands "same" & "different"
Jumps 5-10 times on both feet
Hops 2-5 times on one foot
Jumps over a 3-4" hurdle 
Walks 3" beam 6' forward/3' back
Walks along a wall w/o holding on 
Constantly asks "why" questions
Builds towers of 8 blocks
Pours accurately
Initiates games with other kids
Washes face & brushes teeth
Puts together a 4-6 piece puzzle
Remembers where things are left 
Finds first letter of name on signs
Finds hard to share

Ages Stages Child Development
3.5 Years Old

Begins to control starts, stops, & turns while running
Jumps 10 times on both feet
Hops 5 times on 1 foot
Jumps down from 2.5'
Walks 3" beam 7.5' for/4.5' back Knows 1,250 words
Adds 50 words to vocab each mon
Speaks in more complex sentences
Continues to ask "Why" questions 
Draws simple figures
Rolls clay into a ball
Uses knife to apply soft spreads
Movements are more fluid/smooth
Frustrates easily 
Enjoys building things
Assumes you see what child can see 
Likes to explain why things happen  

3 Year Old: Friend or Enemy
4 Year Old: Wild & Wonderful

4-Year Old: Wild & Wonderful

Ages Stages Child Development
4 Years Old

Walks with mature pattern
Observes things with eyes only - no hands needed
Improved depth perception
Buttons large buttons 
Draws a picture with some detail
Balances on 1 foot for 10 sec
Walks circular pattern on a 1" line
Walks on a 3" beam w/altern steps
Tries to use fork
Holds a pencil
Tries to write name
Draws using whole arm 
Draws a circle
Draws a face
Tries to cut paper with scissors
Tries to buckle, button, and lace
Completely undresses self
Builds a tower of 7-9 blocks
Puts together simple 4-12 pc puzzle
Tries to skip
Catches a bouncing ball
Walks downstairs using rail/alt feet
Swings self on playground swing 
Recognizes red, yellow, and blue
Understands taking turns
Wants to know what happens next
Understands big, little, tall, short
Sorts by shape or color
Follows 3 instructions given at once 
Understands "real" vs "pretend"
Has a large vocabulary
Uses good grammar often
Enjoys rhyming & nonsense words
Understands "next to"
Pretends- plays w/imaginary objects
Acts out events which tell a story
Prefers playing with other kids to playing alone
Changes game rules while playing
Likes simple games-tag, hide & seek
Likes "rough and tumble play" 
Likes to do things for self
Knows age
Can do a somersault
Copies triangles & geometric shapes
Counts 10 or more objects
Starts to know concept of time

Ages Stages Child Development
4.5 Years Old

Goes up stairs alternating feet, but comes down with a lead foot
Can start and stop while running, but can't dodge
Tries to gallop, but probably can't
Hops 7-9 times
Walks on 3" beam 9' forward/6'back
Performs 8-10" standing long jump 
Jumps over a 9" hurdle 
Performs 24-33" running long jump
Knows 1,800 words
Adds 50 words to vocabulary/mon
Speaks 4-5 word sentences
Talks through actions while playing
Draws people with faces, eyes, noses, arms, and legs, but no bodies
Draws crude houses and cars
May write name
Follows outline drawings & colors inside lines, but not very well
Puts together 10-25 piece puzzles
Follows simple instructions on kits with help
Cuts with scissors, but not accurately
Throws bean bags and small balls, but aim isn't very good
Catches large balls using arms & hands
Begins to throw overhand
Starts to see things from another person's perspective
Can draw a conclusion based on 2 or more ideas
Plays simple board games
Does well on memory games
Knows that 3 is more than 2, but doesn't understand same relationship with bigger numbers

5 Year Old: Sunny & Serene
6 Year Old: Loving & Defiant

5-Year Old: Sunny & Serene

Ages Stages Child Development
5 Years Old

Understands horizontal & vertical 
Better control with fingers 
Colors within the lines 
Cuts with scissors fairly accurately 
Draws a recognizable person
Performs a 16" standing jump 
Jumps over 6" hurdle 
Hops 6' on either foot
Throws a small ball with a same-side forward stepping pattern
Rolls sideways to the right & left
Walks up/down stairs carrying an object in hand w/out assistance
Walks 1" line 12' long (2 step offs)

6-Year Old: Loving & Defiant

Ages Stages Child Development
6 Years Old

Begins to dodge 
Running strides get longer 
Hops 10 or more times
Can jump and reach 2-3" 
Walks on 3" beam 11' for/8' back
Climbs a rope ladder, pole, tree 
Standing broad jumps 5-18" 
Jumps over a 9" high hurdle 
Running longs jumps 28-35" 
Know more than 2,000 words 
Learns 1,000 word a year 
Speaks in 6-8 word sentences 
Draws more detailed pictures 
Draws simple dot-to-dot drawings 
Traces a line, copies letters, & draws around shapes 
Colors more neatly, but still has trouble staying in lines 
Uses knife & fork, but has trouble cutting meat 
Cuts straight & curved lines 
Carries things carefully 
Begins to understand jokes 
Starts to put things in order 
Matches & sorts using more than 1 category 
Recognizes letters & 1 or 2 words 
Counts to 10, but doesn't know that 9 is greater than 8 
Carries out actions more systematically & methodically 
Uses very simple logic 
Manipulates, cheats, misleads, lies 
Age of innocence is passing   Parents are not quite center of child's world like in the past 
Likes to please, but is becoming more competitive 
Expresses feelings & may cry when hearing a sad story 
Likes stories without pictures 

7 Year Old: Life in a Minor Key
8 Year Old: Lively & Outgoing

7-Year Old: Life in a Minor Key

Ages Stages Child Development
7 Years Old

Prefers pencil over crayons
Makes uniform size letters/numbers
Drawings of people more accurate
Moves to direction commands
Runs with a mature pattern
Jumps in place for 1 minute
Jumps a self-turned rope
Performs a 3-4' standing jump 
Jumps over 8" hurdle
Hops 16' on either foot
Walks a 4" wide beam 8' long on the floor (1 step off)
Throws a small ball 35-60'
Strikes an 8" ball from a tee using a mature pattern

8-Year Old: Lively & Outgoing

Ages Stages Child Development
8 Years Old

Copies a diamond shape 
Tries to write in cursive
Identifies R & L on others or objects
Jumps over a 9" hurdle
Walks a 4" wide beam 8' long 4" off the ground (1 step off)
Kicks a soccer ball 13' or more
Catches a tossed ball w/hands only
Bounces ball on floor target 13 sec

ages stages child development

Here's an excellent book I would highly recommend that was a helpful resource for child development milestones.

It also provides 130 fun activities you can do with your 2-6 year olds to help them learn through play activities.

Visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for downloadable developmental milestone checklists.

Free active kids games for all ages stages child development

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