• 4 year old Image




Developmental Milestones

Milestone chart
  • Pours, cuts with supervision, and mashes own food
  • Children will be able to use a knife to spread butter or peanut butter with the dominant hand while holding the plate or bread with their non-dominant hand.
  • Beginning use of child-friendly knives is appropriate. They will press with the knife rather than chopping or slicing.

In this stage, you’ll see a coordinated use of hands, in most cases. At this age, it’s important to expose the preschool child to lots of fine motor play and sensory motor play experiences to support development and exposure to motor activities. These promote development needed for fine motor skills and success in later years in the classroom.

Ideas for Learning and Growth

Idea icon
  • Eat meals with your child when possible. Let her see you enjoying healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and drinking milk or water.
  • Give your child simple choices whenever you can. Let your child choose what to wear, play, or eat for a snack. Limit choices to 2 or 3.
  • Say colors in books, pictures, and things at home. Count common items, like the number of snack crackers, stairs, or toy trains.


Concerns Icon
  • You know your child best. Don’t wait. If your child is not meeting one or more milestones, has lost skills he or she once had, or you have other concerns, act early.
  • Talk with your child’s doctor, share your concerns, and ask about a developmental screening.

If you or the doctor are still concerned:

  1. Ask for a referral to a specialist who can evaluate your child more; and
  2. Call your local Missouri public elementary school in which your family resides and ask for a free evaluation to find out if your child can get services to help.

What's Next?

Download the Milestone Tracker app today!

Track your child’s milestones from age 2 months to 5 years with the CDC’s easy-to-use illustrated checklists; get tips from the CDC for encouraging your child’s development; and find out what to do if you are ever concerned about how your child is developing. Photos and videos in this app illustrate each milestone and make tracking them for your child easy and fun.


Download the App