Major Developmental Milestones for Children Aged 3-5

Every child develops differently, but it is still a good idea to make sure that they are hitting their developmental milestones.

If a child is not able to do some or most of the skills listed below, it may be a good idea to talk to your health care professional.

Listed below you will find the major developmental milestones for children aged 3 to 5.

Be sure to check out even more of my helpful parenting tips, too!

Major Developmental Milestones for Children Aged 3-5 | Mommy Evolution

Major Developmental Milestones for Children Aged 3-5

Three Year Olds

Children who are three years old should understand general routines and basic personal care.

This means that they should know that in the morning you wake up and eat breakfast, during the day you have lunch, bedtime is at night, etc.

He or she should be able to dress themselves for the most part and copy things that they see adults doing, like pretending to drive or talk on the phone.

By this age they should also be able to pedal a trike and walk up and down stairs one foot at a time.

Four Year Olds

Kids who are four really start to develop their imagination and will take on “real” roles while playing, like cops and robber, mother and daughter, etc.

They should be able to count, even if they get a few numbers wrong here and there, as well as draw basic human figures.

For major motor skills, he or she should be able to hop on one foot.

For fine motor skills, they should be able to feed themselves without issues and use a spoon or fork to “cut” their food into smaller pieces.

Five Year Olds

By this age, most kids are in preschool or kindergarten.

They like to make friends and play with other children and can also retell stories they have heard or even invent their own.

Five year olds should be fully potty trained, able to dress themselves, speak clearly enough so other adults can understand them and know that there are differences between boys and girls.

If you child cannot feed themselves, do a somersault or understand past, present and future tenses, you might want to discuss this with your doctor.

To find other milestones for children under age three or over age five, the CDC offers printable check lists online or you can also get them from your family doctor.

Keep in mind that multiple births and premature babies do not follow the same guidelines a single and full term births.

Developmental Milestones for Children 3-5

Photo Credit – Photo Modified


  1. As I mom to a child on the spectrum, I emphasize what you say about asking your health care professional. Early intervention is so critical! If you have concerns, ask.

    Waiting until they are already in school to start getting help could make things more difficult than need be for your child. In many school districts it takes longer to get a school age child in to the system than a preschooler.

    1. That’s an excellent point, Audrey. Preschool children are much easier to get into the system in the U.S. Once they hit elementary school, it becomes harder to get full resources.

  2. I enjoyed reading about the developmental milestones for each age group. This is a great resource. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Amber Faulk says:

    Thank you, I enjoyed reading this and kind of checking off things in my head that my three year old has already been doing and should be doing. Definitely something to work on!

    1. These are just guidelines, for sure. Every child develops at her own pace. But if your kiddo isn’t meeting the milestones, just keep a watch out… it could be an indicator that something else is going on.

  4. It’s real a nice content of children. I am a mom of three year old child and feel all the milestones as you have mentioned in my child’s development.

  5. Sarah Ballance says:

    My five year old girl has a anxiety disorder and depression. The therapist and her doctors think it is SPD. She also has ADHD. Are we on the right road? Here is somethings about my little one. She would not stop crying when she was a baby. She could not eat stage three baby food. She hated baths. She hated clothes. She never sleep through the night. She can’t go to sleep on her own now. She has been potty training since 11 months. Still freaking out. Have to color or play something. She thinks it hurts to go potty. Been to doc did poop testing all pee testing you can think of nothing is wrong. It was so bad she would not go potty but yet she sat there for 2 or more hours screaming and crying and hitting herself and sometimes me. She can’t use toilet paper we use wips. She freaks out about her panties not fitting right her socks itching her. Her shoes to lose or to t. She won’t wear pants, shorts. She can’t ride a bike, because it hurts her. She can’t any kind of flipping or stuff like that. She can’t play very good with another’s. She sometimes reads. Stays in the line. Tell you things that are way up there for her age. She can’t some foods because of texture. She falls all the time. She can’t hear you sometimes until you touch her then she jumps. Loud noises scary her. The rain. She loves to sleep with heavy blankets a fan for background noise. She can not dress herself. But she is trying to learn how to, she seems to get it then forgets it all. This is just like the potty. She loves swing and that was the only thing she liked as a baby. She tries so hard to put on a front when she is around people then she will freak out in front of them as well, when she leaves she freaks out. She freaks out all the time. Her anxiety is very bad had to put her on meds. Please help I am so worried. There is more please help!

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