Early-In Special Education Preschool Program

Developmental Milestones

Image of children engaged in playing on the ground

Below are a few reference tools to help you know when a concern for your child’s development may be warranted.  Please note that all children develop at their own pace.  Your child may have skills scattered throughout different age levels.  These lists are not meant to be used as diagnostic tools.  They are meant to reference ages at which most typically developing children gain these skills.

Milestone Moments is a helpful resource from the Centers for Disease Control’s Child Development page.  Click on the links below for more information.

Milestone Moments English
Milestone Moments Spanish

The following was compiled by the Early-In Special Education Preschool team as a more concise list of general developmental skills by age level.  If you do not see a skill that you are concerned about, refer to the Milestone Moments above for a broader comparison.

1 – 2 years

  • Imitates behavior of others
  • Enjoys being near other children
  • Demonstrates increasing independence
  • Shows some defiant behavior
  • Begins make-believe play
  • Begins to sort by shape/color
  • Points to objects/pictures when named
  • Points to body parts
  • Says several single words (by 15-18 mo)
  • Uses simple phrases (by 18-24 mo)
  • Imitates words others say
  • Walks alone
  • Climbs onto & down from furniture
  • Walks up & down stairs holding on
  • Scribbles
  • Builds tower of 4 or more blocks

2 – 3 years

  • Jump in place, two feet together
  • Stand on one foot, unaided
  • Kick ball forward
  • Throw ball
  • Snip with scissors
  • Hold crayon with thumb and finger
  • Imitate vertical, horizontal & circular strokes on paper
  • Match shapes
  • Can tell how many -1 or 2
  • Roll, pound, squeeze clay material
  • Follow simple directions
  • Play near other children
  • Identify objects by their use
  • Imitate words heard
  • Communicate using short phrases
  • Assist with dressing/undressing

3 – 4 years

  • Balance on one foot 5 seconds
  • Pedal a tricycle
  • Throw ball with direction & catch ball
  • Copy a circle, imitate a cross on paper
  • Scribble, holding crayon correctly
  • Match/sort objects by color & shape
  • Rote count to 5/count objects to 3
  • Knows own name and age
  • Knows phrases of songs
  • Listen to short story (5 minutes)
  • Share toys, take turns
  • Pretend play with dolls and people
  • Stay on activity of choice 5 minutes
  • Follow 2-step commands
  • Communicate in 3-4 word sentence
  • Use pronouns (I, you, me) and plurals
  • Use toilet independently

4 – 5 years

  • Hop on one foot
  • Run and change direction without stopping
  • Draw a person with four body parts
  • Dress/undress/use toilet by self
  • Knows right from left
  • Uses scribbles & some letters to write
  • May copy some letters and shapes
  • Can identify own name in print
  • Count 10 or more objects
  • Able to copy/extend a simple pattern
  • Name at least four colors correctly
  • Stay on activity of choice 10 minutes
  • Say own name and address
  • Verbalize own feelings
  • Carry on conversation on one topic
  • Knows function of money
  • Wants to please friends/be like them
Published by Shonda Virgil on October 10, 2019

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