Language Express Preschool Speech and Language Services System of Lanark, Leeds and Grenville.

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Milestones - By 4 Years - Print Version

The developmental milestones listed within each of these age groups mark the progress of young children as they learn to communicate and develop their speech and language skills. If your child is not meeting one or more of the developmental milestones or if you are concerned about your child's speech and language development please contact us at: 1-888-503-8885


  • Follows three-step instructions (“Get your boots, put them on and go outside”)
  • Can show “under,” “behind,” “next to,” and “in front of” with a toy
  • Understands and remembers details of a story
  • Can anticipate what will happen next
  • Answers “Who?” “How?”and “How many?” questions


  • Tells stories with a clear beginning, middle and end
  • Starts a conversation and can keep it going on the same topic for three turns
  • Uses adult-type grammar
  • Can clearly make these sounds in words: k, y, f, g, d, t
  • Talks to try to solve problems with adults and children

Play Development

  • Beginning to enjoy more challenging games (puzzles, building blocks, construction games)
  • Likes to play with other children and uses words to solve problems and plan play: “I’ll be the Mommy and you be the baby.”

Teachable Moments

  • Involve your child in planning daily activities. Talk about things you need for a birthday party, for a weekend trip, or for going to the beach.
  • Make small books of your daily activities out of construction paper. You write the sentences that your child says. She can draw the pictures.  For example, what she did today. Have her share her book with family and friends.
  • Read books with rhyming words (mouse-house) and point out sounds at the start of words (“Mommy starts with the mmmm sound – that’s the letter m.”).

Things You Can Try At Home

  • Play describing games like “I Spy,” “Who am I?”
  • Clearly say words and sentences your child has difficulty saying (Child: “Him doeing outside?” Adult: “Yes, he is going outside.”).
  • Make puppets from socks or paper bags, and act out stories with your child.
  • Play simple board/card games and name colours/shapes, count, and follow directions (Snakes and Ladders, Go Fish).
  • Add information for your child; “That’s a daffodil and that’s a tulip. They grow in spring.”
  • Give your child regular opportunities to play with children her own age.

What To Watch Out For

  • A child with a rough, raspy voice lasting longer than one month
  • A child who is difficult to understand
  • Periods of stuttering lasting longer than three months