Physical Development

The preschooler years are amazing to behold! Your child’s physical development allows them to do many new things by themselves – they can’t wait to try. From climbing stairs with ease to holding a crayon properly, your child will develop their physical skills in leaps and bounds.

What growth can I expect during this age?
During the ages 2-4, your preschooler can grow anywhere between 5-8cm in height and around 2kg in weight. During checkups, your doctor will measure your preschooler’s height and weight on a growth chart. This is to compare their growth with children of a similar age, and to take note of any worrying or extreme changes.

The majority of your child’s growth spurts will have occurred in their first year, but there can be a few, more subtle growth spurts during this age. Growth spurts last only a couple of days, and even though there are sometimes signs while they’re happening, such as increased hunger, tiredness or crankiness, you’ll probably only notice your preschooler has gone through a growth spurt when they no longer fit in their clothes. Your preschooler will probably outgrow two clothing sizes in a season!

Even though it is yet unproven, ‘growing pains’ are reported by 25-40% of preschoolers, and are most probably linked to growing muscles feeling tight and experiencing spasms after a long period of intensive activity. Treat the discomfort with warm compression, massaging or gentle stretching. If the pain becomes more severe or lasts more than 24 hours, consult your doctor.

What gross motor skills development should I expect?
Your child is racing through life with boundless energy at this age! At 2 years old, they’ll be able to walk with confidence, run with some speed and stand on their tiptoes. Around 3 years old they’ll have more confidence to take stairs, jump, hop, throw a ball and stand on one leg. This is also the time to teach them how to use a tricycle. At 4 years old, they can steer the tricycle with skill, walk a straight line, jump forward and hop on one foot.

What fine motor skills development should I expect?
Your 2-year-old will be able to build a tower of 6 blocks and grip a crayon to make artistic markings. By 3 years old they’ll be able to add at least 3 more blocks to that, manipulate small objects and draw circles and squares. The better they get at drawing these shapes, the sooner you can start teaching them to trace capital letters and start drawing stick men. Start encouraging your little one to dress themselves more – they now have the dexterity to conquer buttons and zips. At 4 years old, your little one should be able to trace geometric shapes, and even use scissors with supervision.

Download our game cards for some fun activities to play with your preschooler to encourage physical development.

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