Skip to main content

We use cookies to help us improve your experience and to provide services like web chat. We also use cookies to measure the effectiveness of public health campaigns and understand how people use the website.

To find out more about cookies and how we use them, please see our privacy policy.

Your child's developmental milestones - 3 to 5 years

By 3 years

Most babies will achieve these milestones by this age:

Gross motor

Your child will be able to:

  • walk upstairs
  • pedal a tricycle
  • Fine motor

They’ll be able to:

  • copy a circle
  • draw a person’s head

Communication and hearing

Your child will be able to:

  • use 4 to 5 word sentences
  • tell stories

Social and emotional

Your child will play with other children in small groups.

Problem-solving, learning and understanding

Your child can:

  • copy or imitate another person
  • line up 4 objects like blocks or cars in a row

By 4 years

Most babies will achieve these milestones by this age:

Gross motor

Your child will be able to:

  • hop
  • balance on each foot for 3 seconds

Fine motor

They’ll be able to:

  • copy a square using a crayon
  • draw a cross (+ sign)
  • draw a person in 3 parts

Communication and hearing

Your child will be able to name 4 colours. Their speech will be easy for others to understand.

Social and emotional

Your child will share and take turns when playing with other children. They can sing a song.

Problem-solving, learning and understanding

Your child can:

  • dress up
  • play act
  • name different colours

By 5 years

Most babies will achieve these milestones by this age:

Gross motor

Your child will be able to:

  • walk ‘heel to toe’ – in a straight line with one foot immediately ahead of the other
    skip

Fine motor

They’ll be able to:

  • copy a triangle
  • draw a person with 6 body parts

Communication and hearing

Your child will know numbers from 1 to 10.

Social and emotional

Your child:

  • has a group of friends
  • uses make-believe and dress-up when playing
  • Problem-solving, learning and understanding
  • Your child can write some letters or numbers.

page last reviewed: 03/12/2018
next review due: 03/12/2021