Toddler & Twin Milestones From 4.5 – 5 Years Old & Signs Of Developmental, Social & Cognitive Delays
Toddler & Twin Milestones From 4.5 – 5 Years Old & Signs Of Developmental, Social & Cognitive Delays
My twinkies are 5 years & 2 weeks old. Make time stop already!
Whelp, our once tiny tots are no longer 😥 . They are on the verge of becoming (or have recently become in my case) no longer toddlers at all, but officially ‘little kids’. (*SULK*) They are such spirited, full of personality, highly verbal, seemingly ‘tough’ little machines now. It makes us barely remember the days of being afraid of them taking a step, walking on a hard surface, climbing a stair, or sliding down a slide at the park on their own. They do it all and then some now!
By this age you can clearly tell the differences between the past and the present. If there are any developmental delays or behavioral issues with your child or twins vs. other children, they become much more apparent by this point. (Read below.) Many to most children start school by or at age 4, and things would not only become apparent to you, but to your child’s new teacher as well.
1) Independence and self-confidence is growing
It doesn’t mean your child still can’t be shy at times or run to you in certain scary circumstances. I have one twin that is more timid by nature than the other. It’s funny because at home she is the bossier more ‘tough cookie’ of a twin. (Go figure.) But all children should be able to separate now without too much of a negative reaction, and they can do a lot more for themselves, and on their own, then they once did. And by all accounts they completely enjoy it. Doing things for themselves makes them feel a great sense of pride to accomplish a task or to face a new fear without your help.
Their creativity has flourished, and they should enjoy things like drawing, painting, singing, dancing around (some more than others), acting goofy, playing games and participating in activities with other children, as you can now (most likely) sit back and watch. Their fear level goes down a lot at this point in time, and their confidence only grows and grows, as do their tiny bodies continue to grow as well.
2) Language and cognitive milestones that are usually reached by 5 years of age.
a) Counting 10 objects or more.
b) Singing their ABC’s.
Many children can now say them without the song, but some still like the added help. Plus, singing is just plain fun.
c) They now speak in longer, more complex sentences.
d) If practiced by 5, most kids, depending on if they were taught and how difficult the information actually is to remember, should know their full name and phone number, even address by age 5.
(If they haven’t been taught this along with other children at school or at home with you, then do not expect them to know this, naturally. They are not psychic 😛 .) They should know their full name by now at the very least.
e) They have a greater understanding of time and daily routine activities.
Breakfast and wash up for school in the mornings, lunch during the mid-day, darkness means night and dinner-time, brushing teeth, story telling, bath, bedtime, etc.
f) They recognize most to all basic primary colors and shapes that have been taught to them, as memory increases and learning capabilities rise.
g) Their speech becomes much more clear and well-defined.
Cute babbling, even somewhat hard to understand at times ‘toddler talk’ should now be a thing of the past. Speech issues can be easily identified by 5 years of age.
h) Kids can write their names, however, not always perfectly.
(Shorter names like Ava are obviously easier than say Gabriella.) They may at first put backwards ‘s’s’ and ‘e’s’, or have other trouble with certain letters in the alphabet, but they are doing better all of the time, and you notice this. My girls can write Annie & Allie no problem, but Annaliese & Alessandra are still a bit hard for them yet. Heck, their own teacher doesn’t spell one of their names correctly!
One of my twins likes the write the letter S backwards, but both of them have perfected the e problem a few months ago. It’s a common (and not to be worried about) problem at this age. It does not mean your child is dyslexic, just learning.
3) Developmental milestones reached at this time
a) Running fast is a breeze.
b) Skipping is possible and fun to do.
c) Hopping on two feet like a bunny and balancing enough to hop on one foot for at least several steps or more is fun for them.
d) Most children can do a forward somersault (roll) at this time, but maybe not perfectly. Not all children are little gymnasts, but they do enjoy trying.
e) Walking up and down the stairs with ease is now a regular activity.
f) Using utensils (fork & spoon most especially) with much greater ease is common.
g) Are able to perform certain tasks alone: Dress, undress, brush teeth, brush hair, (though they still need help with the back and the knots.) They should be able to peddle their tricycle/ bike with training wheels, though some kids can even lose their training wheels at around this time. I personally did at 4, but my other daughter was nearly 8 because she was scared, so there are no hard and fast rules here, but balance is greatly increased along with physical strength.
They also wish to help out in adult activities like cooking, though dangerous, and helping with laundry, setting the table, etc. This will last for some, not for others. It’s a good time to bring up the subject of chores before you mess up like me, wait too long and get nada :lol:. (My lazy 9 year old.) Praise them for their efforts. That is all they need and even desire at this still tender age.
h) They can draw at least a stick figure with an entire body, not just a face with eyes, nose and mouth and probably hair, but also arms and legs and most even hands and feet to, especially if shown once or twice. They will remember. The older they get the more developed their photos will be. An example would be drawing full bodies with a dress or pants and a top on, not stick form any longer. And maybe they will add a hair bow, outfit designs, even a background to their photographs. Added detail comes with added time. They enjoy coloring and aren’t perfect with drawing in the lines, but they are working harder at it.
i) Are able to stack 10 blocks or more and create buildings then still smash them down for funsies.
j) Are able to walk backwards, but of course can trip over something, so it’s not something I tell my girls to do. Occasionally, they will take some backwards steps as they practice on the balance beam at gymnastic’s class. Make sure the environment around them is safe should they wish to do this.
k) They like to kick, throw and catch (some better than others, especially on the latter) balls.
4) Their imaginations are growing
They may, around this time, develop a ‘fantasy’ life. A pretend place outside of reality to play in. I started that quite young, but not all children do to the extent that I did. Being a princess or having tea with their favorite super hero is becoming more common. They may play house or doctor with little friends or siblings. Little girls may start to enjoy taking on the role of mommy by caring for a baby doll. Boys may be racing their cars against one another having pretend races like they are at Nascar.
Some children still confuse pretend with reality, but that is normal and fading with each month that goes by. Every child moves at his or her own pace, but you can see their imaginations growing with age. Some kids more so than others. As a parent, I find it incredibly cute!
Is there anything wrong with my child?
Many parents wonder this, especially if they have had other children before, or even more so if they have twins and one seems more ‘able’ in certain areas than the other. DO NOT COMPARE, but do take note of your child’s individual successes and struggles.
Signs that something might be off in this age range, but does not mean there is.. just can be:
1) Does not know how to count to at least 10 by 5 years of age.
2) Is overly anxious about separating from parents or caretakers at this age.
3) Is being overly afraid, timid or even aggressive in nature.
4) Is still becoming frustrated by not being able to express him or herself properly, which may still result in temper tantrums. Being over-tired and breaking down at times is NOT the same thing as all out temper tantrums for the reason of not being able to communicate one’s needs to you or to others.
5) Having trouble holding a pencil or a crayon in their hand correctly and using it properly on paper to doodle or draw.
6) Not knowing how to pronounce and repeat their own 1st name at least.
7) Has slipped backwards in intellect and/or social abilities.
Example: He or she was once able to do something academically or socially that they now are no longer able to do. Basically, falling behind when they weren’t behind, if you will.
8 ) Not being able to speak in full sentences at all.
9) Not making eye contact with people who are talking to them, and not being able to respond to them in the proper way.
10) Being unable to focus on any one particular interest for greater than 5 minutes. This may be a sign of Attention Deficit Disorder. (My brother had this and turned out fine.) This needs to be examined though for a proper diagnosis, as some children bore more easily than others.
11) Sudden social withdrawal or any drastic changes in behavior and personality should be noted and reported right away.
12) The inability or complete lack of desire to make friends and participate in activities with other children.
13) Cannot accomplish simple daily tasks on their own, such as: feeding him or herself, dressing him or herself, washing their own hands, etc.
In the day and age of Velcro, no longer is tying one’s shoes a must-do by 4 or 5 years of age, unfortunately. My 9 year old has some trouble and is otherwise quite brilliant. It’s technology there. They should be able to put socks on pretty well if not perfectly and slide their own shoes on. (Sometimes putting them on the wrong feet is still not abnormal, but they are improving.) They should be able to notice this while getting up and walking around by this time though. That isn’t right. It isn’t comfortable.
If you are worried about anything at all DO talk with your child’s pediatrician and their teacher, if applicable, to address your concerns and/or fears. In most cases everything turns out well, but it is always best to stay on top of your child and his or her (or their) abilities in and outside of the classroom.
Teachers will usually address any issues with you, but because children can and do act differently both in home and in class, it doesn’t hurt to set up a meeting or pull the teacher aside if you wish to.
**If you have a preemie or preemies you should also make the teacher aware. (The pediatrician already is.) They may (or may not) need some extra time and help due to this.**
Twins are really interacting and doing things together. They communicate very well to one another now to. Nobody is left frustrated. It’s very nice to see. Not that they still aren’t fighting, but it is nice to also visualize the bonding and friendship taking place among these super siblings. The only downside I have seen at 3 and 4 is that they made fewer friends of their own as twins of that age group, but things are slowly changing.
Annie is more social and will fly away to make friends/ part from her twin much more so, which (at times) annoys her co-twin a bit. Allie is more timid, but she does socialize in school with other kids, and the teacher says she has blossomed in that respect, which encourages me. Reports from your child or twins’ teacher are always important, so never be afraid to ask questions and talk with him or her about your child. (I am repeating, but it is important. Don’t wonder – ASK!)
These kids of ours are growing up fast. (Far TOO fast for me). I wish you the very best of luck on this continuing journey. Enjoy those little people of yours. They are so much fun to watch and to adore, and they will be all grown up before we know it.
Best of luck to every parent out there reading this today!