Growth Characteristics of the Child
By the time a child is eligible for pre-kindergarten, or is at least 4 years old, he is expected to have undergone many physical changes and is already capable of executing several things that are integral to cognitive, social, and emotional development. Once a child has reached 2 years old, the rapid growth his brain and body undergoes begins to slow down, and he becomes increasingly difficult to feed. He is expected to have quadrupled his birthweight by the time he is nearly 3 years old. At 4 years old, he should weigh at least 40 lbs and is at least 40 inches tall (Kliegman, Behrman, Jenson, and Stanton, 2007). A child may gain weight and may be at risk for obesity. At this age, they are physically active, and hours needed for sleep decreases to 11-13 hours everyday.
In terms of their gross and fine motor skills, most children already walk and run steadily by 3 years old. They can also throw, catch, and kick balls with much precision; they are able to ride bicycles and climb on monkey bars without difficulty; they can dance with muscle and music coordination. At 3 to 4 years old, a child should be able to hit a stationary ball with the bat. At ages 4 to 5 years old, he can already climb the stairs one step at a time without an adult’s assistance, and his speed picks up as he ages.
Their cognitive and emotional developments are influenced by the people around them. Parents and teachers can encourage energetic children to engage in physical activity, while cerebral children may prefer to play quietly with adults or on their own. Handedness is established by the time they are 3 years old. Fine motor skills are further developed if teachers and parents presented these children with and encouraged to engage in activities that involved such skills, such as using scissors to cut out pictures, draw with crayons and pencils, or pick up cubes to build towers.
A child’s cognitive developmen...