In this post, you’ll find information about development during the preschool years, including 3 year old milestones all the way up to 5 year old milestones!
Kids make SO many rapid developmental gains as they move through the preschool milestones. Between the ages of 3 and 5, children refine skills like balance and coordination and they become a lot more confident too.
Here’s what to expect regarding preschool developmental milestones.
The Developmental Milestones Mini Course
Want to learn more about development from infancy all the way through those important 5 year old milestones? This course is for you!
This email-based course is the perfect place to start to gain a better understanding of all of the important skills kids develop along the way – from sitting to crawling to prewriting and cutting and everything in between!
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Preschool: Three Year Old Milestones to 5 Year Old Milestones
Gross Motor milestones for 3 year olds to 5 year olds
During this period, your child will become proficient at climbing stairs. She will now be able to go up and down with one foot on each step and will probably be able to do it without holding on as she approaches the end of preschool.
She will be able to stand on one foot for longer periods of time without swaying and leaning all over the place and may even hop, gallop and skip!
Ball skills will improve dramatically, with throwing and kicking becoming much more forceful and accurate and with a bit more coordination between the arms and legs (this is where “step and throw” comes into play).
She may be proficient at pedaling and steering a tricycle and may even be ready to progress to learning to ride a bicycle. Swing sets are tons of fun at this age and not just for swinging but for climbing, hanging upside down, and sliding!
Summary of Gross Motor Skills for 3 to 5 Year Olds:
- Climbing stairs with an alternating pattern
- Standing on one foot
- Skipping, hopping, galloping
- Throwing and kicking with accuracy
- Pedaling and steering a tricycle
Fine Motor milestones for 3 year olds to 5 year olds
Your child’s fine motor skills are progressing like crazy too at this age. She will have a better grasp on crayons and pencils, working her way toward a tripod grasp.
She will be able to copy simple lines, shapes, and letters and will start to show more accuracy with coloring in the lines. By 5 years old, your child has likely settled on hand dominance and can write her name accurately and independently. She will also start to copy other letters of the alphabet from a model.
Using scissors is no longer a challenge, as older preschoolers and newer kindergarteners are now able to cut on curved lines and can even cut out simple shapes without going off the line!
Preschool developmental milestones include all of the dressing skills and clothing fasteners (buttons and zippers) – which means completing them with little or no assistance, making getting ready in the morning a breeze compared to those toddler years!
Summary of Fine Motor Skills for 3 to 5 Year Olds:
- Holding crayons and pencils with an efficient grasp pattern
- Copying simple lines, shapes, and letters by 5 years old
- Coloring within the lines
- Establishing hand dominance by about 5 years old
- Cutting on lines and beginning to cut out shapes by 5 years old
- Dressing skills and clothing fasteners
The possibilities for gross motor activities for preschoolers are endless – but we’ve rounded up a few of our favorites here. Try one (or more) of these fun ways to get moving with your 3 to 5-year-old while also supporting preschool development!
Fine motor activities for preschoolers are so much fun because kids have slightly longer attention spans and can be more independent than our younger toddler friends. Learn more about fine motor activities to support preschool development.
There is no easier way to get a preschooler’s attention than with an awesome sensory play activity. They love to explore using their senses and by this age, they have the vocabulary and cognitive skills to make some real connections about the world around them as they engage in sensory play.
Below, find our preschool developmental milestones chart – a great reference for teachers, parents, and therapists who want all of the most important 3 to 5 year old milestones at their fingertips!
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