Child Development and Milestones: Your 4-Year-and-6-Month-Old Child

Child Development and Milestones: Your 4-Year-and-6-Month-Old Child

Is your child on track?

Your 4-year-and-6-month-old-child is more active than ever! He is also becoming more independent and self-confident.

Notice how he is starting to be able to play by himself for longer periods of time? How eager he is to explore and experience new things? Or how he can already articulate his emotions when he is feeling frustrated?

These are just few of the milestones that a 4-and-a-half-year-old child will master. Find out more about your child’s development this month

4-Year-and-6-Month-Old Child Development: Is Your Child on Track?

4 years 6 months old

Physical development

Children develop their motor skills through play. By 4 years and 6 months old, your child is more active then ever — running, hopping, climbing, and kicking balls!

Generally, here’s the median height and weight* of children at this age:

  • Boys 
    • Height: 105.9 cm (41.7 in)
    • Weight: 17.3 kg (38.2 lb)
  • Girls
    • Height: 104.5 cm (41.1 in)
    • Weight: 16.9 kg (37.3 b)

Here are some of the things he/she should be able to do by this age:

  • Walk heel-to-toe (no more tip-toes!)
  • Walk forwards and backwards
  • Run agilely 
  • Kick balls making foot contact
  • Climb jungle gyms (with an adult supervision)
  • Stand on one foot for at least four seconds
  • Hop
  • Ride a tricycle

He will also have better control on his grip, so you can also expect him to do the following:

  • Use a fork and a spoon
  • Draw simple shapes
  • Draw a person
  • Stack blocks
  • Use scissors
  • String beads
  • Dress and undress
  • Brush teeth


  • You can encourage physical development through different activities like playing tag, hopscotch, and football.
  • You can also allow your child to get dressed alone, fostering independence in your little one. Also, fastening buttons and pulling up zips is good for fine motor skill development. 
  • Another good tip would be to let your child play with building blocks to enhance his grip
  • Balls are also a good toy to play with, since throwing and catching balls can enhance your child’s hand-eye coordination


When to Talk to Your Doctor:

  • If your child has some trouble holding objects such as pencils or crayons
  • When he finds it difficult to throw and catch a ball
  • If he has a hard time running, or hopping around

Social and Emotional Development

At 4 years and 6 months old, your child is more independence and has a proper little personality. He is at the stage wherein he wants to please everybody — friends, family, and most especially, you!

Although your child is more aware of himself, he still has a long way to go to be fully in control of his emotions. Watch out for these indicators of social and emotional development in your little one: 

  • Readily shares toys 
  • Takes part in group games, understanding the rules
  • May get upset if another child is “mean” to him
  • Will still get easily frustrated or angry, but is able to express why he is upset using words.
  • Understands the concept of taking turns.


  • If your child gets frustrated over a task or game with others, teach your little one how to take a breather, and then focus on what needs to be done, again. 
  • Use positive words and encouragement: “It’s okay that you couldn’t do it this time. You just need to try again next time!”
  • Encourage your child to express all kinds of emotions (even the negative ones) for healthy emotional health development. 

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

If your child: 

  • Is overly afraid, shy or aggressive
  • Has extreme separation anxiety
  • Cannot focus for more than five minutes
  • Is unwilling to play with other children

Cognitive Development

Your child is learning more and more every day, and can use logic to answer simple questions. Additionally, your child uses imagination and creativity wonderfully, which is an indicator of cognitive development. Here are some other exciting developments to watch out for: 

  • Counts up to ten or more objects
  • Identifies at least four colours
  • Knows at least three shapes
  • Recognises some letters
  • Writes his own name
  • Understands the order of a daily routine
  • Has a longer attention span
  • Follows up to three instructions
  • Recognises signs like the stop sign or some logos or brands
  • Holds a book correctly


  • Let your child do simple chores to help develop a sense of responsibility.
  • Introduce new colours and teach your child how to identify these in fun ways. For example, “these yummy grapes are purple! Show me something else that is the same colour.”
  • Point at different objects in the house and ask your child to identify these.
  • Give your child a daily routine to introduce structure and a sense of organisation. 

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

If your child: 

  • Can’t identify basic colours, or has difficulty with certain colours such as blue or green
  • Is unable to follow simple instructions
  • Can’t identify basic shapes, or gets confused with simple shapes

Speech and Language Development

From a babbling baby, you child can now actually converse! At 4 and a half years, he should know around 1,500 words — and he’s adding more to his vocabulary every day. He is also formulating four to five-word sentences.

Your child can also do the following:

  • Memorise lines from a favourite book
  • Knows some lower case letters
  • Recognises name when read
  • Identifies rhyming words


  • Use flashcards to teach your child letters and simple words
  • Flashcards that have numbers are also a good way to teach your child how to count beyond what he already knows
  • Encourage your child to write his own name using a pen and paper so that he feels like a “big kid.”
  • Read stories before bedtime, and point at specific words so that your child identifies how those words are spelled

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

If your child:

  • Has trouble counting from 1 to 10
  • Struggles to write his own name
  • Can’t identify any letters
4 years 5 months old

Along with exercise, having a proper diet can help boost your little one’s development.

Health and Nutrition

At 4 years and 6 months, your child should be eating more vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy products, lean proteins, and whole-grain cereals and bread. He should also stay away from sugary fruit and fizzy drinks. Your child’s calorie intake should total to this:

  • Boys: 1,615 calories
  • Girls: 1,515 calories

Their nutrition should be composed of the following: 

  • Protein 

Protein helps the body to grow and repair muscle tissues. This means that having a healthy amount of protein helps your child’s organs such as the heart — which is made up of protein. Good sources are red meat, poultry, fish, and eggs. For alternatives, you can also try having tofu, beans, or nuts.

  • Fruits

Different fruits have different benefits. So, it’s important to pick from different colours in meals. For example, try having a mix of greens (green grapes), yellows (bananas), and reds (strawberries). You can get creative with it so your kid would be stoked with each meal! 

  • Vegetables

Just like fruits, you can also get different benefits from different vegetables. It’s important to incorporate veggies on your kid’s diet because it prevents them from diseases in the future as well as excessive weight gain. Always remember that prevention is better that cure!

  • Grains

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy and grains have a supple amount of it. Not only that, grains also contain fibre and protein that supports healthy growth and development. Try to pick wholegrain ones since this type still contains the bran — which stores the majority of the nutrients your child needs.

  • Milk/Dairy

Lack of calcium can lead to brittle and weak bones. As your child keeps an active lifestyle, he or she would need lots of calcium which can be found on dairy products such as milk, cheese, or yogurt. Some options are ice cream, dessert custard, mousse. However, these contain really high sugar amount so be sure to take it not very often. 

In a nutshell, your kid’s daily intake should look like this:

  • Protein: 28.8 g
  • Fruits: 3 cups
  • Vegetables: 2 cups
  • Grains: 4 ounces
  • Milk/dairy: 20 ounces

Vaccinations and Common Illnesses

At 4 years and 6 months, you shouldn’t be due for any vaccinations. Even then, this is a good time to check if your child’s shots are complete. If you want a complete list of your child’s immunisations, you can refer to this link

It’s important to remember that although your child has a complete immunisation record, he or she can still get sick from time to time and catch a cold, fever, or cough. 

Treating Common Illnesses

These are pretty common at this age since your child is building up his or her immune system. Fortunately, there are home remedies you can do before rushing your little one to the doctor. However, if your child’s temperature rises up to 39°C, it’s best to take a visit to the pediatrician for proper medication.

  • Fever

Even a slight fever may cause a little discomfort and loss of energy so it’s important for your little ball of energy to take a break and rest. Make sure to keep him or her hydrated. You can also apply lukewarm compresses on some areas like forehead, armpits, and groin areas. This will help bring the body temperature down. It’s important to monitor if the temperature shoots up above 38°C in case you need to bring your child to the doctor.

  • Cough

A little itch on the throat is not so alarming. An easy remedy you can do is making him a glass of ginger and honey mixed in lukewarm water. This has a sweet taste that can ease the itch a little. Check if it’s accompanied by sneezing or if the phlegm changes from white to yellowish. If so, it might be time to take up some medication. 

  • Cold

Common cold can be extremely distressing. If your child catches one, make sure he or she drinks lots of fluid. With this, he or she should also be resting a lot and should be kept warm. Before taking up over-the-counter cold medicines, make sure to confirm with your pedia first. 

It’s essential that you teach your child proper hygiene. Washing of hands, for example, is an important aspect to incorporate in everyday routine. This would help prevent diseases and fights bad germs. 

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

If your child:

  • Has sudden weight gain/ loss
  • Has high fever (over 39 degrees C)
  • Shows sudden mood changes
  • Has swelling and pain after a fall 

*If you have any concerns about your child’s development, please speak to your paediatrician for professional advice. 

Previous month: 4 years and 5 months

Next month: 4 years and 7 months

Sources: Scholastic, WebMD, CDC, Super Kids Nutrition

(*Disclaimer: This is the median height and weight according to WHO standards)

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