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4s evelopment

At four years old, children are bursting with even more stamina, curiosity, and independence, eager to experiment with new things and explore the world around them. They take on more responsibilities in the classroom such as organizing the library, setting the tables for lunch, and holding each other accountable for classroom rules. Socially, children start to form friendships through daily engagement and interaction with their peers. They begin to develop essential social skills such as empathizing, collaborating in small and large groups, and resolving conflicts. They become more aware of their emotions and are able to use strategies to cope with the emotions. With more advanced cognitive abilities, children start to ask a lot more questions and they are eager to find answers by themselves. They are able to invent more elaborate scenarios and stories. Some may start to understand humor, enjoying telling jokes, while others become more interested in increasingly challenging tasks. At this age, children explode into verbal exchanges. They will have acquired a more advanced vocabulary to express themselves clearly in a more logical manner. They enjoy more complex stories and they are able to retell stories with details. Some of the early readers may even start to recognize high frequency Chinese characters they see in our learning environment.  

4s Development Benchmarks


Social and Emotional

  • Starts to apply rules to new but similar setting

  • Completes chosen task independently

  • Identifies basic emotion reactions and their causes accurately

  • Easily enters into ongoing group play

  • Initiates sharing at school and outdoors

  • Starts to solve social problems through negotiation and compromise



  • Follows directions of 2 or more steps

  • Starts to incorporate new words in conversations

  • Tells elaborate stories

  • Engages in conversations of 3 to 5 exchanges



  • Runs smoothly, jumps, and spins

  • Sustains balance during complex movement activities (e.g., jump rope)

  • Manipulates balls with full body motion

  • Uses small, precise finger and hand movements

  • Draws/writes with a 3-finger grip



  • Knows some features of a book (title, author, etc.)

  • Shows awareness of some features of print (radical, etc.)

  • Pretends to read, reciting language that closely match the story

  • Retells familiar stories with details

  • Begins to copy Chinese characters



  • Verbally counts to 20 with 10-20 objects counted accurately

  • Makes sets of 6-10 objects Identifies numerals to 10

  • Recognizes 2- and 3-D shapes

  • Uses numbers to compare and knows the purpose of basic measuring tools

  • Extends and creates simple repeating patterns



  • Plans and pursues a variety of challenging tasks

  • Starts to think problems through and come up with several solutions

  • Begins to explore answers to questions

  • Starts to use strategies to remember information

  • Sorts objects by one trait, then another

  • Uses drawings to represent ideas

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