4 Years

Tips, Tricks & Resources

What to Expect

Your child’s verbal and social skills will continue to grow during their exciting year in Pre-K! Expect them to be able to repeat their first and last name, tell lots of stories, and describe experiences by talking, drawing, and writing. The City’s free Pre-K program ignites their interest in learning and helps develop stronger math and reading skills in elementary school. Scroll down to find out more about this amazing program!


Kids Week Staten Island: Winter Scavenger Hunt

1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Find some animals and their winter adaptations on a scavenger hunt through the trails in the park with the Urban Park Rangers.

Brooklyn Children’s Museum – Pay as You Wish

2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Take your kids to visit the Brooklyn Children's Museum to enjoy fun, educational exhibits. Pay as you wish on Thursday and Sunday afternoons!

Picture Book Time

2:30 PM - 3:00 PM
Children ages 2-1/2 through 6 years and their parent or caregiver are welcome to join us for stories, songs, finger plays, and coloring.


Free Pre-K for four-year-olds

Pre-K for All (Pre-K)

NYC Department of Education

Enroll your child in a free, full-day, high-quality Pre-K program.

Head start for 3 & 4 year olds

EarlyLearn NYC Head Start

NYC Administration for Children's Services

Eight hours a day of free early care and education for three and four year olds.


How your child plays, learns, speaks, and acts offers important clues about their development.

What most 4 year olds do at this age:

  • Social

    • Enjoy doing new things
    • Play “Mom” and “Dad”
    • Are more and more creative with make-believe play
    • Would rather play with other children than by themselves, and cooperate with other children
    • Often can’t tell what’s real and what’s make-believe
    • Talk about what they are interested in
  • Communication

    • Know some basic rules or grammar, such as correctly using “he” and “she”
    • Can sing a song or say a poem from memory such as “Itsy Bitsy Spider” or the “Wheels on the Bus”
    • Tell stories
    • Can say first and last name
  • Learning

    • Are better able to answer questions, show understanding, and follow directions
    • Learn through play
    • Are better able to tell reality from fantasy
    • Show fast development of thinking skills like predicting, making comparisons, and reasoning
    • Have increased ability to describe experiences and express thoughts and feelings in a variety of ways with talking, drawing, writing, and/or movement
    • Can name some colors and some numbers, understand the idea of counting
    • Start to understand time
    • Remember parts of a story
    • Understand the idea of “same” and “different”
    • Can draw a person with two to four body parts, use scissors
  • Physical Development

    • Hop and stand on one foot up to two seconds
    • Can catch a bounced ball most of the time
    • Pour, cut with adult help, and mash own food
  • Health

    • Have 5 ounces of grains daily
    • Have 1 ½ cups of vegetables daily
    • Have 1 to 1 ½ cups of fruits daily
    • Have 2 ½ cups of milk daily
    • Have 4 ounces of meat and beans daily
    • Have 1 hour of adult-led physical activity
    • Sleep about 10-13 hours per day
    • Are on schedule with shots

Act early by talking to a doctor, teacher, or social worker if your child:

    • Can’t jump in place, has trouble scribbling
    • Shows no interest in interactive games or make believe
    • Ignores other children or doesn’t respond to people outside the family
    • Resists dressing, sleeping, and using the toilet
    • Can’t retell a favorite story
    • Doesn’t understand “same” and “different”
    • Doesn’t use “me” and “you” correctly