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Cognitive Development of a 4 Year Old Child

Speech and Language Development

So far, we've discussed in some length about a four year old's physical development here and social & emotional here. In this article, we'll list some interesting aspects of a four year old child's language, speech, cognitive, and intellectual development milestones that you might notice.

When it comes to the intellectual and cognitive development of children, parents generally show great concern - after all, we all want our children to grow up smart and successful. And indeed, the bulk of a young child's brain synapse formation takes place in the first 5 years of life! I have an interesting graph here to share with you, please see below:

This is a graph from from a research document titled "The Timing and Quality of Early Experiences Combine to Shape Brain Architecture" from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. What this graph shows, is that from birth to about 5 years of age (the shaded darker blue box) is where the most synapse formation takes place within the brain. A child's seeing and hearing peaks within the first 3 months after birth (small dotted line), receptive language and speech production peaks around 6 to 9 months (large dotted line), and their higher cognitive function peaks around 2 to 3 years of age.  It's also important to realize that it is the child's earliest experiences during these very sensitive periods of development that play a critical role in shaping their brain growth and cognitive development.

Below, we list some common developments you might see for your four year old child, and at the end, we'll share with you some simple tips and ideas that will help you enhance your child's cognitive and intellectual growth.

Speech and Language Milestones

  • A four year old's speech is very intelligible as they are able to construct simple sentences and clearly express their thoughts and ideas.
  • Their speech now involves clearly structured sentences, and is able to form longer sentences consisting of 5 or more words.
  • Although a 4 year old can speak clearly, they will still have some difficulties with saying longer words, and different children may still have various distortions of certain sounds. For example, "jacket" as "dacket", or "rabbit" as "wabbit".
  • A four year old begins to use past tense, prepositions, and possessives correctly in their speech.

Cognitive Development

  • You may notice that your 4 year old child begins to ask a long series of questions of "why", "what", "how", "who", "where", and "when". Often times, after having one question answered, the child continues with another questions, and another, and then another.
  • The child can answer most questions logically and is able to reason through with some simple problems.
  • The child can follow more complicated instructions and follow several steps of instructions one at a time.
  • A four year old may be able to recognize and name many of the letters of the alphabet, and may be able to write several letters. The child enjoys wordplay and loves story reading.

Teaching Your Child to Read Early Greatly Enhances Their Cognitive Development

What if I told you that you could significantly enhance your four year old's cognitive and intellectual development by teaching them to read at this age? Would you believe me that a 4 year old child can learn to read at a grade 3 level? Perhaps not. But please watch this short video below.

That's our daughter reading at 4 years old. At that time, based on several different reading level tests, she was reading at a grade 3 - 4 level. We had taught her to read when she was just 2 years 11 months old. Some may find that hard to believe, but you can learn more about the program we developed to teach her to read here.

For a young child, reading is absolutely one of the best ways to stimulate cognitive development and enhance future academic success. In a research paper titled "What Reading Does for the Mind" by Cunningham and Stannovich, the researchers had stated this powerful fact:

Reading makes your child SMARTER, and the very act of reading can help children compensate for modest levels of cognitive ability!

There are also numerous other studies that find a direct link between a child's vocabulary and reading ability at a young age and their success later on in elementary and high school. You will notice immediate benefits by starting to teach your child to read today. Learning to read early helps your child build a strong foundation in reading, achieve an advanced vocabulary, become more articulate and fluent in their speech, and as research indicates, reading will make your child smarter.

Teach your child to read today! Click here to learn about a super simple and extremely effective program that will teach your child to read in just 12 weeks.

Just take a look at what some parents had to say about our program:

Click here to discover how you can easily and effectively
Teach YOUR Child to Read Today.

Baby & Toddler Videos

Toddler Reading Video
Watch a 2 year old toddler read, and see how this child's reading skill develops at 3 and 4 years old.