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stages of development for ages 3-4

Stages of Development – Ages 3-4


• Physically- they typically have low tone and poor hand-eye-coordination.

We expect them initially to drop their arms when punching and fall when kicking or jumping. We also expect them to have no concept of spatial awareness, therefore they will drop things that are thrown at them and bump into people and obstacles often.

The goal for our program is to get them to PUNCHING without dropping their arms; KICKING without falling; HOPPING without falling, and CATCHING objects thrown from various directions and distances.

• Intellectually- they typically have a limited vocabulary therefore learning is normally limited to visual and kinesthetic activities.

We expect them to initially lose focus when activities are over-complicated. We also expect them to struggle with commands that have more than two instructions.

The goal of our program is to get them to follow verbal commands with no visual demonstration. Also, our goal is for them to remember rules and commands without being reminded.

• Emotionally- they typically have strong preferences and fears therefore they will normally act out of bounds when their emotions get out of control.

We expect them to run off the mat when they have anxiety. We also expect them to shut down when something either scares them or doesn’t go their way.

The goal of our program is to help them follow directions and persevere through an activity even if they are initially emotional.

• Socially- they are typically very self-centered. Also, due to their limited vocabulary, their common form of communication is mainly physical.

We expect them to mock each other, such as falling when their classmate falls. We also expect them to crash into things when they are excited.

The goals for our program are to help them build skills such as spatial awareness, balance, not interrupting when others are talking, and taking turns properly. 

By understanding the stages of development of 3 and 4-year olds, we were able to select 8 age-appropriate skills that make up the Tiger SKILLZ Program:

1. KICKING
2. PUNCHING
3. BLOCKING
4. CRAWLING
5. HOPPING/JUMPING
6. ROLLING
7. RUNNING
8. CATCHING

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