What are the developmental milestones of kids from 5 to 6 years old?

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The school-age years have begun! Now that your child is spending less time at home and more time at school, he is more and more influenced by teachers and peers. Not only is your child’s intellectual growth becoming more complex, he is beginning to operate in a bigger social realm. He is learning how to best communicate with others and establish friendships, while developing moral reasoning and problem-solving skills outside of the classroom.

Communication and language skills include:

  • Asks higher-level questions such as, “What would happen if…?”
  • Sequences numbers
  • Uses increasingly complex descriptions
  • Engages in conversations that are more social and less egocentric
  • Uses a sentence length of approximately 6 words
  • Recites entire alphabet
  • Counts to 100 by rote
  • Uses passive voice appropriately, such as “the last cookie was eaten by someone”
  • Able to write upper and lower case letters
  • Writes expanding list of dictated letters and words

Cognitive and intellectual skills include:

  • Draws recognizable person, tree, and house, but pictures are not proportionate
  • Colors within lines
  • Understands “left” and “right” and exhibits well-established right- or left-handedness
  • Independently dresses self
  • Can maintain focus on a project for a sustained period of time
  • Is able to return to an activity after being interrupted
  • Persists in completing longer-term or complex projects, with supervision
  • Uses self-motivation and other strategies to finish difficult tasks and assignments
  • Attempts wider range of new experiences, both independently and with peers and adults
  • May deliberately take risks when learning new skills
  • Is increasingly able to think of possible solutions to problems
  • Analyzes complex problems more accurately in order to identify the type of help needed

From Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children by Jennifer Trachtenberg.

Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children

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Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children

When kids start going on TV binges or devouring fistfuls of cookies, it's easy to say, "They'll grow out of it." More likely, they're acquiring bad habits that could lead to childhood obesity and...

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School Age Child Development

School Age Child Development

Your school-age child’s development relies heavily on a stimulating, supportive environment and the healthy habits that you instill. Model good nutrition, fitness and hygiene, as well as activities like reading and learning new sk...

ills. It’s important to stay active and involved in your child’s intellectual development and growth. If you or your child’s teacher are concerned about your child’s development, talk to your pediatrician.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.