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Child Development

Five to Six Year Olds

There are many milestones in physical, emotional and learning development during the ages of five and six. Each child is an individual, and developmental milestones should not be compared. Children can reach milestones early or late.

Physical Milestones of a Five to Six Year Old

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  • Child will be more in control of his or her body.
  • Child will have a marked increase in stamina and coordination.
  • Child can throw and catch a ball with practice.
  • Child may start to loose baby teeth as permanent teeth start emerging.
  • Child will show a preference to their right or left hand.
  • Child will be able to skip.
  • Child will be able to master buttons.
  • Child will show an interest in learning how to lace and tie his or her own shoes.
  • Child will be able to write the alphabet, though the letters may not be neat or precise.
  • Child is usually worn out from a day of play and learning and goes to bed easier. However, many children in this age group do not like being awakened in the morning and may be fussy.

Learning Milestones of a Five to Six Year Old

  • Child has a broader sense of right and wrong.
  • Child shows a strong desire to learn.
  • Child can put events in order, such as beginning, middle, and end.
  • Child knows their whole name, address and birthday.
  • Child is able to differentiate between fact and make believe.
  • Child understands directions, such as under, over, around and through.
  • Child learns better when he or she is kept on a routine.

Emotional Milestones of a Five to Six Old

  • Child’s mood swings are more stabilized as they settle into childhood and become comfortable with who they are.
  • Child shows protective tendencies toward pets, younger siblings, and even parents.
  • Child has the ability to understand when he or she has done something wrong and that they may need to be punished.
  • Child has a firm set of family ties and is loyal.
  • Child may develop fears, such as a fear of the dark, monsters, or people who are different.
  • Child wants to do things for himself or herself, such as bathing, grooming and brushing teeth.

When to Contact the Pediatrician

  • Child seems to have speech or vision problems.

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