Child Development Timeline

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Child Development Timeline

Mental Health
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Behavior and Development
Child Development Timeline
Child Development Timeline
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Use our developmental timeline to learn what milestones your child may be achieving.
361961
InteliHealth
2011-05-29
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InteliHealth Medical Content
2013-02-28
Reviewed by the Faculty of Harvard Medical School
Child Development Timeline — 5 Years through 10 Years
5 years
Physical:

At 5 years old, your child probably can stand on each foot for five or more seconds, can walk ahead touching the back of one foot (heel) to the front of the other foot (toe), as well as hop and skip many times in a row. His fine motor skills are improving and he probably draws a person with six or more body parts, draws a square and uses a knife to spread things. He tends to use his right or left hand for doing most things. His permanent teeth have started to appear in his mouth.

Mental/Language:

Your child tends to use whole sentences now that contain at least five words, and he rarely mispronounces any of the words. He can tell a story, use words to better describe it, use the correct verb tenses and can even give definitions for many words. He recognizes most letters of the alphabet and may be able to print some. Your child can count between five and 10 objects and can learn his address and telephone number. He understands opposites (for example, big and little, hot and cold) and understands the idea of time and related words, such as before, after and until.

Social/Emotional:

Your school-aged child is starting to express more feelings in words, can tell some jokes, and can be easily embarrassed. He shows guilt when he does something wrong (misbehaves) and apologizes for mistakes made accidentally. He likes to dress up in costumes and play make-believe. He is able to follow rules, and to take turns while playing and speaking. If he is given the chance, he will to help prepare, mix and cook food.

Prepare in advance to get the most from your child's next well checkup. Know what to expect and what issues to consider.

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6 to 7 years
Physical:

Your child can hold a pencil well enough to copy letters correctly and is ready to learn to write. He may reverse some letters at first, but this usually disappears by age 7. He also can draw some complicated figures, such as a circle touching a square, and later three interlocking circles. He can eat neatly, tie his shoes, ride a bicycle without training wheels and walk sideways. Your child may also seem reckless because he loves active play, but is still not well coordinated and, most important, he does not understand dangers where he might get hurt.

Mental/Language:

Your child knows the right side from the left on himself and others. He can count up to 100 and can follow at least three commands in a row. He really wants to learn, always asking questions, such as how, why, what, when and where. He is beginning to understand more complicated language ideas, such as dependent clauses and negatives, which are needed for him to learn to read.

Social/Emotional:

He is sensitive to criticism and feels guilty about mistakes, though he still may have difficulty admitting that he actually made a mistake. He is starting to make his own rules during play activities, and these rules can be pretty complex.

Prepare in advance to get the most from your child's next well checkup. Know what to expect and what issues to consider.

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8 to 9 years
Physical:

Although your child is continuously improving his physical skills, his activity level may be increasing faster than his coordination. This means he may seem a bit accident prone, especially on the playground. His drawing skills are also improving, drawing a diamond and then a circle made up of eight dots. He now safely cuts his own food with a knife.

Mental/Language:

Your child is able to focus on the many steps involved with solving problems and he can use logic. He is busy with school projects and may be interested in collections (trading cards, dolls, sports memorabilia). He wants to know how things work, has many questions, and is able to use reference books with increasing skill. At times, he will want to do it on his own and not want you to tell him how to do something.

Social/Emotional:

Your child wants to fit in with the group of kids his age who share similar interests (peers). He now spends lots of time and energy finding friends he gets along with, probably tells you whom his best friend is, and may even belong to an informal "club" formed by children themselves. Your child also may enjoy being part of more structured, adult-led groups such as a scout troop or church youth group. He now begins to think about how other people may feel about something (empathy), understanding that others may have the same feelings he does, such as anger, fear and sadness. He is proud of himself and knows when he's completed a task the right way (competence), such as finishing a book report, making her own bed, bathing herself or setting the table. He also may be critical of himself, perhaps feel he does things better than others (self-absorbed), or think a lot about what he has done and how he feels about it (introspective).

Prepare in advance to get the most from your child's next well checkup. Know what to expect and what issues to consider.

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10 years
Physical:

With puberty fast approaching (or some of the physical changes already present for some children), this can be a particularly awkward time for children. Girls tend to be one to two years ahead of boys in physical maturity, with some girls having already developed breasts and a few even having their periods (menstruation) by age 10. At this age, both girls and boys often have long arms and legs that appear out of proportion to their bodies, and may seem clumsy at times.

Mental/Language:

Your child is eager to learn and master new skills. He may enjoy reading "how-to" books to do a project, as well as fictional stories and magazines. He now is able to think abstractly and can even understand ideas without having experienced them himself. He can also go beyond the literal meaning of words and understand how one thing may be used as an example to better understand something else (figurative speech).

Social/Emotional:

Your child's friends are mostly of the same sex, but he now also is becoming interested in children of the opposite sex. Your child's friends are very important to him, and they may sometimes seem more important than family. Since he wants to fit in with (be accepted by) his friends, peer pressure may cause him to try risky behaviors that he wouldn't do otherwise, such as smoking or drinking.

 

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dmtChildGuide
Last updated May 29, 2011


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