What are the developmental milestones for a five-year-old?

Every child is different and develops at his or her own pace. You might need to give your child more time if she has not attained all the milestones for her age.

Most children at the age of five are able to sit in class and follow directives. However, a child at this age is still getting the hang of controlling her emotions and she will sometimes cry over little disappointments like not finding the shoes she “needs” to wear. Below are the developmental milestones for a five-year-old.

Physical Milestones

Children start losing fat and gaining muscle as soon as they clock five years. At this age, children are able to swing, jump, hop and skip as a result of the development of good balance and better coordination. Their developing physical skills enable them to take part in detailed games.

Your child’s small muscles are being refined which brings about autonomy in stuff like buttoning, handling zippers and tying shoelaces. A five-year-old is also able to use a spoon, fork and knife without much help.

Cognitive Milestones

Five-year-olds now have a greater attention span. They are able to grasp simple concepts of time like morning, afternoon and evening. Children at this age can tell right from wrong, understand the concept of rules and want to abide by them. These children are also able to name some colors. They can be able to recognize numbers and letters randomly.

Language Milestones

A five-year-old can use words to express their feelings. She is able to speak clearly using full and complex sentences hence able to have adult-like conversations. Your five-year-old is able to say their name and home address. She asks profound questions and can also answer questions.

Emotional Milestones

At this age, your child understands that everything does not revolve around them and they are learning to be considerate when it comes to other people’s feelings. For example, your child can consider the feelings of a peer when choosing what game to play.

A five-year-old has a little mastery in controlling emotions and this aids in settling disputes. However, she may show far-reaching emotions brought about by the fact that she’s still a child.

Most five-year-olds strive to please people in pursuit of friendship and favor from adults. Generally, they should be able to communicate feelings of displeasure using words instead of aggressive behavior. For example, a five-year-old child might say, “I feel like having an apple” rather than throwing tantrums when given a banana.

Since empathy comes naturally to children, a 5-year-old will tend to offer comfort to a peer who is crying. She rarely gets upset when separated from caregivers.

Social Milestones

Your five-year-old will start to create connections with teachers and peers. These connections are independent of direct family and show independence. She will place a lot of value on friendships and this will make her want to please friends and want to be like them.

At this age, your child’s pretend play is broadening with a great deal of make-believe. Five-year-olds take pleasure in playing with other children. They share and take turns the majority of the time. They acknowledge the rules in games and are able to follow them.

Additional  Mileposts

Most five-year-olds can brush their teeth with minimal adult supervision. They can also bath themselves and clean their little bottoms, although parents should keep an eye on them and help until the children can do it all on their own.

At the age of five, some children will lose their milk teeth which are replaced by permanent ones in the near future.


Promoting the Development of a Five-Year-Old  

You can help the development of your five-year-old through the following ways:

  • Allow your child to have playdates as this will help them acquire social skills like turn-taking, cooperationand sharing. Playing with other children away from home also gives your child a sense of independence as they are able to be apart from you.
  • Let your five-year-old take part in simple household chores like putting the dirty dishes away in the sink after meals. This will teach him or her how to be responsible.
  • Ensure that your child has enough space and time to be active. Encourage him or her to play as much as possible since children learn a lot by exploring through play.
  • Teach your five-year-old proper means of dealing with frustration by helping them use words to express such feelings. Let them know how taking a walk helps to cool off.
  • Make a habit of playing with your child because it allows you to know what your child is thinking or feeling. Besides, they also feel that you love and care for them.
  • Allocate time for your five-year-old to partake in free play. This will foster creativity and help in the development of initiative and problem-solving skills.
  • Diversify your child’s experiences by making sure she’s well exposed to enhance the learning of new skills. This can be done by visiting places of interest.
  • Read together with your five-year-old. You can read her a story and then ask her some questions related to the story. This exercise will aid in developing listening skills.

Cause for Alarm in the Development of a 5-Year-Old

Five-year-olds develop uniquely and it does not make any sense trying to tell when your child will master a particular skill. Talk to your doctor if you are worried or notice that your child has the following complications.

  • Has major outbursts when separating from parents.
  • Displays very hostile behavior.
  • Shows antisocial behavior. For example, she is disinterested in hanging out with other children and adults.
  • Has difficulty dressing and undressing
  • Cannot concentrate on an activity for more than five minutes
  • Not able to say his or her name
  • Is unable to tell real from fantasy
  • Can’t talk about his day and what he did
  • Has a hard time feeding himself or sleeping
  • He or she is grumpy most of the time





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