Your child at 5 to 6 years (1859)

Key points below

All children develop at their own pace. This sheet helps you know what you might expect from your child between 5 to 6 years old. If you worry about your child’s growth, please talk with your doctor.

What should my child be learning? 

Gross Motor Skills: Big Body Movements
Better body control for cartwheels, somersaults, pushups and sit ups.
Better balance riding a bike.
Starts to jump rope.
Plays hopscotch. Hops forward on 1 foot and can change to the other foot.
Skips and gallops.
Bounces and catches a tennis ball. 
Kicks a ball in the air. 
Walks backward on a line.
Walks down steps without help.

Fine motor skills: Play and self help
Draws a person with body and face (eyes, mouth, nose, arms and legs).
Copies simple shapes and makes designs with a pencil, colors in the lines.
Copies letters and numbers, writes some from memory. Writes first name.
Dresses self, may need help with buttons and laces, brush their hair. 
Prefers 1 hand for writing and eating.

Language and Social Skills:
Knows full name, age, birthday, parents name and where they live.
Talks a lot, even when no one is in the room. May learn 5-10 new words daily. 
Uses pronouns like she, he, her, him. Changes verbs like go to gone or run to ran. 
Uses plurals like shoes, socks.
Is able to say most speech sounds correctly.
Knows up and down, old and young, back and front.
Knows about rules and simple reasons why the rules are needed.
Can follow 3 step directions
Reads simple picture books.
Likes to tell stories, enjoys ‘show and tell’ at school.
Wants to try new things and be on their own more 
Begin to know groups of things like today, tomorrow, yesterday
Beginning to know seasons like spring, summer, fall, winter
Start to know how others feel and are kind to others about their feelings. 
Wants family and friends to like them and think they are doing a good job.

How can I help my child?

Gross Motor Skills:
Play at the playground. Play sports with other kids to help with social skills like be a good sport, be fair, and take turns.
Walk on lines, low walls or beams at the park to learn balance
Turn on music, dance and move to the beat. 
Go bike riding. Wear a helmet and have an adult watch.

Fine Motor Skills:
Have child help with jobs around the house, set the table, put away clean clothes, dirty clothes in hamper, help pick up toys, help make the bed.
Play pretend and dream up a story. 
Use paper to draw and fold shapes. Build with boxes. Put a puzzle together. 

Language and Social Skills:
Sing rhymes, tell stories and jokes.
Play simple board games
Count up to 100. Count up and down. Talk about half and whole numbers.
Talk about favorite animals, sports, toys or activities. Listen and ask questions and answer their questions.
Notice and talk about feelings, help find words to know feelings so they have less outbursts if upset.

What can I do to help my child develop?

Limit electronics and screen time to 60 minutes/1 hour per day (tv, phone, computer, tablet).
Encourage movement and play every day, visit a playground or play in the yard or visit a playground to explore, swing, climb, slide, balance chase and run.
Be consistent and have a schedule. Make a regular bed time and mealtime routine.
Give praise and be patient.
Play with your child for at least 10 minutes each day. Let the child pick what to do for those 10 minutes. It shows you care about your child and want to spend time with them.

Toys to have for your Child at 5 to 6 years old

Different balls for kickball, catch, basketball, football.
A bike and helmet. A balance bike or training wheels may be needed. 
Board games, card games, Uno, Jenga, Old Maid, Legos, Kinex, Cootie. 
Art supplies-Markers, coloring books, safety scissors, paper, paint, chalk for coloring on sidewalk & making lines to practice balance.
Dress up clothes, dolls, action figures for pretend play.