Ages 5-6 Years

Following are information, activities and resource links for the five main areas of development for children ages 5-6 years old.  Download a print-friendly version of this page >

5 AREAS of DEVELOPMENT DEVELOPMENTAL CHECKLISTS What is Pragmatic Language When Preschoolers Exert Their Independence What is Process Art About Stuttering

Communication Skills

  • Talks a lot, sometimes even when nobody is in the room
  • Talks in full and complex sentences and typically has adult-like conversations  
  • Understands simple jokes and riddles
  • Enjoys the opportunity to do ‘show and tell’
  • Understands more words than she can say and is learning as many as 5-10 new words each day.
  • Vocabulary growth is so rapid at this age that your child’s brain often thinks faster than she can say what’s on her mind

Fine Motor Skills

  • Copies a triangle
  • Cuts out simple shapes
  • Prints numerals from 1 to 5
  • Color within lines
  • Pastes and glues

Gross Motor Skills

  • Jumps rope
  • Skates
  • Rides bicycle
  • Walks on balance beam
  • Rhythmic skipping

Personal Social Skills

  • Pretend play is more complex now, filled with lots of fantasy and drama
  • Prefers playing with friends rather than on her own
  • Games with rules sometimes challenge your six-year-old, and he might even accuse others of cheating when he doesn’t win
  • Although your six-year-old loves to be independent, he still needs lots of your love and attention

Problem Solving Skills

  • Places four pictures in sequence
  • Imitates series of actions
  • Sorts and classifies by category
  • Learning to read and write basic words and numbers

Communication Activities

  • Engage with your child in give and take conversation
  • Read, read, read WITH your child and involve them in the story
  • Ask open ended questions that cannot be answered with “yes” or “no”
  • Engage in pretend play with them, make up characters and use funny voices
  • Play simple board games with them, helping them understand the rules

Fine Motor Activities

  • Continue puzzles, drawing, sorting, cutting, pasting
  • Use clay to help your child make objects and animals
  • Show your child how to make simple recipes, such as cookies from a mix
  • Help your child use a hammer, saw and nails with supervision

Gross Motor Activities

  • Provide bicycle, skates and jump rope
  • Encourage playground activities: jumping, hopping, climbing, skipping, balancing
  • Encourage your child to play different ball games which involve hitting, catching, throwing and kicking the ball
  • Provide opportunities for movement through dance and gymnastics

Personal Social Activities

  • Connecting with you and family is the most important thing in his life. He wants your approval, is proud of his achievements – and probably doesn’t take well to criticism or discipline
  • You might also notice that your child can play with others to achieve a common goal – for example, working together to build one big sandcastle. He might also be able to work things out if another child doesn’t want to play a particular gamec
  • Your child can express her feelings, although she might still need your help, and time, to identify and talk about tricky emotions like frustration or jealousy
  • Your child’s growing understanding of the world around might lead to some fears. Be sensitive and help talk them through it

Problem Solving Activities

  • Plant a garden with your child
  • Show your child how to make simple recipes using measurements
  • Allow your child to have a lemonade stand, making the lemonade and counting change
  • Help your child write his or her name
  • Read daily to your child
Translate »