Growth and Development, Ages 6 to 10 Years - What to Expect
Although children from ages 6 to 10
display a similar range of physical abilities, mental strengths, and social
behaviors, they develop at their own pace. Even within families, differences
between children can be extreme. One sibling may be outgoing and popular, while
another is shy and awkward. Some children make progress in one area, such as
reading and writing, while making little or no progress in another skill, such
as math. Focus on helping your child enjoy and learn from activities rather
than on measuring the outcome.
General development from ages 6 to 10
expect children in this age group to progress in five major areas:
- Physical development. Children ages 6
to 10 usually grow in spurts, averaging about
7 lb (3 kg) and
2.5 in. (6 cm) each year. Your
child will also lose about four baby teeth each year. These are replaced by
permanent teeth .
- Cognitive development. Thinking and reasoning skills, called cognitive skills,
mature rapidly between ages 6 and 10. As these skills develop, so does a
child's ability to solve problems. But reasoning remains simple in that most
children only understand concepts as they relate to the here and now. Concepts
such as the distant past are usually too abstract for children at this age to
- Emotional and social development. Children ages 6 to
10 are developing friendships.
Self-esteem, which is a person's sense of worth and
belonging, becomes increasingly important as your child interacts more with
people outside of his or her immediate family. Children this age also compare
themselves to others.
- Language development. At age 6, most
children know the meanings of about 13,000 words. From ages 6 to 10, they
gradually think in more complex ways. For example, children advance from
understanding simple sentences to being able to interpret complicated content
within a paragraph. They grow from writing a few words at a time to composing
complex stories and reports.
- Sensory and motor development. Children between ages 6 and 10 make major gains in muscle
strength and coordination. Most children within this age range develop basic
motor skills, such as kicking, catching, and throwing. Gradually, children
become more skilled at more complex activities, such as dancing, shooting a
basketball, or playing the piano.
Growth and development milestones are roughly grouped
by year of age. Use age-specific guidelines as one of many tools to assess your
child's overall development. Many things, such as inherited genetic traits,
health, personality and
temperament, cultural norms, and home environment,
influence a child's pace at reaching milestones.
Milestones by age
6 years of age, most children:
- Have gained enough muscle strength and
coordination to hop and skip, and they can catch a ball.
- Begin to
understand cause-and-effect relationships. "Magical thinking"
typical of preschoolers quickly fades around this age. But your child keeps an
- Focus on only one issue at a time when solving
- Begin to understand how combinations of letters and
sounds form words. They recognize some written words and may even have started
reading simple text.
- Become increasingly social with their peers.
But they depend on caregivers for most personal interaction.