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Children's Health

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Growth and Development, Ages 6 to 10 Years - What to Expect

Milestones by age

By 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 active imagination.
  • Focus on only one issue at a time when solving problems.
  • 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.

By 7 years of age, most children:

  • Begin to show a preference for a certain learning style, such as hands-on or quiet reflection.
  • Develop friendships, usually with other children of the same gender.
  • Like to be involved in some group play but need time alone too.
  • Enjoy arts and crafts and physically active play.

By 8 years of age, most children:

  • Generally think of things as "either-or." Things are either great or awful, ugly or beautiful, right or wrong. Children focus on one part of an issue at a time, which makes it hard for them to understand complexities.
  • Are reading.
  • Enjoy being around their friends. Some enjoy group activities, such as team sports.
  • Have rapidly changing emotions. Angry outbursts are common. Many children of this age are critical of others, especially of their parents. They may seem dramatic and sometimes rude.
  • Have well-developed speech and use correct grammar most of the time. Many children have well-developed conversation skills.

By 9 years of age, most children:

  • Think more independently and are developing good decision-making skills. This reflects their increasing critical-thinking skills and ability to consider more than one perspective at a time.
  • Have caring, solid friendships.
  • Have gained a strong sense of empathy, which is understanding and being sensitive to the feelings of others.
  • Are curious about relationships between boys and girls. Few will admit to this interest. And most will insist that they are horrified by the opposite sex.
  • Speak well and pronounce words clearly.
  • Become increasingly interested in team sports.
  • Like to draw, paint, make jewelry, build models, or try other activities that use fine motor skills.

By 10 years of age, most children:

  • Know the complete date (day of the week, day of the month, month, and year).
  • Enjoy being with friends and often have a "best" friend of the same gender.
  • Continue to enjoy team and group activities.
  • Continue to insist that they are not interested in children of the opposite sex. But they may show off, tease, or act silly as a way of interacting with them.
  • Have speech patterns that are nearly at an adult level.
  • Sometimes seek out magazines and books in subjects of special interest.
  • Have good control of large and small muscles. Some children enjoy activities that use all these skills, such as basketball, dancing, and soccer.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 09, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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