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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.

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 09, 2013
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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