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Milestones for 10-Year-Olds - Topic Overview

Children usually progress in a natural, predictable sequence from one developmental milestone to the next. But each child grows and gains skills at his or her own pace. Some children may be advanced in one area, such as language, but behind in another, such as sensory and motor development.

Milestones usually are grouped into five major areas: physical growth, cognitive development, emotional and social development, language development, and sensory and motor development.

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Physical growth and development

Most children by age 10:

  • Grow about 2.5 in. (6 cm) and gain about 7 lb (3 kg) in a year.
  • Have growth patterns related to gender. Girls are usually taller and weigh more than boys. Signs of early puberty may develop in girls, such as breast buds.
  • Lose about four baby teeth each year. These are replaced by permanent teeth.

Thinking and reasoning (cognitive development)

Most children by age 10:

  • Know the complete date (day of the week, day of the month, month, and year).
  • Can name the months of the year in order.
  • Can read and understand a paragraph of complex sentences.
  • Are reading books with chapters.
  • Are skilled in addition and subtraction and are building skills in multiplication, division, and fractions.
  • Have learned to write in cursive.
  • Can write simple stories.

Emotional and social development

Most children by age 10:

  • Enjoy being with their friends. They often have a best friend of the same gender.
  • Continue to enjoy team and group activities.
  • Continue to insist they are not interested in children of the opposite sex. But they may show off, tease, or act silly as a way of getting attention from or interacting with them.
  • Like and listen to their parents. Some children, though, will start to show irritation with or lack of respect for adults who are in charge.

Language development

Most children by age 10:

  • Enjoy reading. They may seek out magazines and books on subjects of special interest.
  • Can converse easily with people of all different ages.
  • Have speech patterns that are nearly at an adult level.

Sensory and motor development

Most children by age 10:

  • Have developed control of their large and small muscles. They are able to enjoy activities that use these skills, such as basketball, dancing, and soccer.
  • Have developed endurance. Many can run, ride a bike, and enjoy activities that require a degree of physical conditioning.
  • Continue to advance their fine motor skills, such as those needed for clearer handwriting and detailed artwork.

    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: May 14, 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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