Skip to content

Children's Health

Font Size

Milestones for 8-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.

Recommended Related to Children

One Town Gets Children to Live a Healthy Lifestyle

By Sari HarrarWant your kids to eat healthy, exercise, and enjoy it? Here's how parents in Somerville, MA, turned the kid-obesity epidemic around. Five-year-old Ben Tull pulled a big, ripe apple out of his Bob the Builder backpack one afternoon three years ago — and launched a health revolution at home. "The school cafeteria had given kids — even kindergartners — whole fruit at lunch, and Ben was so excited he brought his home to share with his brother, his dad, and me. He called it 'The Family...

Read the One Town Gets Children to Live a Healthy Lifestyle article > >

Physical growth and development

Most children by age 8:

  • Grow about 2.5 in. (6 cm) and gain about 7 lb (3 kg) in a year.
  • May have arms and legs that seem too long for their bodies.
  • Lose about four baby teeth each year, which are replaced by permanent teeth.

Thinking and reasoning (cognitive development)

Most children by age 8:

  • Know how to count by 2s (2, 4, 6, 8, and so on) and 5s (5, 10, 15, 20, and so on).
  • Know what day of the week it is. They do not usually know the full date and year.
  • Can read simple sentences.
  • Complete simple single-digit addition and subtraction problems (such as 1 + 8, 7 + 5, 6 – 2, 4 – 3).
  • Can tell the difference between right and left.
  • Have a black-and-white perspective much of the time. Things are either great or awful, ugly or beautiful, right or wrong. They focus on one trait or idea at a time, which makes it hard for them to understand complex issues.

Emotional and social development

Most children by age 8:

  • Enjoy being around their friends. The opinions of their friends become increasingly important. And peer pressure may become an issue.
  • Gain a sense of security from being involved in regular group activities, such as 4-H or Scouts.
  • Are more likely to follow rules they help create.
  • Have rapidly changing emotions. Angry outbursts are common. Many children are critical of others, especially of their parents. They may seem dramatic and sometimes rude.
  • Are impatient. They like immediate gratification and find it hard to wait for things they want.
  • Are interested in money. Some children may become obsessed with saving and plans about earning and spending money.

Language development

Most children by age 8:

  • Have well-developed speech and use correct grammar most of the time.
  • Become interested in reading books. For some children, it is a favorite activity.
  • Are still working on spelling and grammar in their written work. This aspect of language development is not as advanced as oral speech.

Sensory and motor development

Most children by age 8:

  • Tie their shoelaces.
  • Draw a diamond shape.
  • Draw a person with 16 features.
  • Become increasingly skilled in hobbies, sports, and active play.

    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.
    1
    Next Article:

    Milestones for 8-Year-Olds Topics

    Today on WebMD

    child with red rash on cheeks
    What’s that rash?
    plate of fruit and veggies
    How healthy is your child’s diet?
     
    smiling baby
    Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
    Middle school band practice
    Understanding your child’s changing body.
     

    worried kid
    fitArticle
    boy on father's shoulder
    Article
     
    Child with red rash on cheeks
    Slideshow
    girl thinking
    Article
     

    Loaded with tips to help you avoid food allergy triggers.

    Loading ...

    Sending your email...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    babyapp
    New
    Child with adhd
    Slideshow
     
    rl with friends
    fitSlideshow
    Syringes and graph illustration
    Tool