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Developmental milestones record - 5 years

This article describes the expected skills and growth markers of most 5-year-old children.

Information

Physical and motor skill milestones for a typical 5-year-old child include:

  • Gains about 4 - 5 pounds
  • Grows about 2 - 3 inches
  • Vision reaches 20/20
  • First adult teeth start breaking through the gum (most children do not get their first adult teeth until age 6)
  • Has better coordination (getting the arms, legs, and body to work together)
  • Skips, jumps, and hops with good balance
  • Stays balanced while standing on one foot with eyes closed
  • Shows more skill with simple tools and writing utensils
  • Can copy a triangle
  • Can use a knife to spread soft foods

Sensory and mental milestones:

  • Has a vocabulary of more than 2,000 words
  • Speaks in sentences of 5 or more words, and with all parts of speech
  • Can identify different coins
  • Can count to 10
  • Knows telephone number
  • Can properly name the primary colors, and possibly many more colors
  • Asks deeper questions that address meaning and purpose
  • Can answer "why" questions
  • Is more responsible and says "I'm sorry" when he or she makes mistakes
  • Shows less aggressive behavior
  • Outgrows earlier childhood fears
  • Accepts other points of view (but may not understand them)
  • Has improved math skills
  • Questions others, including parents
  • Strongly identifies with the parent of the same sex
  • Has a group of friends
  • Likes to imagine and pretend while playing (for example, pretends to take a trip to the moon)

Ways to encourage a 5-year-old's development include:

  • Reading together
  • Providing enough space for the child to be active
  • Teaching the child how to take part in -- and learn the rules of -- sports and games
  • Encouraging the child to play with other children, which helps develop social skills
  • Playing creatively with the child
  • Limiting both the time and content of television and computer viewing
  • Visiting local areas of interest
  • Encouraging the child to perform small household chores, such as helping set the table or picking up toys after playing

Alternative Names

Normal childhood growth milestones - 5 years; Childhood growth milestones - 5 years; Growth milestones for children - 5 years

References

Feigelman S. The preschool years. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds.Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics.

Update Date 5/14/2014

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