article poster


Growth and development for a 5 year old

Physical development

  • Gross motor skills: A child’s ability to hop, skip, run and jump really starts to develop at this age. They will have good balance and better coordination.
  • Fine mother skills: As their small muscles become more fine-tuned, a 5-year-old will be able to dress themselves, handle buttons and zippers, and learn how to tie their shoes (although many kids develop this skill later these days since Velcro has taken over children’s footwear).
  • Major highlights: Mealtime will be a different experience as 5-year-olds become more adept at handling forks and knives and need less help with things like cutting their food.

Emotional development

  • Separates from caregivers without excessive upset
  • Plays and shares with other children
  • Attends to an adult-directed task for at least five minutes

Social development

  • Wants to please friends
  • More likely to agree with the rules
  • Wants to be like the other kids

Cognitive development

  • Able to count to 10
  • Begin to extend their oral language skills to reading and writing
  • Likes to sing, act, and dance

When to be concerned

  • Doesn’t show a wide range of emotions
  • Exhibits extreme behavior (unusually fearful, aggressive, shy or sad)
  • Is unusually withdrawn
  • Is easily distracted, has trouble focusing on one activity for more than five minutes
  • Doesn’t respond to people, or responds only superficially
  • Can’t tell what’s real and what’s make-believe
  • Doesn’t play a variety of games and activities
  • Can’t give first and last name
  • Doesn’t use plurals or past tense properly
  • Doesn’t talk about daily activities or experiences
  • Doesn’t draw pictures
  • Can’t brush teeth, wash and dry hands, or get undressed without help
  • Loses skills they once had