6 year old | EWmums.com

6 year old

Expect to see remarkable changes in social and thinking skills

In these early school years, you probably won't see hugely dramatic changes in your little one's motor skills. This is because they've reached the age of stable progress, as opposed to leaps and bounds in their earlier years. Now is a period of refinement - meaning, they'll be sharpening skills that they've learnt previously.

6 year old milestones by EWmums

One thing you will notice a considerable change in no doubt is their social and emotional development. They're now building on the base of skills they've already developed, and will be moving towards even greater independence, both intellectually and emotionally.

Here's what else they'll be developing in at this age.

Physical Milestones

Children generally begin to grow at different rates as they age to 5 or 6 years old. Up until 12 years of age, you can expect your child to gain between 5 to 7 pounds in weight, and they'll grow approximately 2.5 inches in height every year.

Here's what else you can expect from them physically at the age of 6 years old.

  • Loss of first baby teeth
  • Sharpened vision - as good as an adult's at this point
  • Increasing sence of body awareness
  • Much better balance, but can be uncoordinated sometimes still
  • Hop, skip, jump, walk steadily on low platforms or beans
  • Catch a ball in their hands, without clasping it to their chest
  • Learn to ride a bike easily
  • Write and draw more accurately
  • Dress themselves, and tie/untie shoe laces
  • Can move in time with music or a beat
  • Other parts of their physical milestones is their health and nutrition intake. Being at school, your child's opportunities for physical exercise and outdoor activities will be reduced, and so the risk of gaining weight increases. So it's important for you as parents to promote regular exercise, and enjoying activities outdoors. Enjoy sports with them, explore new places as a family, go for bike rides and ensure the whole family gets a health, well-balanced diet.

    Language Milestones

    Six year olds can now produce most sounds accurately, but still may need assistance in articulating certain letters. Their speech should be fluent, so much so, it'll probably feel like they'll never stop chattering. Plus, what they say should be generally intelligible as they begin to use more and more grammatical sentences.

    What else can you expect from them for their language development? Find out here:

  • Give their full name, age, birthday and where they live
  • Understand common opposites, like big and little, height and light
  • Increasingly descriptive and detailed language use
  • Average vocabulary of over 5,000 words
  • Recognise unfamiliar words, and ask for their meaning(s)
  • Enjoy rhymes, singing and simple jokes
  • Cognitive Milestones

    At the age of 6, most children can sight read at least ten easy words, like 'cat' and 'hat', and read simple books. And as these fine motor skills improve, they'll be able to copy short words accurately, and may even be able to write words without help from you or their teacher.

    Here's what else they'll be developing as part of their cognitive milestones:

  • More detailed and sophisticated drawings and paintings
  • Good grasp of numbers, and can count to 100
  • Repeat three numbers and backwards
  • Understand half and whole
  • Understand things that are interrelated, and can tell a coherent story
  • Know what 'conservation' is, like when water is poured from one cup to another
  • Moving toward abstract thinking
  • Develops reasoning skills
  • Begins to learn more from language and logic
  • Emotional and Social Milestones

    You'll find your 6 year old is becoming increasingly more independent, but family still is of hugely significant importance to them. Friendships are becoming more significant to them, but you might find they're more unstable, too. Socialisation and interaction is a huge part of their life at this age.

    Here's what else you can expect emotionally and socially:

  • Socialise with others outside of the family
  • Form friendships, share and cooperate in games and play
  • They will still like to play alone
  • Able to follow rules - albeit with a tantrum here and there
  • Jealousy towards siblings or other children
  • Continues to have fears like 'monsters' and large animals
  • Wants parents to play with them
  • Pretend play with lots of fantasy and imagination
  • May feel like the 'big kid', looking after younger children
  • Understands feeling of others
  • Developing a sense of humour
  • Advice for Parents

    At this age, your child has increased physical prowess and independence, which in turn increases the risk of accidents and injuries. As their parent, it's important to maintain supervision, and be weary and on alert for possible sources of injury, especially when your little one begins to engage in risky activities, like climbing.

    Not only that, but while travelling in the car, ensure you always have the approved safety or booster seat that's the right fit for them... Car accidents are still a common cause of serious injury, so it's always better to be safe.

    Avoid too many rules at home, and instead stick to those that are most important - like bedtimes, politeness and when your child can watch TV, use the tablet or eat sweets.

    To help encourage good behaviour, comment on when they do something positive, and focus on using praise like 'you read that nicely', instead of focusing on traits that are out of their control like, 'you are clever'. At this age, they also like to copy adult behaviour, so ask them to help with home chores like unpacking the shopping, or by laying the table to instil a sense of responsibility in them.

    Warning Signals

    Like we always say, children develop and grow at their own pace, so don't worry too much if your child hasn't reached all of these milestones by the age of 6.

    However, you should notice gradual progression as they get closer to 6 years, and if you don't - there may be possible developmental delays. If this is the case, please seek advice from your child's doctor.

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