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Developmental Characteristics of K5 Students

Developmental Characteristics of K5 Students

Every child’s development is unique. Although children develop through a generally predictable sequence of milestones, we cannot say exactly when a child will reach each and every stage.  Every child has his or her own timetable.  The characteristics below are offered only as a reference to give you a better understanding of your child.  Feel free to contact your pediatrician and/or your child’s school if you have any questions.

The Five-Year-Old

Physical Development

  • Requires 10-11 hours of sleep each night
  • Dresses self-independently
  • Throws and catches balls
  • Rides a tricycle skillfully; may show interest in riding a bicycle with training wheels
  • Uses a fork and knife well
  • Left or right hand dominance is established
  • Walks down stairs, alternating feet without using a handrail
  • Interested in performing tricks like standing on head, performing dance steps
  • Capable of learning complex body coordination skills like swimming, ice or roller skating
  • Runs, skips, hops and gallops
  • Learning to tie shoelaces
  • Copies shapes and cuts with scissors

Social and Emotional Development

  • Can take turns and share
  • Understands and respects rules
  • Tries new things and takes risks
  • Likes to make own decisions
  • Begins understanding of right and wrong
  • Carries on conversation with other children/adults
  • Still confuses fantasy with reality sometimes
  • Often fears loud noises, the dark, animals, and some people
  • Expresses anger and jealously physically
  • Likes to test muscular strength and motor skills, but is not emotionally ready for competition
  • Sometimes can be very bossy
  • Notices when another child is angry or sad-more sensitive to feelings of others

Intellectual Development

  • Likes to reason; uses words like “because”
  • Enjoys riddles and jokes
  • Understands that stories have a beginning, middle, and end
  • Able to remember stories and repeat them
  • Understands “more,” “less,” and “same”
  • Recognizes categories (“These are all animals; these are all toys.”)
  • Interested in cause and effect
  • Can understand time concepts like yesterday, today, and tomorrow
  • Learning address, phone number and birthday
  • Memorizes and repeats rhymes and stories
  • Draws pictures that represent objects
  • Sorts and compares objects
  • Identifies and writes letters and numbers
  • Counts and identifies sets to ten
  • Developing good attention span
  • Likes to feel grown up; boasts about self to younger, less capable children
  • Sometimes needs to get away and be alone
  • Has a good sense of humor, and enjoys sharing jokes and laughter with adults

The Six-Year-Old

Physical Development

  • Perpetual motion; squirming while sitting, gesturing while talking, runs,tumbles, throws
  • Gaining control of fine motor activities
  • Enjoy testing muscle strength and skills. Love to skip, run, tumble, throw,catch, and dance to music.
  • Developing a good sense of balance. Most can stand on one foot and walk on a balance beam.
  • Can catch balls, tie shoelaces, manage buttons and zippers
  • Sloppy; in a hurry
  • Noisy in a classroom
  • Developing the ability to copy designs and shapes
  • Learning to distinguish left from right
  • Engages in oral activities (teething)--chews pencils, fingernails, hair

Social and Emotional Development

  • Beginning to think about how they look in the eyes of others and are self-conscious
  • Moody; friendly and enthusiastic at times and rebellious and irritable at other times
  • Wants to make friends, but can be bossy and not understand why friendship is rebuffed
  • Can be very competitive
  • Fascinated by rules
  • Sometimes a “poor sport” or dishonest; may invent rules
  • Sensitive to criticism; thrive on encouragement
  • Strong desire to perform well, do things right
  • Generally enjoy caring for and playing with younger children
  • Tend to prefer playmates of the same sex
  • Can be helpful with small chores
  •  Have a strong need for love and attention from parents and teachers
  •  Determine what is “good” and “bad” based on parents’ and teachers’ opinions.
  • Beginning to develop a moral sense (such as understanding “honesty”).

Intellectual Development

  • Views things as right or wrong, wonderful or terrible, with very little middle ground
  • May reverse printed letters (b/d)
  • Increased problem-solving ability
  • Attention span still short, but long enough to enjoy more involved stories
  • Love to ask questions
  • Learn best through discovery and active involvement with people and materials
  • Interested in real life tasks and activities; want to make “real” jewelry, take“real” photographs, and create “real” collections
  • Extremely rapid expansion of speaking and listening vocabulary
  • Can begin to understand time and days of the week
  • Beginning to understand past when tied closely to the present
  • Sometimes carry on “collective monologues,” two children playing together and talking, but carrying on separate monologues
  • Use language and words to represent things not visible
Reference: "GCISD - Curriculum Guides and Developmental Characteristics." 2002. Grapevine-Colleyville ISD. 7 Dec. 2007 .