Child Development: Your Five-Year-Old Child

A 5-year-old child will experience an action-packed phase of development

For a 5-year-old, there will be many steps forward as well as steps back as she navigates new challenges and broadens her world. Many 5-year-olds begin kindergarten begin to spend more time away from the familiarity of home. At this age, children will increasingly express a desire to be independent, but will still want and need cuddles and comfort from mom and dad.

While it’s impossible to say what "all five-year-olds are like" given the fact that children have individual abilities, preferences, and personalities, these are some milestones that can be generally applied to a 5-year-old child.

1
5-Year-Old Behavior and Daily Routines

5 year old child development - girl helping mother with laundry
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For a 5-year-old, behavior and daily routines will undergo a major shift and transition. Five-year-old children are entering the world of school as many children this age begin kindergarten. They will expand their horizons and begin spending more time away from home (and will need and rely upon the comfort of routines at home). Here is a look at what you can expect in this action-packed phase of child development. Read about 5-year-old behavior and daily routines.

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2
5-Year-Old Physical Development

5 year old child development - kids stretching in gym class
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Physical development of 5-year-old children will vary. Some children this age may experience sudden growth earlier than others, and some may have sharper and stronger motor skills than their peers. All in all, here is a general overview of what 5-year-old children's physical development may look like. Read about 5-year-old physical development.

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3
5-Year-Old Emotional Development

5 year old child development - girls lying on grass and laughing
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At age 5, children are entering the "big kid" world of better emotional control and regulation. But 5-year-old children are still very much in the world of younger children, and may display emotional extremes, tantrums, and contradictions. Here are some hallmarks of 5-year-old emotional development. Read about 5-year-old emotional development.

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4
5-Year-Old Cognitive Development

5 year old child development - father and son reading a book
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Five-year-old children will experience an explosion of cognitive development as they enter school and begin to develop math, reading, and other academic skills. They will learn more about the world around them as they grow into the confident learners they will become at school and at home. The saying, "kindergarten is the new first grade" will apply for many 5-year-olds as they tackle things like homework and have to meet academic and behavioral expectations at school. Read about 5-year-old cognitive development.

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5
5-Year-Old Social Development

5 year old child development - boys whispering and laughing
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Gone are the days when your now 5-year-old was a baby or toddler, only intermittently interacting with a playmate and engaging in what is commonly referred to as "parallel play." Now, whether your child is a social butterfly or a more slow-to-warm child, he will increasingly interact with other kids, whether in kindergarten or at playdates. Read about 5-year-old social development.

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