Child Development: Your Six-Year-Old Child

An overview of a 6-year-old child's development

While some 6-year-olds may be just starting grade school, others have already had some experience with school routines from kindergarten and preschool. Six-year-olds are taking some real steps toward independence, although separation anxiety is still not uncommon for many children this age.

Six-year-olds' abilities and development can vary from child to child; after all, kids, like adults, are unique individuals with their own distinct preferences, experiences, and capabilities. That said, here are some general milestones that can be expected in the development of 6-year-old children.

6-Year-Old Behavior and Daily Routines

6 year old child development - girl cooking with mother and sibling
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One of the most significant changes in 6-year-old behavior and daily routines is an increasing movement toward independence. Children this age will spend more time away from home at school, and participate in activities on their own, such as attending birthday parties or going on play dates. Read about 6-year-old behavior and daily routines.


6-Year-Old Physical Development

6 year old child development - boys laughing in gym
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You can expect to see a wide range of physical development in 6-year-old children. Some will develop motor skills and coordination more rapidly than others, and natural athletic abilities may become apparent at this age. Rates of physical growth will also vary, and it's not uncommon to see 6-year-old children of varying heights. Read about 6-year-old physical development.


6-Year-Old Emotional Development

6 year old child development - mother and son smiling at each other
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Six-year-old children are developing the skills to handle emotional ups and downs more maturely. However, it will still be difficult for children this age to have the emotional sophistication to handle drawbacks, losses (such as in a game), and other setbacks. At age 6, children will also experience the insecurity that comes from spending more time away from home and will need and want the comfort and security of home and time with his parents. Read about 6-year-old emotional development.


6-Year-Old Cognitive Development

6 year old child development - girl doing homework
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Six-year-old children will experience a tremendous learning growth as they enter school and tackle more difficult material. They will begin to read (and may even delve into chapter books with some help from parents and teachers) and will learn basic math skills as well as other subjects such as art, science, and history. Read about 6-year-old cognitive development.


6-Year-Old Social Development

6 year old child development - 6 year old friends taking selfie
Six-year-old children will naturally develop more friendships and develop interests on things outside their family. Russ Rhode/Getty Images

For a 6-year-old child, social interactions and the development of social skills will take on a greater significance as they spend more time at school and with friends. The social world of the 6-year-old will be more complex and they may put more emphasis on relationships with others outside the immediate family such as friends and teachers. Read about 6-year-old social development.


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