Five, six and seven-year-old children are often excited about going
to school and their new responsibilities. Their parents are still
the most important persons in their lives.
With school-age children, it is important to set limits and let
children know what is expected of them. Do this with a soft voice.
Be patient and kind. Provide clear and consistent discipline. Each
child needs to feel special and cared about in your care. Children
in this stage are very enjoyable. They like to be helpful, especially
Physical Development - Growth is slow
but steady. They have gained control of their major muscles. Most
children have a good sense of balance. They can stand on one foot
and walk on a balance beam. They enjoy performing physical tricks.
They enjoy testing muscle strength and skills. They like to skip,
run, tumble, and dance to music. They can catch small balls. They
can manage buttons and zippers. They can learn to tie their shoelaces.
They can print their names. They can copy designs and shapes including
numbers and letters. They use utensils and tools correctly with
Social and Emotional Development -
They think of themselves more than others until about age seven
or eight. They play well in groups but may need some time to play
alone. Many children have a best friend and an enemy. They tend
to prefer playmates of the same sex. Children often tell on each
other. This is done for two reasons: to help them understand the
rules and to get an adult's attention. They do not like criticism
or failure. It is best to have each child compete against himself
or herself not other children. They can be helpful with small chores.
They have a strong need for love and attention from their parents.
They are beginning to care about the feelings and needs of others.
They may enjoy taking care of and playing with younger children.
To them, "good" and "bad" are what parents and
teachers approve or disapprove of. They are starting to develop
a moral sense such as understanding honesty. They begin to develop
a sense of humor and may enjoy nonsense rhymes, songs, and riddles.
They become upset when their behavior or school work is criticized
Intellectual Development - They
can tell left from right. Their ability to speak and express themselves
develops rapidly. This is important for success in school. They
talk to each other about themselves and their families. During play,
they practice using the words and language they learn in school.
They start to understand time and days of the week. They like silly
rhymes, riddles, and jokes. Their attention span is longer. They
can follow more involved stories. They are learning letters and
words. By six, most can read words or combinations of words.
Physical Development - They are
very active with lots of energy. Their fine motor and large motor
skills have become much better.
Social/Emotional Development - They
have a strong need to feel accepted and worthwhile. They show their
ability to be independent by being disobedient, using back-talk
and being rebellious. They prefer individual achievements over competition.
They like encouragement and suggestions over competition. They still
look to adults for approval. They begin to take responsibility for
their own actions. They like to join organized groups. They prefer
to be with members of their own sex. They look up to and imitate
older youth. They are beginning to build and understand friendship.
They want to be accepted by the peer group.
Intellectual Development - They
need opportunities to share thoughts and reactions. They see things
as either "black or white." They have interests which
change often. They are easily motivated and eager to try new things.
They usually do best when the work is done in small pieces. They
need guidance from adults to stay at a task to achieve their best.
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