The 5th birthday is usually considered a major milestone in a child's life. The year between the 4th and 5th birthday is marked by many changes and developments. This year sees a surge in independence, creativity, self-confidence and self-control. The ability to express feelings and emotions also develops markedly. Let us try to understand the changes in all domains in detail.
I. Physical Development
Physical Development includes the mastering of movement and balance and the development of both gross and fine motor skills.
Gross motor skills involve the use of body's big muscles and fine motor skills involve the use of small muscles.
A. Gross Motor Skills
- A 5-year-old can hop, skip, jump, swing, climb and now even do somersaults.
- He can even walk backwards.
- By this age, he can also use a toilet independently.
- Can stand on 1 foot for 10 seconds or longer.
B. Fine Motor Skills
- He can now copy a triangle and other geometric shapes.
- He can use fork and spoon functionally.
- He can stack 10 or more blocks.
- Brushing teeth, dressing and undressing are also abilities that are now developed.
II. Language Development
A child is exposed to language even before his birth as language development begins with hearing and hearing begins in the mother's womb. Language development is the ability to listen, understand the spoken word and express oneself verbally.
- By the 5th birthday, vocabulary is more than 2000 words.
- Speech is almost like adult speech. It is clear, use of future tense is appropriate.
- The child is better able to carry on conversations and can speak logically.
- Complex sentences are a part of regular speech.
- The child can narrate a simple story using full sentences.
- He can also state his name and address.
III. Cognitive Development
Cognitive development is the ability through which a child learns to reason, solve problems and think systematically. It includes the development of all skills pertaining to learning and thinking.
- Concept of time develops fairly in this year.
- Concept of counting develops and the child can count more than 10 objects.
- Colour and shape concepts also develop with recognition of at least 4 colours and 3 shapes.
- When drawing human figures, the child draws at least 6 body parts.
- He can write some numbers and letters.
- Awareness about things used in everyday life like money and food increases.
- Attention span increases and the child can follow 2/3 part commands.
- The child has memorized at least 1 phone number, usually of either parent.
- The questions that the child asks now have a deeper meaning. This reflects the development of analytical ability. The child can also answer ‘why' questions.
- Pretend play increases reflecting developments in imagination.
IV. Social-Emotional Development
Social and emotional development often go hand in hand as the development in one area often has an impact on the development in the other. Social development is the ability to interact and communicate with others and develop and maintain relationships. Emotional development is the ability to express and manage our emotions. Development in this area has a direct impact on the self-esteem and self-confidence of the child.
This is an area which reflects many changes. By the 5th birthday,
- A 5-year-old shows more responsibility. The child now learns to apologize meaningfully. Till now, sorry was probably said because parents insisted. Now the child means it.
- The child wants to please friends, wants to be like them.
- He enjoys singing, dancing, acting.
- Feelings like concern and sympathy develop.
- The child is able to control emotions in most cases, aggression reduces.
- The child is now aware of gender and identifies strongly with same gender parent.
- He may now also want to play with same gender friends.
- The child is more likely to follow rules. A 5-year-old shows more independence.
- The child understands the difference between real and make believe.
- By the age of 5, the child outgrows his early fears.
- A 5-year-old is at times co-operative but at times is demanding.
- There is eagerness to try new things, the period of playing with toys becomes longer.
As for all ages, parents ought to spend quality and quantity time with their children. Physical activities need to be encouraged, gadget time should be reduced. This is also a time to develop social skills by encouraging the child to play with other children.
Click on the link bit.ly/Appystore_ChildDevelopmentalMilestones to watch a video about your child's developmental milestones.
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