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Developmental Milestones of 5-6 Years Old Child and Activities

Baby develops the fastest from birth to 5 year old. These changes take place across various domains of development i.e.
1. Cognitive
2. Physical (Fine and Gross Motor)
3. Socio-emotional and
4. Language.

Most children follow a certain pattern of growth and development or achieve certain skills/abilities at a particular stage in developmental. These are called developmental milestones. However, it is important to note that every child grows and develops at their own pace, and might achieve a few milestones faster or slower than usual. If you feel concerned about your child not achieving a milestone, contact your paediatrician.

Cognitive Development 

  • Becomes more curious to gather information about real facts of the world.
  • Counts up to 20. Might even count up to 50 or more, later on.
  • Reads and recognizes the numbers 0-9 and go up to reading ‘20’ as the year progresses.
  • Begins to recognize letters. 
  • Recognizes shapes and, maybe, some of their variations (e.g. an isosceles vs an equilateral triangle)
  • Begins to understand concepts like more and less, greater than/lesser than/equal to, etc. 
  • Might solve puzzles with pieces that are smaller and more in number.
  • Develops a better understanding of time (e.g. might begin to name a few days of the week). They are still learning about months and seasons. 
  • Knows some of the things that are used on a daily basis (e.g. clothes, money and food)
  • Knows or remembers their own address and phone number (if taught to them)
  • Copies a few shapes, letters and numbers (might not be accurate)
  • Engages in simple scientific investigations i.e. begins to observe, compare, identify patterns, etc. 
  • Begins to understand that there is a difference between real and imaginary (fantasy and reality)
  • Ability to sustain attention improves. Can sit for 10-15 minutes or even more depending on the activity.

Physical Development

  • Walks backwards easily.
  • Might begin to bounce or catch a ball with one hand (when at a small distance). 
  • Begins to learn to jump rope (skip with a skipping rope).
  • Picks up speed while walking, running, jumping, etc.
  • Balances on one foot for 8-10 seconds or more.
  • Develops improved fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination (e.g. Uses child-friendly scissors well, buttons and unbuttons, clothes, etc.)
  • Learns to tie shoelaces (might be able to do this by the end of the year).
  • Develops better tripod grip; begins to hold pencils/crayons as adults do.
  • Might begin to develop permanent teeth.

Socio-emotional Development

  • Understands that people react differently to the same situation.
  • Becomes more aware of self, especially their own skills and abilities.
  • Likes to show others what they can do, especially new skills they have mastered (self-esteem rises as they pick up new skills)
  • Can tell what’s real and what’s imaginary.
  • Begins to learn to manage negative emotions by themself (e.g. drawing, playing, talking, etc.) (might still need a little bit of assistance).
  • Shows sympathetic or empathetic behaviour when they see others in distress.
  • Shows more responsible behaviour as compared to 4-year-olds.
  • Becomes more cooperative and enjoys playing with others in a group.
  • Continues to form more friendships.
  • Tries to please friends and may want to be like them.
  • Understands and displays good manners.
  • As they enter school, they might show an increased attachment to their parents.

Language Development

  • Has a vast vocabulary which keeps expanding with exposure to newer words.
  • Has a better understanding of language and begins to follow multiple commands given together.
  • Begins communicating in complex and compound sentences and talks frequently.
  • Has very few pronunciation errors. 
  • Names various colours, shapes, days of the week, months, clothes, food, etc. 
  • Begins to initiate conversations and maintain the subject of conversation. 
  • Shares personal experiences (without adult prompting)
  • Recognizes and identifies almost all letters. 
  • Has a better developed phonetic awareness. (e.g. Letter ‘A’ can sound ‘a’ for apple as well as ‘ah’ for ‘arm’).
  • Might show more of an interest in reading due to improved text comprehension skills.
  • Might identify or read two-three letter words that they have been exposed to frequently (e.g. mom/dad).
  • Knows that writing follows left-to-right and top to bottom orientation.
  • Begins to write words based on the sounds of the letters (might not always be accurate).

Activities and Games for 5 years old:

1. Bend and Jump 

Reverse association of the action word. Ask you child to jump when you say bend and bend when you say jump. This develop flexible/agile thinking and adaptability.

2. Have I re-arranged?

Ask your child to observe one section of area eg. dining table / bedroom for 1 min. Then ask them to turn around or close their eyes. Re-arrange few items on the table and ask them to spot the difference. Begin with re-arranging 2 objects the gradually increase. This develops focus and concentration and strengthens memory.

3. Sorting coins/ pennies

Give your child few coins/pennies and ask them to sort it as per denomination and pretend play of shopkeeper and customer. Let your child buy things from you in-exchange of coins. eg. Rs. 1 coin/penny = 1 tomato, Rs. 2 coin = 2 tomato and so on. You can also introduce basic additional subtraction – Develops value of money and basic maths skills.


For more activities like above, download Jyppzer app. Here you can find 300+ age appropriate parent-child activities and games that you can do with simple household materials. Its, fun and educational. Its created by child development experts and fosters skills like cognitive, language, socio-emotional, physical and multiple intelligence. 

App Link via Mob:

Related Article: 

Developmental Milestones for 0-3 Months Baby

Developmental Milestones for 3-6 Months Baby

Developmental Milestones for 6-9 Months Baby

Developmental Milestones for 9-12 Months Baby

Developmental Milestones for 1-2 Years Baby

Developmental Milestones for 2-3 Years Toddler

Developmental Milestones for 3-4 Years Child
Developmental Milestones for 4-5 Years Child

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