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Your Child's Development (5-6 years)

Welcome to our child development section! Your child has spent the last 60 months growing and developing new skill sets. After your baby's fifth birthday, your child begins his/her journey into true childhood.

It is worth mentioning that your child is unique and will develop at his/her own pace. Use this guide for a general overview of your child’s development. If you have any concerns about your child's rate of development, we advise you to consult with your pediatrician.

Learning and Skills

Learning for a five-year old is much different. It involves a lot of problem solving and analytical skills. Your child may also start coming up with imaginary problem scenarios and suggesting solutions (e.g. "Mommy, what can we do if we ran out of milk for my morning cereal? Oh, I know, we can go to the supermarket and get more."

With this newly-found analytical talent, your child becomes more systematic about learning new skills. He/she will be using grammar with more care and numbers in their right places.

Children at this age also begin learning the concept of time. Many children begin to inquire about time to better understand their schedule such as when a certain cartoon is on or when their parent will be back home.

Your child's thinking also becomes more abstract making it easier for him/her to understand more complex mathematical processes such as subtraction and addition. Also, your child has an increased sense of relativity and can now use words such as "above", "under", or "beside".

Physical Development

Not only is your child now able to take parts in more rigorous activities at five years of age, he/she will also use hand-eye coordination to perform competently such as walking backwards, dribbling a ball, or running faster.

Your child can now also ride a bicycle with training wheels and go into inverted positions such as handstands and cartwheels – if properly trained.

Stamina and endurance also increase at this age. Your child can play for longer hours outside without getting tired.

Emotional/Social Development

Unlike previous years, your child's social independence takes an important turn. In the previous years, your child was accustomed to trust adults or children you place in his/her direct environment. At the age of five, your child begins to formulate his/her own 'circle of trust'. This means that your child will determine if that person is trustworthy.

Your child also feels more confident as he/she has learnt new skills that make them feel equal with adults such as reading, writing, riding a bicycle, running, etc.

It is important to note that although your child is more independent in establishing trust, he/she will still feel the need to seek approval from others around. For example, your child may ask a playmate if he/she likes them or if they are friends.

This is a critical time in a child's life where you can instill the best social behaviors. As your child is more adventurous, it is important to warn him/her not to talk to strangers – even if they seem to be trustworthy.

How to Help Your Toddler Grow

To help your child grow at this stage, you must:

  • Allow your child to be independent, don't feel afraid to let him/her get dressed, eat, or play in the backyard – with supervision of course.
  • Encourage your child to make his/her own decisions intervening only when needed (i.e. when your child's decision is not appropriate or correct).
  • Encourage your child to be imaginative and creative; many mothers feel the need to make their children "realistic", when they should be encouraging their children to let their imagination wild.
  • Take your child to a variety of places where he/she can experience new things.
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