School-Age (6 to 12 Years)

The following suggests typical development:

  • Weight: average gain of about five to seven pounds a year
  • Height: average growth of about 2.5 inches per year

Abilities & Interests

As your child continues to grow, you will notice new and exciting abilities and interests developing. While children may progress at different rates and have various interests, the following are some of the common milestones children may reach in this age group.

6- to 7-year-olds:

  • Enjoy many activities and stay busy
  • Like games with rules
  • Vision is as clear as an adult's
  • Practice skills in order to improve
  • Jump rope
  • Ride a bike
  • Understand concept of numbers
  • Know daytime and nighttime
  • Know right and left hands
  • Can copy complex shapes, such as a diamond
  • Can tell time
  • Can understand commands with three separate instructions
  • Can explain objects and their use
  • Can repeat three numbers backwards
  • Can read

8- to 9-year-olds:

  • Develop coordination
  • Jump, skip and chase
  • Are able to dress and groom independently
  • Can count backwards
  • Know the date
  • Read more and enjoy reading
  • Understand fractions
  • Understand concept of space
  • Draw and paint
  • Can name months and days of week, in order
  • Enjoy collecting objects

10- to 12-year-olds:

  • Highly value activities with friends
  • Enjoy competition
  • Seek independence and sense of achievement
  • Write stories
  • Like to write letters
  • Read well
  • Enjoy using the telephone

Interaction with Others

A very important part of growing up is the ability to interact and socialize with others. During the school-age years, caregivers will see changes in their children as they move from playing alone to having multiple friends and social groups. Friendships become more important, but children are still fond of their families. While every child is unique and will develop individuality, the following are some of the common behaviors that may be present.

6- to 7-year-olds:

  • Cooperate and share
  • Will cheat, if able
  • Jealous of others and siblings
  • Like to copy adults
  • Like to play alone, but friends are becoming important
  • Play with friends of the same gender
  • May lose their temper
  • Develop modesty about body
  • Like to play board games

8- to 9-year-olds:

  • Like competition and games
  • Start to mix friends and play with children of the opposite gender
  • Develop modesty about body
  • Enjoy clubs, groups and teams
  • Become interested in boy-girl relationships, but do not admit it

10- to 12-year-olds:

  • Friends are very important; may have best friends
  • Have increased interest in the opposite gender
  • Like and respect caregivers
  • Enjoy talking to others

Helping Your Child’s Development and Social Ability

  • Compliment positive behavior.
  • Help your child choose activities that are appropriate for their abilities.
  • Encourage your child to talk with you.
  • Encourage your child to read.
  • Encourage your child to get involved with hobbies and other activities.
  • Encourage physical activity.
  • Encourage self-discipline.
  • Teach your child to respect others.
  • Encourage your child to talk about peer pressure and help set guidelines to deal with peer pressure.

Last Updated 05/2019

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