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Childhood milestones age 5

At 5, your child is still learning new skills and increasing his or her development of physical, cognitive, language and social skills. Your child should be capable of symbolic representations in make-believe play, using toys to represent something else. His or her language and drawing skills should continue to develop as both a means of expressing self and the child's experiences. Your child should be developing a sense of purpose and begin to show some responsibility for his or her own actions.

This guide gives some idea of what to expect by the time your child reaches his or her fifth birthday, but it's important to remember that children don't develop according to a fixed timetable. The speed at which children mature can be highly variable and your child may reach some stages earlier or later than others of the same age without there being reasons to be concerned.

Age 5: Physical development

By the time your child reaches the age of 5, he or she should be skipping, dancing and hopping, as well as swinging about and climbing. Your child may be able to do a somersault. Your child should be able to stand on one foot for 10 seconds or longer. Expect your child to use the toilet by his or herself, and to be able to use a fork and spoon and possibly a table knife.

Age 5: Cognitive and language skills

This category covers a child's ability to learn and think and involves problem-solving. Your child should be able to speak clearly. He or she should be able to tell a simple story using full sentences and be able to use future tense. At this age, not only should your child know his or her full name but also his or her age and possibly address and birthday. Your child should be able to count the fingers on one hand. By this time your child should be able to write a few letters, copy a square and triangle, and draw a house. A drawing of a person should have at least 6 body parts.

Age 5: Social and emotional growth

Your child should show concern and sympathy for others and want to please friends. Often a child of this age will want to be like a friend, and he or she may enjoy singing, dancing and acting. Your child should now know the difference between make-believe and real. Expect your child to be demanding at times and cooperative at other times - however your child should be more likely to agree with rules.

Age 5: Tips for Parents

Your child may be a slow starter when it comes to learning to eat independently. You can invite other children of the same age who are good eaters to join your child for a meal. Try to keep meals enjoyable and praise your child and avoid turning it into a stressful time.

If you are concerned that your child may be is experiencing a developmental delay, seek medical advice. Early treatment is the best way to help your child make progress or catch up.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on August 22, 2017

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