Child development 5-6 years

At this age, the child is on the road to new challenges and can commute between feeling big and small. Many people like to tell their own stories, play games and play. They also need larger surfaces to move as the body grows.

All children are unique and develop differently. However, there are some characteristics that are common and typical for most children in an age group. These are described here.

It can vary greatly in how children develop. To understand and recognize your child you may also need to read about the child’s development 4-5 years or about the child’s development 6-7 years.

Development is going fast at different periods

The development is different at different times and can vary greatly from child to child, even between siblings.

Development is both fun and hard for the child. This means that they can sometimes become anxious, change their mood and need more closeness or attention than before.

There are individual conditions and events that can affect how a child develops, both in the short and longer term. For example, it may be that the child is born prematurely, has a disability or is involved in a major change in life.

You need to be active in the child’s development

The child is still dependent on adults, but also thinks and acts more independently. How the child feels and develops is greatly influenced by how you and others who are important to the child provide closeness, attention and what the child shows that they need.

The child now also gets more and more role models to take. For example, there may be friends, staff in preschool and school, leaders in leisure activities and such as see and hear in the media.

You are the great security. You read books, nights, wakes, comforts and cook. But you can also retreat a little longer while the child is taking care of himself, for example on childcare. Even though the child can now do many things on their own, there always needs to be an adult who has their eyes on them.

What the child thinks, understands and feels

Now children are starting to be better able to distinguish between fantasy and reality. The child understands more that role plays and fantasy games are just games. One example is that many children of this age stop believing in the plot. As a result, a belief in various fairy tales is replaced by more reasonable explanations.

Ready to train on school assignments

The child becomes better at reasoning and drawing conclusions about things. The child can now also sit still a little longer while paying attention to one and the same thing.

At the age of 5, children are very good at recognizing things that they have already seen. However, it is more difficult to remember things without seeing them again. This is because the child rarely uses memory rules to remember things, such as rehearsing knowledge quietly for himself or dividing things into groups that they remember. Older children and adults, on the other hand, have different memory tricks that the 5-6 year old does not yet have.

The child still learns most about the game and what happens in everyday life. But they are now ready to start training on “school-type” tasks.

Feelings, empathy and morals

Now the child has learned a lot about different emotions. They can both talk about them and adapt to what others feel. It is also easier for the child to handle his or her own strong feelings. But they still often need the support and comfort of adults.

A child of 5 years is also more aware of himself. This means that the child can associate feelings with himself, and discover feelings that they have. At the same time, the child can become more and more immersed in the thoughts and feelings of others. It’s called empathy. It is important for the development of morality, to be able to reason about “right” and “wrong” and “good” and “evil”.

The child begins to become increasingly aware of how they can influence others, and how others react when they become sad, angry or happy.

Understand that hen is no longer at the center of everything

At the age of 5, the child is still mostly based on himself, but better understands that they are not the center of the world. It can feel both upsetting and disturbing.

The child may have nightmares sometimes and want to be near you at night.

Rules and agreements are important

At this age, the child usually thinks that it is important with routines, justice and agreements. Children usually think it is fun to play cards or games, and this can be extra obvious. Rules and turnaround are important.

Help the child when they have hardships

When the child becomes more aware of himself, they also often become more sensitive and may feel guilty for failing or making mistakes. Then it may be good to support the child to dare again, even if they think it is scary.

The mood can change quickly and the child may have difficulty in adversity. If they think someone is stupid or if they themselves cannot handle certain things, it can lead to disappointment. Many children of this age have completely stopped having outbreaks of anger, but there are. Then suggest other things that they can do. Don’t bark when something goes wrong. Support the child and show that you take his strong feelings seriously.

Start preschool class

It can be a big difference to start in preschool class versus having gone to preschool, in family nursing homes or having been home. Starting school means that the child is expected to be able to, among other things, fit times, understand instructions and keep track of their clothes and things.

The change can be both delightful, exciting and challenging. How the child feels about starting school depends, among other things, on the child’s personality and where they are in their development. The situation at school is of course also important.

Helping the child get friends and feeling comfortable in the class is good for both how they feel and will be able to learn. That the child is happy in school is more important than what they do in school. Children who find it a little more difficult to find friends in the preschool class need help getting along with other children. Children of this age rarely value themselves and others based on what they do. However, being part of the social community is important.

May need to be small

During the day, the child may endeavor to be good and try to meet the requirements, in order to have to be small and not able to do the same things after school. That the child’s mood changes may be because they are tired. Just like adults, children need a lot of unbooked time with no requirements to recover. You may need to take it a little quieter with leisure activities in conjunction with the child still get major changes in everyday life.

Usually children can and do

At this age, it is common for children to do this:

  • Goes to the toilet himself, but may need help to dry himself.
  • Know their full name, and part of their address.
  • Can distinguish between fantasy and reality.
  • Am interested in moral issues, right and wrong, rules and agreements.
  • Get interested in what time it is.

Tips on fun things you can do together

Here are some tips on what can be fun at this age:

  • Have a picnic in the garden or in the park. It does not need much, it can suffice for example a blanket and an apple. You can also have a picnic indoors.
  • Cut pictures of animals, figures, places or people. Put the pictures upside down and ask, “What would you do if you were a…?” Let the child turn to a picture, finish the sentence, and tell them what to do then.
  • Feel free to talk about feelings with your child. Name the feelings and explain them. Take examples from your child’s or your own life. Be warm, friendly and engaged when talking about emotions. It helps the child to become better at understanding emotions. Understanding emotions makes it easier to play with other children.

How the child is with others – social development

Children 5 years of age enjoy playing and being with others. Most people like to cooperate and take responsibility and are often caring about others, both at home and in preschool or family day care.

Friends become more important

Children of this age understand that it is something special to be friends. The child more happily greets children who they think are their friends. They also give more praise to a friend, and they often listen more to friends. Friends are important, and it is hard not to have friends.

Friendships can change faster than in older children. If a friend does something stupid, the child may stop thinking that they are a friend, at least temporarily.

Let children play with whoever they prefer

It is common for girls to play more with girls and boys more with boys. That this is so depends on both biology and culture. Children get their ideas to a great extent about what is “girly” and “boyish” from the society in which they live. Children feel better about playing with the person (s) they prefer than by adapting to what the adult world thinks.

It is important to let the child be himself and be with what the child wants them to be. It is especially difficult for boys who want to be “girly” and play with girls. You may need to stand up for them, and be attentive so that the child is treated with the same respect as other children.

Language, speech and communication

Many children between the age of six can speak between 10,000 and 15,000 words. They can use a lot of grammar correctly. Children understand that some letters and some sounds are interconnected. They may try to spell simple words, and some children start reading a little. Many children enjoy finding short stories and understand that stories should have a beginning, a middle and an end.

Often interpret things literally

Much of the language is still interpreted literally. For example, adults sometimes talk sloppily and excessively about threats and violence when they are upset, for example in traffic. For the five-year-old, adult threats to others can be interpreted literally, which is why you should be very frugal with unforeseen language in the presence of children.

Even threats directed at the child should always be avoided, such as the usual “I leave you in the store if you don’t quarrel and come along now.” Children become scared and despairing of such threats because they think you could really leave them alone.

Although the language develops very much, it is still limited. The child has difficulty describing things that they have seen, but which others have not seen. It is also difficult for the child to give simple directions, as well as to get descriptions and be able to follow them. For example, it is not at all certain that a five-year-old finds home from a playground, even if the road is simple and you describe it clearly.

Explaining why others think and feel as they do is difficult for the child. It is also difficult to take your own responsibility to keep the discussion going for a while. But the child is now easier to take turns talking in conversation. They can listen more to the views of others, and respond appropriately.

If the child has several languages

If the child at home has heard and spoken two or more languages ​​during their upbringing and has had enough practice on them, then at this age they can pronounce words and sounds correctly in all languages.

Talk often and happy

Talk means many different things. Among other things, it is a way of wanting to be seen. The child’s self-esteem becomes stronger as you listen. To listen is to show that both the child and what they have to say are important and valuable.

In order for the child to learn how to put words into emotions, it is good to let emotions be an important part when talking. A fairytale time in the evening when you get to be together in peace and quiet is valuable for both the child and you. It is also a good opportunity to talk about different emotions.

Sometimes the child speaks loudly to control his own actions. The child then directs the talk to himself. Talking loudly to oneself helps the child to solve practical problems, but also to take care of his feelings.

Screens and various media

You set boundaries around and teach kids how to handle different media. You make the decisions for your child that you think will be best. It is good to avoid extremes. Never allowing a child to come near a screen can give a disadvantage to other children. Giving children unlimited screen access is harmful, as it takes time from physical activity, play, and other tasks. It is also bad for children’s bodies to sit passive with a screen for long moments.

It is important that the time in front of the screen does not replace the time when you are together, or replace the time when the child is allowed to move and play outdoors. Children need to move a lot and be active. The biggest problem with screens is that they take up too much time from something else that children need more.

There are different perceptions about how television and computer games affect children. Some age-appropriate television programs, video games and computer games can be fun and educational at this age. At this age, most children, for example, come across a screen as an educational tool in preschool or school.

Remember to have the same supervision over your child when they have screen time as with all other types of activities.

Take into account the child’s age and personality

Think about what you think your child is capable of. It can differ between children of the same age. Customize that child to look after their personality. Look with the child, talk about what you see and experience. Keep in mind that children can be scared of things you don’t think they are scared of.

Time limit the child’s screen time. One obvious way is to set an egg bell for example. Help the child to finish by saying “now it is only five minutes left, and when the bell rings we should turn off”. It also gives the child some time perception.

The younger the child is, the less time with different media needs them. It is not possible to say something that applies to all children about the right screen time at different ages. One recommendation is that children of this age can use the screen for shorter moments, usually up to an hour but preferably shorter. Children should not have their own access to social media. You can sometimes show them pictures or videos from social media that you have selected or approved yourself.

Do not allow children to watch news programs, adult films or play games with violence. Turn off unpleasant background noise.

Think about how you use media yourself when you are with your child. Children do as adults do. Most social media programs are designed to devour as much of your own attention as possible. Therefore, when you sit with a screen yourself, you become less attentive to your child.

Usually the child can and does

At this age, it is common for the child to do this:

  • Forms complete sentences that are largely grammatically correct.
  • Ask questions like How far? How big? How loud?
  • Want to be able to write his own name.
  • Living in and telling stories with a beginning, a middle and an end.
  • Like funny stories, rhymes and rams.

Tips on fun things to do

Here are some tips on what can be fun at this age:

  • Read books together.
  • Let the child participate in fairy tales. As you read fairy tales, it can be fun to sometimes interrupt the story and let the child tell the end based on their own imagination.
  • Write down one of the stories the child tells. Then let them draw pictures for their story. That book will be valuable to save.
  • Make a watch together. Use cardboard, pens, scissors and a clip.
  • Give the child the opportunity to sort, group, match and count things. For example, they can pair socks and put cutlery in boxes. Talk about what the child does and name the categories.

The body and how the child moves

Now the body is growing and developing rapidly. The child needs larger surfaces to be able to move more. Arms and legs grow, and the body changes as it no longer has the younger child’s round body shape.

The child may become a little miserable in their movements for some time.

It is good to let the baby use all the muscles in the body. Now, for example, they can jump jump rope, run, throw, bounce and catch ball, dress themselves, push buttons forward and practice tying the shoes.

When children start school, they are often good at moving. Many children can go balance walking, bump change and cycle. Some learn to swim, skate, ski, and stand on their heads.

The child cannot handle being in traffic

A 5-year-old has a longer reaction time than an adult. It affects, for example, how the child can handle traffic when they are out cycling.

To be in traffic also requires maturity and experience that the child does not have for several years.

Goes to the toilet himself but needs some help

Children manage to go to the toilet themselves but may need help to dry themselves. Some children pee in bed. If this happens frequently, you can contact the childcare center, hospital, for advice.

The child has easier to use fingers in small movements

The child needs moments when they are still and can concentrate. One way is to tinker. The fingers have become longer and the child has easier to make small movements. Many 5-year-olds can cut with scissors following a marked line, wooden necklace made of small beads, draw details and shape figures and patterns in clay. The child is usually able to hold the pen between thumb and forefinger.

Can’t always concentrate

Children of this age concentrate on being able to do things in a coordinated way, and they do not always manage to do so. Then they can instead be perceived as a bit restless and uncoordinated in their movements

Usually the child can and does

At this age, it is common for the child to do this:

  • Dress for himself.
  • Kicks and bounces a ball.
  • Learn to swim.
  • Jumping on one leg.
  • Buttons buttons.
  • Bikes, skis and skates.
  • Draws detailed drawings.

Tips on fun things you can do together

Here are some tips on what can be fun at this age:

  • Play Follow John, the whole ocean storms or other games that are about mimicking movements. Help the child ride a bicycle or ride a bicycle together.
  • Have the child cut out pictures from old magazines. Consider whether the child is right-handed or left-handed, so that they get the right scissors.
  • Build different designs of paper, for example by folding simple paper airplanes.
  • Play dance stops. Let the child start dancing when you turn on music. When you stop, they should immediately stop dancing and stand perfectly still, until you turn the music back on.

If you need support
Seek help if you need support or have questions. Or if you are worried about your child’s development.

Here are some examples of what you can do:

  • Talk to friends and relatives, for example.
  • Contact the child care center, hospital, if the child has not yet started school.
  • Talk to the preschool or family day care center, if the child has not started school.
  • Contact student health if the child has started school. Read more about student health.
  • Contact a health care center.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button