What to Expect: Age 6
Do you wonder how your child’s accomplishments compare to others their age? As your six-year-old potentially wraps up their kindergarten year, there are a few standards parents should be looking for. Your child’s sixth year is a time of tremendous growth in every area. You’ll almost be able to see the many ways their brain is growing and developing throughout the year.
You won’t have to wonder if your child is on track when using these benchmarks. Respected professionals within the field of child development have done plenty of research. You can see how your child compares to the average six-year-old in all of the key areas below.
In the previous years, children were just beginning to grasp the basics of balance. This is the year where many of these concepts finally begin to come together for children. They may walk on curbs to test their balance. They also have the ability to learn to ride a bike without training wheels by age six.
Fine and gross motor skills are still developing rapidly. Hand-eye coordination is another developing skill that many children will practice at this age. According to PBS, children who are encouraged to take part in sports activities may mature in this area more quickly than children who don’t have the opportunity to practice.
Other important physical milestones that children achieve this year include:
- Bouncing a ball with one hand
- Throwing and catching with greater consistency
- Fluidity when skipping
Friendships and peer relationships are continuing to fully develop. Children have a greater sense of their place in social settings, as well as a budding sense of independence. Your child may also be developing their own opinions and become willing to assert them with friends. Conflict becomes more common at this age than it was in the previous years.
Children tend to have more volatile emotions at this stage of development. For example, your child may express worry, disappointment, sadness, and frustration. They will likely need some assistance to manage their feelings and develop positive coping skills.
Some experts claim that children are more likely to interact with peers one-on-one instead of in groups. This phenomenon tends to dissipate over the next couple years.
At six years old, many children are rapidly expanding their cognitive capacities. This is perhaps the area where parents can see the greatest growth in their child. Consider some of these common achievements for a six-year-old:
- Ability to count to 200 or backward from 20
- Significantly increased vocabularies and clear pronunciation
- Beginning to read aloud and write short stories or descriptions
- Talking about thoughts and feelings
- Understanding the thoughts and feelings of others
Their schoolwork will show the most obvious changes compared to previous years. Encouraging your child to continue growing in this area will help them to continue refining these basic skills. It’s important to note your child’s progress in key academic areas to set them up for future success.
Understanding the common milestones for your six-year-old gives you a quick glimpse of how your child compares to others. You can use this information to help you make key decisions regarding their schooling and spot any developmental delays early on.
Embrace the wonder that this year is certain to bring for you and your child. You’ll love having more intelligent conversations with your child as they learn and grow. Your child is likely to need some assistance from time to time, but be sure to take the time to appreciate the process. This is a crucial time in your child’s development, so you’ll want to pay attention to these benchmarks.