Child Development Milestones for Your School-Age Kid

March 16, 2015

Between ages 6 and 10, your kids will wow you and your nanny with their new skills and knowledge, but what changes should you expect?

The preschool years are over, and your child is ready for the big leagues: elementary school. What should you expect from the next few years? Between ages 6 and 10, children will vary greatly, according to Dr. Mike Amster, a board-certified pediatrician and American Medical Association member. Prepare yourself to see achievements in various shapes and sizes -- with a few personal quirks thrown in.

Dr. Amster says that, after age 5, the growth marks for child development look different than before. "The concept of developmental milestones takes a different turn. Up until now, new skills and abilities were coming 'online,' much like starting up a computer," he says. "Now, however, they have their functional skills, and the next several years are spent advancing those skills and increasing their own 'personal power.'"

Sound fun? It is -- watching a school-age child develop is a joy. Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz, a best-selling children's author and founder of "edu-tainment" site Babsy B, says this time period is an exciting one for milestones. You'll find child development marked by excitement and curiosity rather than rigid measurables, so watch for this healthy eagerness.

According to Dr. Amster, Hajdusiewicz and the experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of PediatricsNorth Caroline State University and Stanford Children's Health, here are a few of the milestones you can expect to see from around age 6 to 10:

And read our guide to developmental milestones for kids

Physical and Sensory Milestones

  • Enjoys a challenge more than when he was "little."
  • Is able to dress himself completely and to individual preferences.
  • Masters gross motor skills such as jumping rope and riding a bike.
  • Conquers sewing and other fine-tuned motor skills as interest in hobbies develops.
  • Loses first tooth in early or middle childhood (on average, around age 6 or 7).
  • May experience dental crowding if his permanent teeth appear before the mouth is matured fully.
  • Gradually learns to "tie shoes, play instruments and engage in finer and finer crafts," according to Dr. Amster.
  • Has trouble balancing high-energy activities with appropriately quiet times.
  • Develops vision to match the sharpness of an adult.

Language Milestones

  • Is eager to join in an oral language back-and-forth.
  • Enjoys reciprocity in conversation with adults and other children.
  • Likes to talk and is easily drawn into conversation.
  • Develops a 2,000 word vocabulary by the age of 10.

Cognitive Milestones

  • Can finish a class project with supervision from his teacher.
  • Is able to remember more, since daily rhythms like teeth-brushing and bathing have become habitual.
  • Can do simple homework with help from parents in early or middle childhood.
  • Is able to connect actions and consequences -- for example, concluding that tardiness to school results from early-morning dawdling.
  • Has a longer attention span.
  • Can tell time.
  • Can eventually be trusted with daily or weekly chores, such as walking the dog or washing dishes.
  • Is able to develop a plan to accomplish a goal.
  • Is interested in earning and spending money.

Social Milestones

  • Forms awareness of complicated relationships.
  • Has more interest in the opposite gender, without understanding the complexities.
  • Is able to put himself in others' positions, considering their feelings and different points of view.
  • Acts "bossy" or nurturing to younger children but subservient to and dependent on older kids.
  • Understands more about the magnitude of and their place in the world.
  • Starts to understand that there's more to social engagement than just playing nicely.
  • Is better able to cope with frustration as a result of delayed gratification.
  • Enjoys the concept of manners and kindness as freedom, instead of burdensome rules.
  • Has frequent mood swings and is hurt easily.
  • Attaches to a "hero" such as a teacher or other adult, often quoting or trying to please him.

Want some activities for your school-age kid? Try these Developmental Kids' Activities for 6- to 10-Year-Olds. 

Bethany Johnson, a professional writer from Washington, D.C., specializes in the quirks of family life and relationships. When she's not writing, Bethany and her husband raise both free-range chickens and free-range children on their organic farm in the suburbs.

* This article is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be providing medical advice and is not a substitute for such advice. The reader should always consult a health care provider concerning any medical condition or treatment plan. Neither nor the author assumes any responsibility or liability with respect to use of any information contained herein.

Tips and stories from parents and caregivers who’ve been there.

Please enter a valid email address

Thanks for signing up!

We’ll see you back in your inbox.

Leave a comment

Create a free account with and join our community today.

You may also like

How much should you pay for a babysitter?