What Are The Milestones For A 5 Year Old

Milestone Moments Matter – 5 Years

Have you ever wondered what your child is supposed to do by age five? By the time your child reaches five years old, there is a good chance he or she is headed to kindergarten, or maybe you are starting your child in pre-k depending on their birthday. Either way, this is a big next step for you and your child.

I had the pleasure of taking a tour of a little pre-k academy last week and one of the questions I asked was based on Jaxon’s development.

“What classroom would Jaxon be in if he is developmentally behind? Would you place him in the class of kids his same birth age, or in with the children who are the same age developmentally?”

Each situation and each child is different and it is helpful to know what milestones they should be meeting at each age so you can have those conversations.

I can say that as of right now Jaxon is not ready. He will be four in November and he has shown very little interest in potty training, and potty training is a variable when looking at schools. While Jaxon can do some things brilliantly for his age, he falls way behind on a good number of measures used in the book we have been looking at regarding milestones. Jaxon has yet to meet many of the two-year-old guidelines.

The information shared in this post is taken from a little booklet that describes various milestones for kids from ages two months to five years old. It’s called ‘Milestone Moments: Learn The Early Signs. Act Early,” by the Centers For Disease Control (CDC).

I share this with you because there may be others who are unaware of what the CDC defines as milestones for children. These milestones are things to watch for in your child and tips on how you can help your child learn and grow.

“Your Child By 5 Years – What most children do by this age.”

Social/Emotional Milestones

  • Wants to please friends
  • Wants to be like friends
  • More likely to agree with rules
  • Likes to sing, dance, and act
  • Is aware of gender
  • Can tell what’s real and what’s make-believe
  • Shows more independence (for example, may visit a next-door neighbor by himself (adult supervision is still needed)
  • Is sometimes demanding and sometimes very cooperative

Language/Communication Milestones

  • Speaks very clearly
  • Tells a simple story using full sentences
  • Uses future tense; for example, “Grandma will be here.”
  • Says name and address

How you can help your child’s development

  1. Continue to arrange play dates, trips to the park, or playgroups. Give your child more freedom to choose activities to play with friends, and let your child work out problems on her own.
  2. Your child might start to talk back or use profanity (swear words) as a way to feel independent. Do not give a lot of attention to this talk, other than a brief time out. Instead, praise your child when he asks for things nicely and calmly takes “no” for an answer.
  3. This is a good time to talk to your child about safe touch. No one should touch “private parts” except doctors or nurses during an exam or parents when they are trying to keep the child clean.
  4. Teach your child her address and phone number.
  5. When reading to your child, ask him to predict what will happen next in the story.
  6. Encourage your child to “read” by looking at the pictures and telling the story.

Cognitive Milestones (learning, thinking, problem-solving)

  • Counts 10 or more things
  • Can draw a person with at least 6 body parts
  • Copies a triangle and other shapes
  • Can print some letters or numbers
  • Knows about things used every day, like money and food

Movement/Physical Development Milestones

  • Stands on one foot for 10 seconds or longer
  • Hops; may be able to skip
  • Can do a somersault
  • Uses a fork and spoon and sometimes a table knife
  • Can use the toilet on their own
  • Swings and climbs

How can you help your child’s development?

  • Teach your child time concepts like morning, afternoon, evening, today, tomorrow, and yesterday. Start teaching the days of the week.
  • Explore your child’s interest in your community. For example, if your child loves animals, visit the zoo or petting farm. Go to the library or look on the internet to learn about these topics.
  • Keep a handy box of crayons, paper, paint, child scissors, and paste. Encourage your child to draw and make art projects with different supplies.
  • Play with toys that encourage your child to put things together.
  • Teach your child how to pump her legs back and forth on a swing.
  • Help your child climb on the monkey bars.
  • Go on walks with your child, do a scavenger hunt in your neighborhood or park, and help him ride a bike with training wheels (wearing a helmet.)

Act early if your child:

  • Is missing milestones
  • Doesn’t show a wide range of emotions
  • Shows extreme behavior (unusually fearful, aggressive, shy, or sad)
  • Usually withdrawn and not active
  • Is easily distracted, has trouble focusing on one activity for more than 5 minutes
  • Doesn’t respond to people, or responds only superficially
  • Can’t tell what’s real and what’s make-believe
  • Doesn’t play a variety of games and activities
  • Can’t give first and last name
  • Doesn’t draw pictures
  • Doesn’t talk about daily activities or experiences
  • Doesn’t use plurals or past tense properly
  • Can’t brush teeth, wash and dry hands, or get undressed without help
  • Loses skills he once had

Don’t wait. You know your child best.

Tell your child’s doctor or nurse if you notice any of these signs of possible developmental delay and ask for a developmental screening.

If you or the doctor is still concerned,

Ask for a referral to a specialist and,

Call any local public elementary school for a free evaluation to find out if your child can get services to help.

For more information, go to cdc.gov/Concerned.

Talk with your child’s doctor at every visit about the milestones your child has reached and what to expect next.

The above information was taken from the booklet titled Milestone Moments – Learn the Signs. Act Early.

DISCLAIMER: The CDC recently lowered some of the standards for the milestones in 2022. For those updates, it is best to visit their website. The information contained herein comes from this little booklet which was published in 1991,1993, 1998, 2004, and 2009 by the American Academy of Pediatrics and Bright Futures. This booklet was obtained from a doctor’s office in the fall of 2021. We recognize every child is different and what you do with the information is your decision. We are not making suggestions, simply sharing what we found.

Proverbs 1:5, “Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance,”


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