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Normal Development: 6 Years Old

Physical Development

  • loves active play but may tire easily
  • can be reckless (does not understand dangers completely)
  • is still improving basic motor skills
  • is still not well coordinated
  • begins to learn some specific sports skills like batting a ball
  • dawdles much of the time
  • is fascinated with the subject of teeth
  • may become a more finicky eater
  • uses crayons and paints with some skill, but has difficulty writing and cutting
  • may resist baths
  • permanent teeth erupting, both molars and front teeth

Emotional Development

  • may have unpredictable mood swings
  • is quite sensitive to criticism
  • has a problem admitting a mistake
  • feels quite guilty about mistakes

Social Development

  • evaluates self and friends
  • begins to impose rules on play activities
  • cooperates with other children with some difficulty
  • has difficulty considering the feelings of others
  • values independence

Mental Development

  • likes taking responsibility for simple household chores
  • likes to make simple decisions
  • counts to 100
  • asks endless "how-what-when-where-why" questions
  • continues to refine concepts of shape, space, time, color, and numbers
  • begins to understand the difference between intentional and accidental
  • begins to understand differences of opinion
  • still has a short attention span (about 15 minutes maximum)
  • enjoys dramatic play

These guidelines are offered as a way of showing a general progression through the developmental stages rather than as fixed requirements for normal development at specific ages. It is perfectly natural for a child to attain some milestones earlier and other milestones later than the general trend.

If you have any concerns related to your child's own pattern of development, check with your pediatrician or family physician.

Written by Donna Warner Manczak, Ph.D., M.P.H. and Robert Brayden, M.D.
Published by McKesson Provider Technologies.
Last modified: 2003-06-02
Last reviewed: 2006-04-27
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright 2006 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All Rights Reserved.
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