Normal Development: 6 Years Old

6 yr milestones

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.
  • Starts 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 start to erupt, both molars and front teeth.

Emotional Development

  • May have unpredictable mood swings.
  • Is quite sensitive to criticism.
  • Has a problem admitting a mistake.
  • Feels guilty about mistakes.

Social Development

  • Evaluates self and friends.
  • Starts to make rules for play activities.
  • Cooperates with other children with some difficulty.
  • Has trouble considering the feelings of others.
  • Values independence.

Mental Development

  • Likes to be responsible for simple household chores.
  • Likes to make simple decisions.
  • Counts to 100.
  • Asks lots of “how-what-when-where-why” questions.
  • Continues to refine concepts of shape, space, time, color, and numbers.
  • Starts to understand the difference between intentional and accidental.
  • Starts to understand differences of opinion.
  • Has a short attention span (about 15 minutes maximum).
  • Enjoys dramatic play.

These guidelines show general progress through the developmental stages rather than fixed requirements for normal development at specific ages. It is perfectly natural for a child to reach some milestones earlier and other milestones later than the general trend.

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

Written by Donna Warner Manczak, PhD, MPH and Robert Brayden, MD.
Pediatric Advisor 2012.2 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2008-12-15
Last reviewed: 2011-09-20
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.

Pediatric Advisor 2012.2 Index