These skills tend to be quite variable. But at this age the typical child:
- Skips, walks on tiptoes, broad jumps.
- Can cut and paste.
- Names four or five colors.
- Tells simple stories.
- Knows a few nursery rhymes.
- Can identify coins.
- Copies a triangle.
- Recognizes most letters of the alphabet.
- Begins to understand right from wrong; fair and unfair.
- Draws a person with a head, body, arms and legs.
- Dresses and undresses without supervision.
- Engages in make-believe and dressing-up.
- Enjoys the companionship of other children; plays cooperatively.
- Has formed gender identification.
Injury prevention is proactive. Consider the following:
- Make sure power tools, firearms, matches and poison are locked up.
- Use a bike helmet.
- Use car safety belts or child restraints.
- Supervise a child without interruption while playing near or in water.
- Teach your child to swim.
- Teach your child what to do in case of fire in the home.
- Have your child memorize his or her name, address and telephone number.
- Reinforce proper behavior around strangers; tell children not to go with or accept anything from them.
- Teach your children it is okay to say "no" when adults they are not familiar with ask them to do things they feel are not right.
These activities provide good examples for modeling important skills and encourage your child to grow in a healthy and happy way:
- Promote interaction with other children.
- Have children participate in simple chores such as setting the table or cleaning their rooms.
- Demonstrate interest in your child's daily activities.
- Show affection.
- Encourage your child to sleep in his or her own bed if circumstances permit.
- Maintain bedtime routine.
- Children will continue to be curious about the birth process and gender differences; answer these questions honestly at your child's level of understanding.
- Use correct terms for genitals.
- Understand a child's sexual curiosity and explorations are normal.
Good nutrition is essential to a growing body. Tips include:
- Serve balanced meals; avoid junk food and junk drinks.
- Continue fluoride supplementation if necessary.
- Create a pleasant atmosphere at mealtime with conversation about the day's activities as well as what's planned after the meal or the next day.
- Encourage good eating habits.
- Limit carbohydrate snacks.
Childhood behavior may go from one extreme to another. This age is no exception:
- Plays well with other children.
- Takes turns.
- Follows simple directions.
- Conforms to simple rules regarding behavior.
- Dresses self.
- Is readily able (or after a short transition period) to separate from home for half a day.
Health maintenance is essential to a child's well-being.
- Biannual dental visits ensure healthy teeth; promote dental hygiene; brush twice a day.
The following items may be useful:
- American Academy of Pediatrics. Caring for Your School-Age Child, Ages 5 to 12 (Bantam Books)
- Ames, Louise. Your Five Year Old. Delacorte, 1979.
- Briggs, Dorothy. Celebrate Your Self: Enhancing Your Self Esteem. Doubleday, N.Y., 1977.
- Chess, Stella. Your Child Is a Person: A Psychological Approach to Parenthood Without Guilt. Penguin, 1977.
- Einzig, Mitchell J. M.D. Baby and Child Emergency First Aid Handbook. Meadowbrook Press, Simon & Schuster, N.Y., 1992.
- Satner,Ellyn RD. How to Get Your Kid to Eat...But Not Too Much