Parents can expect to see a wide range of physical development at this age, with some children being taller and bigger than their peers and others not yet having hit their growth spurts.
Adolescence is just around the corner for 10-year-olds, and many children -- particularly girls -- may have already begun to develop signs of puberty. At this age, parents should also encourage physical activity in children and incorporate it into their daily routines, just as they would with good sleep habits and healthy eating.
Ten-year-old children are approaching adolescence, and can be expected to become noticeably taller and wider around this age. Girls tend to grow at a faster pace around this time, and may actually be taller than some boys the same age. It’s important to remember that children grow at different rates; while there will be some children who are smaller or taller than others at this age, that could change in the next few years as children hit growth spurts.
At this age, many children can become self-conscious about any physiological differences that may set him apart from others. If a child who is smaller or bigger than her peers feels insecure about himself, parents can reassure him that growth rates vary, and that some children experience growth spurts later than others.
In general, girls will enter puberty earlier than boys. Parents should prepare their children for the physical changes they can expect such as increased oil production of the skin, hair growth in the armpits and groin, increased body fat, and body odor. In girls, breasts and hips may begin to develop. And while menstruation usually begins around age 12, a few 10-year-old girls may start earlier (which is why there may be one or two girls in a given fifth grade class who may already have begun their periods).
Parents can help prepare their 10-year-old child for the many changes that are to come by arming themselves with information on how to talk to them about what to expect during puberty.
To help a 10-year-old maintain a healthy weight, parents can make sure that they are teaching their child healthy eating habits and taking steps to include plenty of regular exercise and physical activities into their daily routines.
Coordination, Motor Skills
At age 10, children have developed good gross motor skills, making it possible for them to have fun and participate in sports such as soccer, baseball, gymnastics, skating, and more. Many children have also developed coordination, balance, and other physical skills, and are able to ride a bicycle by this age.
Fine motor skills have also become more honed, and many 10-year-olds will be able to draw and write with better control. Working on the computer or playing videogames will also be taken to a new level, with many children this age having the coordination and heightened reflexes to perform more difficult tasks than ever before. If a child has not already been introduced to a musical instrument, this is an excellent time to do so.
Teeth, Personal Care and Hygiene
You can expect your 10-year-old child to continue losing his baby teeth. By now, his central and lateral incisors will have already been replaced with permanent teeth, and permanent molars will continue to erupt. Some children may experience discomfort when losing baby teeth at this age since molars can take longer to become completely loose and come out, making it more difficult for kids to chew food comfortably.
Your 10-year-old can also be expected to care for himself. He will have the dexterity to brush and floss thoroughly and bathe and groom himself. He can also be expected to desire privacy when bathing or getting dressed. But as "grown-up" as 10-year-olds can seem to be when it comes to self-care, they may also need regular reminders to brush, shower, and comb their hair.
Read More About Your Ten-Year-Old Child's Development