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Your 7-Year-Old Child: Physical Development

An overview of physical development milestones you may see in your 7-year-old

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Father and son playing in garden
Uwe Krejci/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Physical development in 7-year-old children is all about refinement. They’ll continue the lengthening of limbs that began to be noticeable as they left their preschool years. Their motor skills will become sharper and more accurate. They’ll have better balance and coordination and will be able to execute complex movements.

Growth
While parents of grade-school age children are less likely to see the rapid and dramatic changes in physical growth that they may have seen in the early years, 7-year-old children may experience a growth spurt now and then. On average, you can expect your 7-year-old child to grow 2 to 2.5 inches.

The most notable thing you’ll see is how long-limbed 7-year-olds are becoming. Gone are the chubby appearance and clumsy movements of the toddler and preschool years, replaced with the stretched-out look and graceful movements of a child fully on her way toward adolescence.

Teeth, Personal Care
While reminders about washing hands and brushing teeth will still be needed, parents of 7-year-olds can let kids take the reins more often when it comes to personal hygiene.

Now that 7-year-olds have the fine motor coordination to be able to use dental floss, parents can encourage their child to make flossing a part of their daily oral care routine. Many 7-year-olds will have lost baby teeth and have permanent teeth, which can give them a cute but awkward look since their mouth and face are not yet fully grown.

Many 7-year-olds may also want to take showers on their own rather than an evening bath. (This can often be a terrific timesaver since many 7-year-olds have increasingly busy schedules filled with extracurricular activities in addition to school.) Parents may still need to occasionally supervise to make sure all the shampoo has been rinsed out, for instance, but many 7-year-olds will be able to shower and bathe on their own, and feel proud of themselves for being “big” kids.

Coordination, Motor Skills
Hand-eye coordination is becoming even more refined, and your 7-year-old child will be much more able to write and draw with control and precision. Seven-year-old children may be much more interested in complicated projects such as creating something in art class because they have the attention span and ability to use a pencil, brush, or other tools.

Seven-year-olds can perform more difficult movements such as standing in one place while twisting, turning, or spinning. They can combine motor skills such as running and kicking a ball (such as in soccer) or performing dances to music (many school dance performances will show a demonstration of growing 7-year-old motor skills). Many 7-year-old children are also able to ride a bicycle without training wheels.

This is an age when many naturally-athletic children may really be able to show their physical skills. Seven-year-olds who spend more time on sports and physical activities such as gymnastics, soccer, or swimming and are naturally better at sports will be more likely to outperform peers who might not be as athletic or are more sedentary.

At home and at school 7-year-olds will be able to perform and complete routine chores such as sweeping floors or cleaning desks with much more accuracy.

More About Your Seven-Year-Old Child's Development

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