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Child Development: Your Five-Year-Old Child

A 5-year-old child will experience an action-packed phase of development


For a 5-year-old, there will be many steps forward as well as steps back as she navigates new challenges and broadens her world. Many 5-year-olds begin kindergarten begin to spend more time away from the familiarity of home. At this age, children will increasingly express a desire to be independent, but will still want and need cuddles and comfort from mom and dad.

While it’s impossible to say what "all five-year-olds are like" given the fact that children have individual abilities, preferences, and personalities, these are some milestones that can be generally applied to a 5-year-old child.

1. 5-Year-Old Behavior and Daily Routines


For a 5-year-old, behavior and daily routines will undergo a major shift and transition. Five-year-old children are entering the world of school as many children this age begin kindergarten. They will expand their horizons and begin spending more time away from home (and will need and rely upon the comfort of routines at home). Here is a look at what you can expect in this action-packed phase of child development. Read about 5-year-old behavior and daily routines.

2. 5-Year-Old Physical Development


Physical development of 5-year-old children will vary. Some children this age may experience sudden growth earlier than others, and some may have sharper and stronger motor skills than their peers. All in all, here is a general overview of what 5-year-old children's physical development may look like. Read about 5-year-old physical development.

3. 5-Year-Old Emotional Development


At age 5, children are entering the "big kid" world of better emotional control and regulation. But 5-year-old children are still very much in the world of younger children, and may display emotional extremes, tantrums, and contradictions. Here are some hallmarks of 5-year-old emotional development. Read about 5-year-old emotional development.

4. 5-Year-Old Cognitive Development


Five-year-old children will experience an explosion of cognitive development as they enter school and begin to develop math, reading, and other academic skills. They will learn more about the world around them as they grow into the confident learners they will become at school and at home. Read about 5-year-old cognitive development.

5. 5-Year-Old Social Development


Gone are the days when your 5-year-old was once a baby, only intermittently interacting with a playmate and engaging in what is commonly referred to as "parallel play." Now, whether your child is a social butterfly or a more slow-to-warm child, he will increasingly interact with other kids, whether in kindergarten or at playdates. Read about 5-year-old social development.

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