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Common Milestones for Your Child to Reach by Age Five

Is your baby growing up quickly? It can seem like they are newborns one day and off to kindergarten the next.

The reality is that children grow step-by-step through stages. Every child is different. However, by age five, most children will reach certain milestones in the ways they interact with you and others.

At Parkland Community Health Plan, we want to help you to help your children be as healthy as possible, every step of the way.

Below, we’ve listed a few of the developmental milestones to watch for by age five.

By age five, children usually: 

  • enjoy playing with other children
  • want to share with others
  • understand rules and take turns during games
  • express anger with words instead of hitting or kicking
  • want to do some things for themselves, without your help
  • are demanding at times and cooperate at other times

Can your five-year-old communicate in these ways?

  • speaks clearly so that others can understand
  • knows their first and last name and address
  • can tell a story using full sentences
  • names at least four colors and three shapes
  • recognizes some letters and familiar signs, like “STOP”
  • use future tense, such as “We will have go to the store later.”

Most five-year-olds can:

  • count 10 or more toys or crayons
  • draw people with at least six body parts
  • print some letters or numbers
  • copy shapes like rectangles, triangles, and stars
  • understand basic information about day-to-day items, like household appliances, money, and food

By their fifth birthday, your child will probably be able to:

  • stand on one foot for at least 10 seconds
  • uses a fork and spoon
  • walk upstairs and downstairs by themselves
  • walk forward and backwards easily
  • dress and undress themselves without a lot of help

When you read the lists above, you may notice your child cannot do a few of the tasks.

Usually, there is no need to worry. Your child might be delayed with some aspects of language or other behaviors but “catch up” later.

The important thing is that, as they grow from age four to five, your child shows ongoing improvement.

Talk to your child’s doctor if you notice your child:

  • loses the ability to do things they did in the past
  • needs a lot of help eating, getting dressed, or using the bathroom
  • is not able to focus on a task for more than five minutes
  • does not want to play or talk to other children
  • does not make eye contact
  • has trouble sleeping
  • seems sad or unhappy on many or most days

Have an urgent question about your child’s behavior or other concern?

Call the 24-hour Nurse Line. There is no cost to you for this Parkland Community Health Plan service.