Child development and milestones: Your 5-years-10-months-old child
In this article, we examine what is expected in terms of your 5 years 10 months old child's development and milestones, and when you should be worried.
By 5 years 10 months old, you’ll notice that your child is growing much more independent. He is also much more coordinated when it comes to his physical and gross motor skills. This gives him the confidence to make his own decisions and do things on his own.
What other amazing developmental milestones should you expect to encounter this month? Let’s find out. Do note that every child is different, and each child will meet these milestones at his or her own pace. If you are worried about your child’s development, you should speak to a paediatrician.
By now, your child can ride a bike, jump rope, balance on one foot for a short period of time, walk downstairs without needing to hold your hand, and skip and catch a large ball. Some children may also be able to play team sports like football.
Your child’s fine motor skills are also improving, which will help him with tasks like tying shoelaces and using zips and buttons.
You might be able to know if your child is right or left handed, by now.
Let’s take a look at some other physical developments:
- Holds a pen or pencil using a three-finger grasp
- Can write his own name
- Can copy shapes with a pencil
- 1 or 2 baby teeth might fall out, to be replaced by permanent teeth
- Might be able to ride a two-wheel bicycle
- Skips well
- Is able to balance on one foot for at least a few seconds, with closed eyes
- Kicks a ball
- Cut and paste shapes on paper
- Set aside some time for free play every day. Children pick up plenty of physical, social, emotional and thinking skills through play.
- Encourage your child to participate in household chores. This not only helps in honing his cognitive and fine motor skills, but also helps in boosting self-esteem.
- Put steady time limits on video games, computer use, and TV. Make sure screen time doesn’t cut into physical play, enough sleep, and family time.
- This might be a good time to enroll your child in swimming lessons, dance or football.
- Never shake or hit a child. You risk harming your child. Shaking can cause bleeding inside the brain and even permanent brain damage.
When to see a doctor
If your child,
- Loses skills he once had
- Cannot grasp a pen or pencil properly
- Shows no interest in letters or trying to write his own name
- Is extremely clumsy when physically active
- Seems to have trouble seeing or hearing properly
Your child can pay attention for a longer period of time by now, for at least 15 minutes. He understands simple concepts like numbers, time (today, tomorrow, yesterday), knows the seasons, recognises some words by sight and tries to read words by sounding them out.
Here is the list of cognitive development markers you might notice:
- Understands the concept of numbers, and able to count to 20
- Knows the primary colours.
- Knows day from night and left from right
- Be able to tell time
- Be able to repeat three numbers backward
- Knows the alphabet well
- Can read some sight words
- Concentrates on a task for at least 10-15 minutes
- Asks questions and can provide reasons and answers when asked “why?”
- Understands “right” and “wrong” and the concept of rules
- Get your child a library card. Regular visits to the library will increase his vocabulary, imagination, and desire to learn. Again, reading is a great activity to get kids thinking. Ask your child to make up new endings to his favourite stories to help him think critically and creatively.
- Nature walks and visits to museums and zoos provide children with the multi-sensory experiences they so need at this age.
- Cooking is a great parent-child activity, which teaches valuable math skills in a fun way. When baking a cake together, let your 5 years 10 months oldhelp measure out the ingredients as you give directions.
- Organised sports like football is also a good way to support your child’s development, and it is a great way for your child to learn more about following directions and to practice quick thinking.
When to speak to a doctor
If your child,
- Has trouble following simple instructions
- Cannot count to 20
- Doesn’t know his alphabet
- Shows little or no interest in asking questions or acquiring new knowledge
By now, your child has a much better grip over his feelings, and is also able to express his feelings better.
As much as he loves his independence, he still depends on you for security and comfort.
As your child learns and reads more, he is likely to develop fear about the unknown, like ghosts, or death. Your little one might say things like, “I don’t want you to die.” or “When will you die?”
Starting primary school might be another big challenge for your little one. New rules, meeting and making new friends, and demands of schoolwork might make him just a little extra grumpy and tired.
Know that this is just a phase, he will soon get used to it.
Keep an eye out for the following developments at this age. Your child:
- Is apologetic when he makes mistakes.
- Displays less aggressive behaviour
- Enjoys making new friends, and is open to share and take turns. Boys will tend to play with boys, and girls with girls.
- Understands more about gender and might identify better with the parent of the same sex.
- Uses his imagination when he plays.
- Might start lying, but it’s normal.
- Allow your child to make his own choices about sports and toys. This will help him develop confidence in his own abilities and boost his self-esteem.
- Playdates are a great way for your child to spend time with other children, especially if they go to the same school.
- Consider enrolling your child in group activities, such as sports or art classes.
- Educate your child about private parts, and stranger danger.
- You might observe nail biting and thumb sucking. These are commonly used by children as coping mechanisms, especially when they are exposed to new environments like school.
- Your child mimics your behaviour so be the person you want your child to be. Show respect, kindness and empathy to others and you can be sure your child will, too.
When to speak to a doctor
If your child,
- Shows extreme emotions, gets violent or still throw tantrums very often
- Refuses to play with other children, and is very withdrawn and depressed
- Still wets or soils his pants during the day
- Has difficulty falling asleep at night or staying asleep
Your child is learning new words quickly, as many as 5-10 new words each day. He will be talking a lot, and enjoys jokes and riddles.
Your child can also understand positional vocabulary, and should know what you mean when you say things like, “on top of,” “below,” or, “next to.”
Here is what most children can do by this age:
- Has developed a strong vocabulary, including 2,000 words or more.
- Can speak in full sentences
- Uses tenses correctly (past, present and future).
- Starts to understand jokes and puns and starts verbally expressing a sense of humour.
- Read to your child. Nurture his love for books by taking him to the library or bookstore. Let your child choose what he wants to read. While reading with your child, stop and ask your child to guess what will happen next. Help him think, by asking questions about what’s happening in the story.
- Help your child develop good language skills by speaking to him in complete sentences and using “grown up” words. Help him to use the correct words and phrases.
- Your child will enjoy books with rhyming songs and riddles at this age.
When to Talk to Your Doctor
If your child:
- Does not speak clearly enough to be understood
- Doesn’t use sentences of more than three words
- Doesn’t use plurals or past tense properly
Your child needs approximately 1,200 – 2000 calories to fuel him through the day, depending on growth and activity level. This includes:
- Protein 3-5.5 ounces
He would need 2 servings of protein each day. One serving equals 1-3 tablespoons of lean meat, chicken, fish, 4-5 tablespoons dry beans and peas or 1 egg
- Fruits 1-2 cups
One cup of fruit equals 1 cup of fresh, frozen, or canned fruit, 1/2 cup dried fruit, one half of a large apple, one 8- or 9-inch banana, or one medium grapefruit.
If your child wants to drink fruit juice, make sure it’s 100 percent juice without added sugars.
- Vegetables 1.5-2.5 cups
One cup of vegetables equals 1 cup of cooked or raw vegetables, 2 cups of raw leafy greens, one large tomato, or two medium carrots.
Aim to provide a variety of vegetables, including dark green, red and orange, beans and peas, starchy and others, each week. When selecting canned or frozen vegetables, look for options lower in sodium.
- Grains 4-6 ounces
One ounce of grains equals one slice of bread, 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal, or 1/2 cup of cooked pasta or cooked cereal.
Choose whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, popcorn, quinoa, or brown or wild rice. Limit refined grains such as white bread, pasta and rice.
- Milk/Dairy 2.5 cups
You can also substitute 1 cup of milk with 1 cup of yogurt or soy milk , 1½ ounces of natural cheese, or 2 ounces of processed cheese.
There are no new vaccinations due this month. To find out what vaccinations your child should have got up to now, and check if this schedule is up-to-date, click here.
Your child might still be prone to catching colds, the flu and other common illnesses like Hand Foot and Mouth disease. While all of these boost his immunity, you should head to the doctor if your child shows signs of severe discomfort, including vomiting, diarrhoea or very high fever.
Teach and encourage your child to practice good hygiene, especially hand-washing.
When to talk to a doctor
If your child,
- Has a fever over 39 degrees Celsius
- Has unusual bruises, bumps or rashes
- Complains constantly of headaches or other aches
- Has been vomiting or has diarrhoea for more than two days
Previous month: 5 years 9 months
Next month: 5 years 11 months
Reference: Web MD