Child development and milestones: Your 5-years-11-months-old child
What will your child amaze you with this month? Find out!
Just one month shy of the big six, say hello to your little-big 5 years 11 months oldchild! On the brink of school now, your 5 years 11 months oldkid’s development has been nothing short of incredible. From a crawling, babbling baby, your child child now runs, leaps, climbs and talks with ease.
What other amazing developmental milestones should you expect to encounter this month? Let’s find out. At the same time, please keep in mind that these milestones are not set in stone, and that each child will meet them at his or her own pace. If you are worried about your child’s development, you should speak to a paediatrician.
Your 5 years 11 months oldchild is more controlled and graceful in his actions and movements than he was just a few months ago. He has lost most or all of that baby/toddler chubbiness and your child’s body has adult-like proportions.
Kids this age weigh approximately 19-20kg and are around 115cm in height. However, also remember that height and weight are also genetically determined to a great extent, so try to avoid comparing your child with others the same age. Your child also has perfect 20/20 vision by now.
Let’s take a look at some other physical developments – related to both fine and gross motor skills – that you might see in your 5 years 11 months oldchild.
- Dances to the beat or rhythm of music
- Can ride a two-wheel bicycle
- Can learn sports involving good physical control
- Holds a pen or pencil using a three-finger grasp
- Jumps rope well
- Is able to balance on one foot for at least a few seconds, with closed eyes
- Kicks a ball with good foot-contact
- Easily uses scissors to cut out shapes skillfully
- Runs fast and gracefully
- Make sure your child has a minimum of one hour of physical activity every day.
- Encourage an active lifestyle by participating in activities that promote physical development, as a family. This could be as simple and fun as playing catch together, or a game of football.
- Limit screen time to not more than 1.5 hours a day.
- Enroll your child in sports or physical activity classes, like swimming, dance or football. This not only boosts physical development, but teaches your child other important skills like teamwork, discipline and responsibility.
When to see a doctor
If your child,
- Loses skills he once had
- Cannot grasp a pen or pencil properly
- Is extremely clumsy when physically active
- Seems to have trouble seeing or hearing properly
In just a month or two, your 5 years 11 months oldchild is about to start a new chapter in life: school! By now, your child’s cognitive abilities would have developed to a level needed to tackle the requirements of “big kid” school.
From being able to grasp a pencil properly and maybe read and write a little bit, to the ability to reason, think and even argue quite logically, here are some other cognitive development markers you might notice in your little champ.
- Knows the alphabet well
- Can count up to 20 and maybe beyond
- Can read two-letter words
- Uses logic to argue important “cases”, especially if it’s that special toy your child really wants
- Understands past, present and future
- Has a good memory
- Concentrates on a task for at least 10-15 minutes
- Can repeat three numbers backwards
- Knows day and night, left and right
- Starts to read age-appropriate books
- Continues to ask many questions
- Shows (sometimes intense) interest in topics like dinosaurs, space or ancient history
- Now’s a good time to get library membership for your child. Show your child how to look for books on topics of interest, borrow them and return them on time (this also teaches responsibility).
- Hone your child’s critical thinking skills through activities such as answering a question with a question (“What do you think about it?”), or getting your child to evaluate a book you’ve just read together (“Why do you think Jane was sad?” “How would you have ended the story?”).
- Bring your child to places that encourage and promote learning, such as museums or places of historical significance. Even a simple trip to the supermarket can teach your child valuable maths skills.
- Read, read, read! Books open unimaginable pathways to lifelong learning for your child.
- Don’t push your child to perform advanced academic tasks. This can discourage your little one from learning, and more importantly, enjoying learning.
When to speak to a doctor
If your child,
- Cannot count to 20
- Doesn’t know his alphabet
- Show little or no interest in asking question or acquiring new knowledge
What a long way your 5 years 11 months oldchild has come in terms of social and emotional development. From refusing to share toys and throwing tantrums just a couple of years ago, to happily playing with friends and no tantrums, your child is quite the social butterfly.
Keep an eye out for the following developments, too.
- Your child is extremely sociable, willingly sharing toys, even wanting to give them away or “lend” them to friends
- Follows rules of games
- Can be bossy
- Is empathetic to others and understands their emotions
- Comforts friends who are sad or angry
- Prefers playing with children of his/her gender
- Would rather play with friends than alone
- Uses words like “please” and thank you”
- Rarely throws tantrums but will still cry easily when upset
- Craves your approval and love
- Enjoys hearing praise from adults
- May have a “best friend”
- Listens to instructions
- If you feel your child is shy, don’t push him to interact with others. Instead, consider enrolling your child in group activities, such as sports or art classes. Or organise small playdates at home.
- Introduce table manners to your child.
- Guide your child on how to behave both at home and when out and about. For example, no jumping queues or interrupting when others are talking.
- 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.
- Discipline your child gently yet firmly, and without losing your temper. An almost 6-year-old can still push your buttons, but understands there are consequences to unacceptable behaviour (unlike a toddler).
- Talk to your friendly child about stranger danger. Teach your child what to do should a stranger approach him or should he find himself separated from you when out and about.
- It’s okay for children to be bored. Resist the need to cram your child’s social calendar with activities, and instead, teach your child how to enjoy down-time or alone-time. This could be by reading a book, doing arts and crafts, drawing and colouring, or heading outside.
When to speak to a doctor
If your child,
- Shows extreme emotions, or still throw tantrums very often
- Refuses to play with other children
- Prefers the company of much older kids, or even adults
- Is violent when angry
Continue to provide your 5 years 11 months oldchild with a balanced diet to boost holistic development. Don’t forget to encourage your active child to drink enough water through the day. Avoid sweets, junk food and fizzy drinks as much as possible.
Your child needs approximately 1,200 calories to fuel him through the day. Here’s a snapshot of some of your child’s daily nutritional requirements.
|Nutrient/Mineral||Recommended Daily Amount||Food Sources (nutrient/mineral value)|
|Calcium||1,000mg||2 cups milk (150mg) OR 2 cups yoghurt(207mg) OR 2 slices of cheese (112mg)|
|Iron||10mg||small bowl of cereal (12mg) OR 1 slice of wholemeal raisin bread (0.9mg) OR a small handful of raisins (0.7mg)|
|Essential Fatty Acids (EFA)||10g of Omega-6, 0.9g of Omega-3||child palm-sized piece of salmon/ fish (0.425g) OR 1 hardboiled egg (0.1g) OR a handful of almonds (2.3g)|
|Magnesium||130mg||Small bowl of all bran cereal (93mg) OR 1 tablespoon of peanut butter (25mg) OR half a banana (16mg)|
|Vitamin A||0.4mg||3-5 chunks of sweet potato (3.8mg) OR quarter of a bell pepper|
|Vitamin C||25mg||2 cups fresh orange juice (50mg) OR 6 florets of broccoli (30mg) OR 1 small tomato (5mg)|
|Vitamin E||7mg||28g peanuts (2mg) OR half a fresh mango (0.9mg)|
|Potassium||3,800mg||Half a baked sweet potato (463mg) OR 5 chunks of cantaloupe (208mg) OR a handful of spinach (210mg)|
|Zinc||5mg||child’s palm-sized piece of cooked beef (3mg) OR child’s palm-sized piece chicken (0.6mg) OR 2 slices cheddar cheese (0.4mg)|
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, diarrhea 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 diarrhea for more than two days
Previous month: 5 years 10 months
Next month: 6 years
Reference: Web MD