Physical Development of Eight to Nine Year Olds

Updated June 25, 2018

Eight and 9-year-old children are in the "in-between" years. They are still children, but are on the cusp of their teen years. Children this age develop at different rates, which is why there are such height differences between them in school. Whether your child develops earlier or later, there are some common characteristics that you can expect to see in your 8 or 9-year-old.


Children begin to identify themselves as being either athletic or non-athletic at the ages of 8 and 9. Children who have played sports previously often begin to show more refined skills while children who have not previously played sports may want to start. Encourage your child to try many different sports rather than focusing on one sport exclusively. If your child does not see himself as athletic, encourage him to find an active hobby that he enjoys, such as swimming or martial arts.


Eight and 9-year-old children begin to display more refined coordination skills. They are able to catch and throw a ball more accurately and with more control. Your child becomes able to kick a ball or swing a bat more accurately. At this age, your child's balance also improves. She will be able to run more quickly and will probably trip and fall less frequently. She should also be able to stand on one foot for longer periods of time.


Your child may hit a growth spurt around 8 or 9, or he may not have one until a few years later. Your child may also start gaining weight more rapidly at this age. By the age of 8 or 9, your child should have matured to the point that he is able to stay dry through the night almost all of the time. Good nutrition, moderate exercise and healthy amounts of sleep help ensure that your child stays healthy and grows well during this time.

Early Puberty

Some children begin to show signs of early puberty around the ages of 8 or 9 years old. Girls may begin to develop breasts or grow pubic hair. You may also notice that your daughter develops a more rounded shape, and she may also begin to show some signs of mood swings or other hormone fluctuations. In general, boys begin puberty a bit later than girls and may not begin to show the early signs until between the ages of 10 and 12.

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About the Author

Stacy Zogheib's writing has been published in various online publications. She is a teacher and developmental specialist with experience teaching first grade, special education and working with children ages 0 to 3. She has a Bachelor of Arts in elementary and special education from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio and a Master's degree in Early Childhood Education from Northern Arizona University.