Personal & Social Development of a 5-Year-Old

Written by karen kleinschmidt
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Personal & Social Development of a 5-Year-Old
The 5-year-old is generally energetic and full of curiosity. (Thomas Northcut/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Generally, 5-year-old children are full of energy and willing to try new things. They are becoming more social and enjoy engaging in games and activities with other children. They develop problem-solving skills and question the world around them. Their language skills are well developed, and they begin to learn to read and write. Five-year-old children have the capacity to manage their feelings and may be able to negotiate or compromise with their peers before asking an adult for help.

Social Development

Although a 5-year-old child is capable of sharing and taking turns, he may not always want to. Best friends become important at this age, and 5-year-olds may exclude other children. The 5-year-old child enjoys inventing games with simple rules and organising his peers or toys for imaginative play. At times, he may still confuse fantasy with reality. Engaging in "potty talk" to gain attention is very common at this age. Five-year-olds can become bossy, as they like to be in control and make their own decisions.

Emotional Development

Children this age are becoming more sensitive to the feelings of others and may notice if their friend is sad or angry. The 5-year-old child enjoys feeling grown up. She may brag about her skills to younger children. At 5, children have a basic sense of right and wrong. Children this age often ask for permission before taking or doing something. As they are beginning to have an understanding of the concept of giving and receiving, 5-year-olds enjoy giving and receiving presents.

Physical Development

On average, 5-year-old children sleep between 10 and 11 hours a night. Some begin to lose their baby teeth. He may need little assistance dressing himself. Skipping, throwing a ball overhead and catching a bounced ball are acquired skills of the average 5-year-old. Some 5-year-olds may show an interest in riding a bike with stabilisers. Fine motor skills are well developed, and he is able to cut on a line with scissors and use a fork and knife.

Academic Development

The 5-year-old recognises and names basic colours, such as yellow, blue, green, red and orange. She can memorise her address and telephone number. They typical 5-year-old understands a story has a beginning, middle and an end, enabling her to complete simple sequencing activities. The 5-year-old enjoys storytelling, riddles and jokes and drawing pictures to represent people, places, pets and objects in her life. The 5-year-old is beginning to identify letters and numbers and has the ability to sort objects by size. The 5-year-old asks an abundance of questions. Simple experiments can help her understand cause and effect.

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