About Physical Development of Children 7 to 12 Years
Children between the ages of 7 and 12 years old don't grow as quickly as they did in their first six years; their bodies aren't changing as dramatically as they will during adolescence. Even so, children in this age group continue to develop physically.
By being familiar with the milestones of physical development for children in this age group, you can keep check that the children in your life are growing healthy and strong.
Muscle Development and Coordination
According to North Carolina State University, children in this age group begin their middle childhood years struggling with their muscular coordination. The may experience periods of clumsiness and frustration. Growth is fairly steady during this period, according an overview of development stages provided by Nipissing University, but children's appetite can be quite large. The fine motor skills develop quickly during the later stages of this age range, and by the age of 12, most children have grown into their muscles and are as coordinated as adults.
Changes in Teeth
Between the ages of 7 and 12, children lose their remaining baby teeth. If they haven't done so already, their 6-year molars will finish growing in. During this age range, the 12-year molars may break through. Some children experience tooth crowding during this age because their teeth are coming in before their mouth has fully grown.
According to North Carolina State University, during this age range, children tend to have exuberant energy and may struggle with the demands made on them to participate in school and other activities in a way that is not disruptive. High levels of activity may also lead to fatigue. Children in this age range routinely need 10 hours of sleep each night.
During the middle childhood years, the eyes will complete development, reaching their full size and function. Demands from computer usage and schoolwork can cause eyestrain, so it's a good idea to take your child in for an eye exam.
The Approach of Puberty
In the later years of middle childhood, children often begin to show the first signs of puberty. Their bodies begin to develop the same proportions as an adult body. Girls may form breast buds and develop wider hips. Boys may begin to experience changes in the tenor of their voice and to develop testes. In both sexes, pubic hair may begin to grow.