What Your Child Should Know by Age 5

Get a glimpse of some of the development milestones you may observe in your five-year-old.

Apr 29, 2021



What Your Child Should Know by Age 5

Apr 29, 2021

At age 5, your child’s sense of independence will skyrocket. Accompanying that growing independence is a sponge-like eagerness for facts about the world around him. Meanwhile, your child’s internal landscape is still ripe with imagination.

This combination yields a powerful time for exploration and creativity. Prepare to be delighted and surprised by your child's growth on a daily basis!

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Reading Development

  • Enjoys being read to and pretends to read aloud from a book 
  • Can produce rhymes
  • Knows most letters and can match some letters to the sounds they make
  • Can match some written and spoken words
  • Can write some letters and numbers
  • Likes to retell simple stories and asks questions about books

Shop books that'll help boost reading skills below! 

Language Development

  • Uses more description in conversations
  • Sentences are sometimes six words or longer, with combined phrases 
  • Knows the name for most common objects
  • Can count to 10 and knows basic colors
  • May tell riddles and jokes 
  • Understands opposites, such as big and little or up and down (and yes and no, of course!) 

Explore books that'll help your child learn basic language skills — including the joys of knock-knock jokes. 

Physical Development

  • Can swing all on their own 
  • Can bounce and catch a ball
  • Can build a tower with blocks (and can knock them down again!)
  • Can hop on one foot and may skip
  • Can draw a simple stick figure or face

Emotional Development

  • Can take turns and share — but doesn’t always want to! (Here are books that will help with manners.)
  • Prefers to play in smaller groups and may try to exclude others 
  • Wants to feel grown up and can feel proud or embarrassed easily
  • Has a beginning sense of right and wrong
  • Can organize pretend play and invent games with other children

Shop books that foster imagination and teach important skills (like the need to take turns and share) below! You can find all books and activities at The Parents Store

Is your child starting kindergarten in the fall? Find more expert-approved kindergarten books, tips, and resources at our guide to getting ready for kindergarten. Plus, shop kindergarten workbooks, the best series for kindergarten readers, and kindergarten school stories at The Scholastic Store!

Independent Thinking
Alphabet Recognition
Guides to Raising Kids
Age 5
Child Development and Behavior
Communication and Language Development
Language Arts
Early Learning
Social and Emotional Development
Physical Development