What Your Child Should Know by Age 6

While all children develop in their own way and at their own pace, our age-by-age guide will show you what key milestones you might notice this year.
Jul 25, 2019



what to know by age 6

Jul 25, 2019

By age 6, children understand over 20,000 words, and their sentences are longer and not as simple. But even more amazing are the new complexities in their thought processes — their wheels are constantly in motion. With this deepening, you’ll see a change in how your child uses language to express thoughts and ideas.

Reading Development

  • May be able to read simple books aloud (here are great books for beginner readers!)
  • Can read and retell familiar stories
  • Knows an increasing number of sight words
  • Can decode major sounds in a word
  • Can invent reasonable spelling and write some words

Your Checklist for Reading Development

BOB Books: First Stories — For the aspiring independent reader, the First Stories set features twelve short, easy-to-read stories, setting up the perfect foundation for more advanced reading down the line.

Write-N-Seek: Sight Words — Transform learning into a fun activity with the sight word puzzles in this stimulating workbook that'll enhance your child's knowledge and handwriting skills.

Scholastic Learning Express Level 1: Handwriting and Vocabulary — Your child will go from tracing words and sentences to writing them independently with the help of this workbook that comes with additional online learning resources.

Language Development

  • Speaks an average of 2,600 words and understands even more (around 22,000 words)
  • Uses many multi-syllabic words
  • Can use and understand different tenses, such as past and future
  • May be able to have extended conversations with shifting topics (here are language and literacy milestones for kids ages 6 to 7)
  • May be able to talk on the telephone (watch out for your cell phone!)

Your Checklist for Language Development 

Scholastic Success With Grammar: Grade 1 — Help your child understand verb tenses, punctuation, capitalization, and more! This workbook is filled with easy-to-comprehend lessons and explanations, skill-reinforcing exercises, and tests that help quantify your child's strengths.

First Thousand Words — Help your child identify the objects in the world around her and expand her vocabulary with this illustrated picture dictionary that features 1,000 words. (Check out the literacy benefits of using a paper dictionary!)

Physical Development

  • May be able to jump rope, hula hoop, and play hopscotch
  • Better able to throw, catch, jump, and climb
  • Can do simple art projects involving cutting, coloring, pasting, and drawing
  • May be able to tie shoelaces

Your Checklist for Physical Development

Klutz Activity Kits — Tap into your kid's creativity with hands-on Klutz sets that'll have them creating PAW Patrol buddies, crafting zoo animals out of clothespins, and dreaming up superheroes out of fantastic foam

Little Skill Seekers: Mazes — Your 6-year-old will think of it as a fun treasure hunt, but you'll notice how it improves dexterity and fine motor skills. This workbook gives children confidence in their ability to solve problems, which is important during this age of rapid learning. 

Emotional Development

  • Loves to learn (and will be particularly inspired by books like Ada Twist, Scientist)
  • Is eager to please
  • Plays well in groups (though may want to be in charge!)
  • Begins to have an easier time with transitions (but you can still help prep for the new school year with The Night Before First Grade)
  • Can stay focused and pay attention for longer periods of time

Your Checklist for Emotional Development

We're All Wonders — A spin-off of the famously poignant book Wonder, this tale introduces younger readers to Auggie, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face, and his dog Daisy. It provides an incredible opportunity to discuss empathy, kindness, and friendship with your 6-year-old.  

Mango, Abuela & MeWhen Mia's grandmother comes to stay from far away, she discovers the two speak and read in different languages. However, when Mia sees a parrot in the pet shop window, she realizes there's a way for the two to communicate a little better. This beautiful story touches on learning and the bond that holds families together. 

Help Your 6-Year-Old Grow

Attention and Focus
Raising Kids
Listening and Speaking
Age 6
Child Development and Behavior
Social and Emotional Development
Word Recognition
Games and Toys
Physical Development