What Your Child Should Know by Age 6

Find the answers in our age-by-age guide to child development.



Kindergarten teacher and children looking at globe in library

By age 6, children know an astounding average of 13,000 words. Their sentences are longer and not as simple. But even more amazing is the new complexities in their thought processes. Their wheels are constantly churning. With this deepening, you’ll see a change in how they use language to express thoughts and ideas, uniquely their own.


Reading Development

  • May be able to read simple books aloud.
  • 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.

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.
  • May be able to talk on the telephone (watch out for your cell phone!)

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, drawing
  • May be able to tie shoelaces (or at least do Velcro!)

Emotional Development

  •  Loves to learn
  • Is eager to please
  • Plays well in groups (though may want to be in charge!)
  • Begins to have an easier time with transitions.
  • Can stay focused and pay attention for longer periods of time.
Attention and Focus
Raising Kids
Listening and Speaking
Age 6
Word Recognition
Games and Toys
Physical Development
Child Development and Behavior
Social and Emotional Development