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 understand over 20,000 words. 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 uniquely his 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

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

Your Checklist for Language Development 

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.

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

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 (or at least do Velcro!)

Your Checklist for Physical Development

Klutz Kits — Tap into your kid's creativity with our Klutz sets that'll have them cutting Shrinky Dinks, glueing together adorable paper lantern animals, and coloring in cute monsters!

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

Your Checklist for Emotional Development

Should I Share My Ice Cream? (An Elephant & Piggie Book) — Gerard can't decide if he wants to share his ice cream; will he be able to make a decision before it all disappears? Teach your child the values of generosity and kindness with this charming picture book from the popular Elephant and Piggie series.

Help Your 6 Year Old Grow

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