Child development and milestones: Your 6 years 5 months old

Vinnie Wong

It seems just like yesterday when your child was completely reliant on you. But now, your little one isn’t so little anymore! At 6 years 5 months old child is aware of his/her progress, so much so that he/she likes to assume the role of the older kid! 

Your child is adjusting to being away from his/her parents more often. Although he/she wants to prove he/she is ready for more responsibilities, you may find your little one needing more attention while at home.

Let’s take a closer look at the milestones your 6 years 5 months old child may have reached.

But parents, do note that this is not a diagnostic tool but a just guideline. Your child grows on his/her own pace but should you notice any significant red flags, do not hesitate to speak with your doctor to clarify any doubts at any point in time regarding your child’s development.

6 Years 5 Months Old Development and Milestones: Is Your Child on Track?

6 Years 5 Months Old

Image source: iStock

Physical Development

At 6 years 5 months old, your child wants to show you how much of a big kid he/she now is. Your little one has a lot of confidence in his/her own abilities now, so this might also involve doing dangerous things in order to prove it to you and his/her peers. But rest assured, mum—this is normal. This is also a good sign that your little one’s development is right on track.

In addition, most children this age need to burn off a lot of stored-up energy no matter how exhausting it might seem to be for us. 

You’ll notice your child shows improved skill and impressive hand-eye coordination. He/she will begin to combine simple skills like catching or throwing a ball with other physical feats as part of teamwork-based sports activities. This might then result to more awareness in them regarding physical pain such as tummy aches, leg pains and others. 

However, if you observe your child complaining of any recurrent pains or aches, this might indicate more serious health issues so do take note when this occurs,

Your 6 years 5 months old child should be able to do the following:

  • Begin to write letters
  • Paint more realistic pictures
  • Use a skipping rope alone
  • Can perform cartwheels
  • Learning how to ride a bike
  • Throw a ball
  • Begin losing baby teeth

Parenting Tips:

  • Schedule an hour of physical activity each day for your child. Consider signing him/her up to extracurricular classes or joining a sports team.
  • Consider swimming classes for your child.
  • Encourage your child to start practising certain skills or activities he/she enjoys doing.
  • Engage your child in physical activities that you both can do together. This sets a good example for him/her to continuously become physically active as he/she grows.

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

If you think your 6 years 5 months old child is falling behind, speak to a doctor if the following issues crop up:

  • Your child experiences a consistent and noticeable loss of skills that he/she once had
  • Unable to perform simple tasks like wear his/her own clothes
  • Trouble staying asleep at night
  • Wetting the bed, especially if your child had stopped doing so, but has started again
6 Years 5 Months Old

Image source: iStock

Cognitive Development

Your child’s cognitive skills and understanding of more complex concepts continues to expand at this stage. Since entering school, you’ll notice your child can remember separate instructions, and focus for longer on a single task.

His/her curiosity also continues to develop which will allow them to hold more meaningful conversations. It’s normal if he/she starts asking questions in order to gain a deeper understanding of the world around him/her. This inquisitive attitude reflects your child’s insatiable hunger to learn more and be able to apply that knowledge to different situations.

Keep an eye out for these developments in your child:

  • Can remember up to three separate instructions
  • Can draw his/her way out of a maze
  • Begin to copy more complex shapes, like diamonds
  • Asks more purposeful questions
  • May be able to repeat 3 numbers backwards.

Parenting Tips:

  • Encourage your child to ask questions and pose questions back to him/her to keep the conversation going.
  • Provide opportunities for your child to learn by heading to new places you haven’t visited before, like different parks or historical sites.
  • Identify new opportunities to challenge your child. Draw attention to the idea that it’s not about winning, but what he/she can learn about this situation and apply it for the future.

When to Talk to Your Doctor? If your child: 

  • Difficulty reading simple sentences
  • Unable to follow simple instructions
  • Doesn’t recognise his/her name
  • Over-aggressive behaviour, manifesting in frequent hitting of others
6 Years 5 Months Old

Image source: iStock

Social and Emotional Development

Your 6 years 5 months old child values the opinions of others now more than ever. He/she is learning how to cooperate with others and share his/her belongings. As your little one is picking up new friends, you may find that boys will stick with other boys, while girls play with girls. This is normal at this stage as they discover common ground.

As your child navigates different friendships, he/she is also learning to be more expressive with language, especially related to feelings. While your child might still be learning how to get comfortable telling others his/her emotions, it’s not uncommon to hear the odd white lie, or cheating to go on when playing games. Children are experimenting with what is allowed and what’s unacceptable.

In general, your little one will achieve these milestones at this age: 

  • Can play alone but likes to find others to play with
  • Copies adults
  • Play with friends of the same gender
  • Enjoys playing board games or turn-based games
  • Likes to show off his/her talents or abilities
  • Has better self-control
  • Less prone to emotional outbursts

Parenting Tips:

  • Make time to talk to your child about difficult issues like bullying, peer pressure, violence, sexuality, and drug use. Communicate in an age-appropriate manner so you don’t exacerbate any worries.
  • Set boundaries around screen time so it doesn’t affect physical activities, family time, or sleep.
  • Consider installing parental controls on your computers and TV to limit any unwanted exposure to adult content.
  • Encourage your child to make his/her own choices about activities.
  • Get your child involved with chores around the house.

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

  • Displays signs of bullying, such as shyness when coming home from school
  • Isolating from other children

Image source: iStock

Speech and Language Development

Your child is able to confidently hold a conversation with his/her peers and adults alike, speak in fluent sentences and coherent responses. 

At 6 years and 5 months, you’ll notice your child also picking up a love for reading, too. In fact, your child might want you to read to him/her, and have the opportunity to read back to you. When you read the same book, your child will love to tell you the plot and recall certain characters’ involvement in the story.

Continue to nurture this love of reading by introducing new books over time to increase your child’s vocabulary.

Other speech and language milestones your 6 years 5 months old child may have reached by now:

  • Begins to notice that certain words have multiple meanings
  • Able to appreciate more jokes
  • Speak in complete sentences between five and seven words
  • Enjoys reading age-appropriate books
  • Start to write stories, usually involving himself/herself
  • Learning more words, but using made-up spelling, e.g. “flew” becomes “floo”
  • Beginning to understand punctuation and capitalisation of letters in sentences

Parenting Tips:

  • Continue to establish a relationship with your child’s teachers and school administrators so you can be updated on his/her progress.
  • Continue to make time to read with your child.
  • Offer guidance and advice when he/she is doing homework, but avoid intervening. Give your child a chance to make mistakes.
  • Give simple multi-step instructions to follow to develop your child’s focus and attention.
  • Use different ways of describing events or your child’s favourite stories to expose him/her to new words.
  • Try telling jokes to demonstrate how words have different meanings.

When to Talk to Your Doctor:

Watch out for these potential warning signs if you’re worried your 6 years 5 months old child may be falling behind in certain areas:

  • Has trouble reading short words or simple sentences. 
  • Stammers or stutters excessively. 
  • Doesn’t communicate or talk much.

Image source: iStock

Health and Nutrition: Your 6 years 5 months old

Your 6 years 5 months old child continue to grow cognitively, emotionally, and physically! To ensure he/she maintains a steady, healthy development, continue to give your child a balanced diet with essential nutrients and minerals. 

In addition to getting enough physical exercise (at least 60 minutes daily), your child also needs to eat the right balance of food as fuel. As parents, be the right role model and show your child what healthy eating looks like!

Tips: 

  • Find “100% whole grains” instead of “made with whole grains. The former is less processed and healthier for your child to consume.
  • Limit your child’s portion sizes, and offer seconds if he/she is still hungry.
  • Pair sources of iron, such as red meat or leafy greens, with foods high in vitamin C. Items such as tomatoes or sweet potatoes facilitate the absorption of iron better.

Kids around this age should ideally consume the following on a daily basis:

The recommended daily dietary guidelines for a 6-year old is to be at least 1,200 calories, including foods from a variety of nutrient groups such as dairy, protein as well as fruits and vegetables. 

Dairy group

One of the most important nutrient groups for a growing child is dairy. A child this age requires 2.5 cups of milk or yoghurt in his/her diet—just be sure to choose low-fat options.

You can add dairy to your child’s diet in subtle ways, like shredding cheese into veggies or omelettes. Flavoured yoghurt goes down easily and you can even use it as a dip to serve with sticks of veggies or sliced fruit.

Sometimes, simple works best as well. Putting slices of cheese on a cracker is a great treat just after playtime. Consider offering milk instead of water if your child is thirsty or wants some hot chocolate.

Protein group

For kids aged 6 years, the CDC recommends at least 19 grams of protein daily. For parents dealing with a picky eater, do not fret! There are sources of protein that children typically enjoy. These include: 

  • Scrambled eggs (cheese is optional)
  • Low-fat Greek yoghurt
  • Pork or chicken tenderloin cut into chunks
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
  • Pasta with meatballs

Fruit and vegetable group

Your child might tend to turn away from vegetables, but you can easily make them fun and enjoyable with a bit of effort. The different colours and textures can work in your favour, so you can create food mosaics with veggies! You can turn it into a guessing game, where you ask your child to guess what you’ve tried to construct. This will be enjoyable when done right.

Your 6 years 5 months old child will need at least 1 cup of fruit and 1.5 cups of vegetables per meal. 

Tips: 

  • Introduce fruits and vegetables as snacks. Keep fruit washed, cut up and in plain sight in the refrigerator.
  • Serve salads more often.
  • Introduce a mix of veggies per meal.

When to Talk to Your Doctor? If your child:

  • Is either severely under- or over-weight
  • Vomits or gags often while eating
  • Has a high fever or temperatures over 39 degrees Celsius

Vaccinations and Common Illnesses: Your 6 years 5 months old

Most of your child’s vaccinations have already been covered at this age. Do check with your doctor for common ones your child needs on a more regular basis, like the flu shot.

As your child spends more time in school, he/she could expect to contract more common colds and the flu. There may also be rashes that develop on his/her body which you should keep an eye out for. Encourage your child to tell you if there is any discomfort on his/her body, or if you notice any itching.

Ultimately, it is important for parents to remember that all children experience growth differently. Each and every child is unique. When it comes to milestones, they are just guidelines and not meant to be enforced strictly. 

Reference: WebMD

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Next month: 6 years 6 months

Sources: Webmd, Kidshealth, MSF

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