Child Development at 5 Years

Posture & Large Movements

  • Runs lightly on toes.
  • Active and skilful in climbing, sliding, swinging, digging and various ‘stunts’.
  • Skips on alternative feet.
  • Dances to music.
  • Can stand on one foot 8–10 seconds.
  • Can hop 2–3 yards forwards on each foot separately.
  • Grips strongly with either hand.

Vision & Fine Movements

  • Picks up minute objects when each eye is covered separately.
  • Builds three steps with six cubes from model.
  • Copies square and triangle (also letters; V, T, H, O, X, L, A, C, U, Y).
  • Writes a few letters spontaneously. Draws recognisable man with head, trunk, legs, arms and features.
  • Draws simple house with door, windows, roof and chimney.
  • Counts fingers on one hand with index finger of other.
  • Names four primary colours and matches 10 or 12 colours.
  • Full nine-letter vision chart at 20 feet and near test to bottom.

Hearing & Speech

  • Speech fluent and grammatical.
  • Articulation correct except for residual confusions of s/f/th and r/l/w/y groups.
  • Loves stories and acts them out in detail later.
  • Gives full name, age and home address.
  • Gives age and (usually) birthday.
  • Defines concrete nouns by use.
  • Asks meaning of abstract words.
  • 12 ‘high frequency’ picture vocabulary or word lists. 3rd cube test, 6 sentences.

Social Behaviour & Play

  • Uses knife and fork.
  • Washes and dries face and hands, but needs help and supervision for rest.
  • Undresses and dresses alone.
  • General behaviour more sensible, controlled and responsibly independent.
  • Domestic and dramatic play continued from day to day.
  • Plans and builds constructively.
  • Floor games very complicated.
  • Chooses own friends.
  • Co-operative with companions and understands need for rules and fair play.
  • Appreciates meaning of clock time in relation to daily programme.
  • Tender and protective towards younger children and pets.
  • Comforts playmates in distress.

Source: Reports on Public Health and Medical Subjects No 102. HMSO 1960, revised 1975.