Children usually progress in a natural, predictable
sequence from one developmental milestone to the next. But each child grows and
gains skills at his or her own pace. Some children may be advanced in one area,
such as language, but behind in another, such as sensory and motor
Milestones usually are grouped into five major areas:
physical growth, cognitive development, emotional and social development,
language development, and sensory and motor development.
Physical growth and development
Most children by age
2.5 in. (6 cm) and gain about
7 lb (3 kg) in a
Lose about four baby teeth each year. These are replaced by
Thinking and reasoning (cognitive development)
children by age 7:
Have a solid sense of time. They understand
seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, seasons, and sometimes
Begin to show a preference for learning style. For example,
some children like hands-on activities, such as a science experiment with
color. Others like to work independently and quietly, such as practicing
Can solve simple math problems using objects (such as
Consider issues and problems using only one factor
at a time.
Emotional and social development
Most children by
Become more aware of and sensitive to the
feelings of others. This trait is called empathy.
fears they had when they were younger, but still can be terrified of the
unknown. For example, going to a new school can be a tremendous stress for a
7-year-old. Many children also fear being in trouble with their parents or
other adults. They are generally worried about the opinions of
Develop friendships, usually with other children of the
Play in larger groups sometimes but also need time
Most children by age 7:
Tend to talk a lot in situations where they are
Pronounce words correctly. For example, most children
do not substitute the sound "fr" for "thr" in words like
Are becoming better readers, but sounding out vowels
often can still be difficult.
Still have some difficulty with basic
Sensory and motor development
Most children by age
Are becoming more coordinated in activities
that use the large muscles, such as swimming or climbing.
ByHealthwise Staff Primary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - Pediatrics Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerLouis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
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