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Developmental Characteristics of Five to Seven Year Olds (Grades K-2)

A child’s development is an individual and continual process. The following page outlines typical developmental characteristics of this age group. Keep in mind that some of the youth in the program maybe be “behind” or “advanced” in any of these areas.

General Characteristics
  • Eager to learn; easily frustrated; short periods of interest
  • Learn best when they are active while learning
  • Self-assertive, boastful; less cooperative, more competitive
Social Characteristics
  • Enjoy organized games and are very concerned about following rules
  • Can be very competitive—this may lead them to cheat at games
  • Very imaginative and involved in fantasy playing
  • Self-assertive, aggressive, boastful, want to be first; becoming less cooperative
Mental Characteristics
  • Very eager to learn
  • Like to talk
  • Can be inflexible about their idea of fairness
  • Difficulty making decisions
Physical Characteristics
  • Very active; need frequent breaks from tasks to do things that are energetic and fun for them
  • Need rest periods—good quiet activities include reading books together or doing simple art projects
  • Large muscles are well developed; activities involving small muscles (i.e. building models that have small pieces) are difficult
  • May tend to be accident-prone
Emotional Characteristics
  • Alert to feelings of others but unaware of how their own actions affect others
  • Very sensitive to praise and recognition; feelings are easily hurt
  • Inconsistent in level of maturity; regress when tired; often less mature at home than with outsiders
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