Your 4- to 9-year-old is growing and changing steadily, and you may find yourself surprised by his different appearance and new skills. Although every child develops at his own pace, many self-care, small motor and athletic abilities are typical at this age. Whatever his development pace, you can know your child is healthy if he is developing at a steady and gradual pace.
Between the ages of 4 and 9 years, your child may begin to look thinner. This is because her size is increasing, but her fat accumulation is staying relatively the same. By the time she is 6 years old, North Dakota State University Extension states that her proportions will be more like an adult and her center of gravity will be centrally located. She is likely to experience a growth spurt between ages 6 and 8 years, and you may notice that her hair becomes darker. Her nutrition intake and genetics are big factors when it comes to her growth at this age.
4 to 5 Years
At 4 years of age, your child’s developing hand-eye coordination will allow him to be able to play with toys that have small parts. He is still likely to prefer running and jumping, and by 5 years of age he will be able to catch a ball, throw a ball overhand, hop on one foot, walk up and down stairs alone, draw and pour water from a pitcher. He also may be able to change his clothes by himself and will begin holding a fork with 3 fingers instead of his fist.
5 to 7 Years
Shortly after 5 years of age, your child may be able to skip and walk on her tiptoes. She has the ability to repeatedly bounce a ball and skate, and by the time she is 7 years old she will be able to ride a bike, draw shapes and patterns, use a comb and toothbrush and tie her shoes. She is capable of performing simple household tasks such as making her bed and can play a musical instrument. You may notice that she begins to show a preference for one hand over the other at this age.
7 to 9 Years
Between 7 and 9 years of age, PBS Parents states that your child may begin to identify himself as athletic or not athletic. This can influence his future involvement in sports and physical activity during free time. He has the capability to roll, bat, kick and throw, which makes him able to play organized sports such as soccer, baseball and basketball. His strength and coordination will continue to develop with practice.
You can encourage your child’s physical development by providing her with a nutritional and well-balanced diet. She also should have opportunities to participate in a variety of activities that can work different muscles and develop different aspects of her physical abilities. Repetition of physical activities can help her improve balance and coordination, so encourage her to play structured and unstructured games in a safe environment.