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Stages of Child Development in 6 to 10-Year-Olds

author image Barbara Dunlap
Barbara Dunlap is a freelance writer in Oregon. She was a garden editor at "The San Francisco Chronicle" and she currently specializes in travel and active lifestyle topics like golf and fitness. She received a master's degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has been a Knight Foundation Fellow.
Stages of Child Development in 6 to 10-Year-Olds
A group of young children standing together Photo Credit: Rawpixel Ltd/iStock/Getty Images

Parents usually spend a great deal of time with their children during the infant and toddler years, and they carefully monitor developmental stages. When kids start elementary school, they start forming attachments to friends, coaches and teachers, according to the University of Michigan Health System. But it's still the parents' responsibility to monitor their children and make sure their development is on track.

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Physical Development

As with all forms of development, physical attributes and skills vary among children ages 6 to 10. You can expect to see a wide difference in height and weight from child to child, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Kids start to lose their baby teeth and grow permanent ones, and their eyes develop to maturity. Schoolwork can cause eyestrain, so eye exams may be a good idea, says the University of Michigan.

NIH says you'll also discover fine motor skills vary quite a bit--think handwriting or folding clothes. When it comes to gross motor skills such as running, children in this age group are usually strong and confident, but things such as endurance may differ widely. Control and coordination often develop significantly during this time frame.

Speech and Language

By age 6 or 7, most children speak clearly, according to South Australia's Children, Youth and Women's Health Service (CYWHS). Make an appointment with a speech therapist if you notice a lisp or other speech impediment.

NIH says most children entering school can form simple, complete sentences, and those sentences grow more sophisticated during the next few years. A child who can't express himself verbally may resort to aggression or outbursts of temper. If your youngster has a language delay, get him checked for possible learning or hearing problems.

Mental Skills

Many 6-year-olds have short attention spans and don't finish projects, according to the University of Michigan. By the time they're 10, they're able to focus longer, search for information and see projects through to completion.

CYWHS says children in these middle years are often fascinated by the world around them and retain detailed knowledge about subjects they like. Many kids begin reading and writing by age 6; in the math arena, they often start understanding money around 6 years old and tell time at 7 or 8. Their emotional state may dictate how well they learn new things--if they're stressed or worried, they're less likely to undertake and succeed at cognitive tasks.

Social Development

From ages 6 to 10, children usually play with others of the same sex. The University of Michigan says youngsters often have about five good friends, plus at least one peer they dislike intensely. They tend to be bossy and/or protective of younger children and dependent on older ones.

At age 6 and 7, kids enjoy playing with each other, but they often don't form continuing friendships until about 8 or 9, according to CYWHS. At that time, they start understanding that other people may view things differently than they do.

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