Physical Characteristics

Gains 4-5 pounds/year and grows 2-2.5 inches/year

May begin to lose baby teeth


Motor Development

Able to walk backwards heel to toe

Walks up and down stairs, alternating feet

Walks a balance beam

Learns to skip

Catches a ball thrown from 3 feet away

Balances on one foot for 10 seconds

Reproduces many shapes and letters

Cuts on the line with scissors (not perfectly)


Cognitive Development

Sorts objects on the basis of two characteristics, such as color and shape

Knows the alphabet


Speech and Language Development

Has a vocabulary of 1,500 words or more

Identifies and names 4 to 8 colors

Produces sentences with 5-7 words

Answers the telephone appropriately


Personal-Social Development

Shares toys, takes turns, plays cooperatively

Has better self control; fewer dramatic swings of emotions


Check with your child's pediatrician if by Six Years your child does NOT:

Alternate feet when walking up and down stairs

Speak in a moderate voice; neither too loud, too soft, too high, too low

Follow simple directions in stated order: “Please go to the cupboard, get a cup, and bring it to me.”

Use 4 to 5 words in acceptable sentence structure

Cut on line with scissors

Sit still and listen to an entire short story (5-7 minutes)

Maintain eye contact when spoken to (unless this is a cultural taboo)

Play well with other children

Perform most self-grooming tasks independently (brush teeth, wash hands)

Did you answer yes to one or more of the developmental alerts?

  1. First and foremost, please contact your child's pediatrician. Your health care provider is your best resource if you have any questions or concerns.
  2. Secondly, would you like to speak with someone at Special Kids to learn more about how our services may benefit your child? Contact our Family Resources team to learn more.

*Developmental milestone survey adapted from Lynn Marotz and K. Eileen Allen's book Developmental Profiles: Pre-birth through Adolescence.