Childhood Development – Checkpoints to Reach by Age 5

Throughout infancy and childhood, most babies and children undergo different behavioral and physical changes, which are attributed to their development. Developmental milestones are checkpoints of the things children do at various ages and stages

These childhood development checkpoints serve as guidelines for the activities and behaviors you may expect to see as your child gets older. Children usually progress in a natural and predictable sequence from one developmental milestone to the next. 

Still, each child develops and learns at their own pace and manner. Read on to learn more about the developmental checkpoints that children should reach by age five.

Childhood Development - Checkpoints to Reach by Age 5

Movement/Physical Milestones

At age five, children can walk backward quickly and skip and run with agility and speed. They can incorporate motor skills into games with high energy levels in play. Also, they can walk on a two-inch balance beam easily and jump over objects.

By this age, they can do a somersault and are able to swing and climb. In terms of eating, they can use a fork and spoon, and sometimes a table knife. 

Most children can use their hands and fingers to dress and undress theirselves and brush their teeth, although, they may need assistance tying shoelaces.

Children of this age start learning new types of physical activities, such as the jungle gym, and begin to use the see-saw, slide, and swing alone. In addition, they often like to participate in other physical extracurricular activities, like dance, gymnastics, and karate. 

Cognitive Milestones

Many kids by age five may know their address and phone number, recognize most letters of the alphabet, and count 10 or more objects. 

Furthermore, they can know the names of at least four colors, grasp the basic concept of time, and know what household objects are used for, like food, appliances, and money. 

They can draw a person with at least six body parts and print some letters and numbers. Moreover, they are able to copy a triangle and other geometric shapes. This is the stage where they develop learning, thinking, and problem-solving skills. 

Social and Emotional Milestones

Your five-year-old should begin to understand the difference between right and wrong as they grasp the concept of rules. To please adults and be liked by their friends, children will want to follow them. 

By age five, kids can think and express themselves with words as they show and assert independence. Moreover, they are more able to determine fantasy from reality, although they enjoy playing make-believe and dress-up. 

Your child will start making new friends and experience the formation of relationships outside the immediate family circle. A child this age forms close-knit bonds with two or three other kids as friendships begin to take on more importance. 

Language Milestones

Children of age five carry on a meaningful conversation with another person and can articulate their feelings purposefully. They can usually understand more complex instructions, and they have little or no trouble being understood by others. 

This is the stage when they will be able to comprehend positional vocabulary, such as “below”, “next to”, and “above”. 

They can also use future tense; for example, “We will go to the park tomorrow”. As they can speak clearly, they can say their name and address and tell a simple story using full sentences

Childhood Development - Checkpoints to Reach by Age 5


When you understand these milestones, you can know if your child is on-track in their overall growth. All five-year-olds develop at slightly different rates, but if you notice some potential developmental delays and extreme behaviors, it’s recommended to talk to your child’s physician. 

There are many ways and treatments available to help your child overcome whatever may be troubling them.