Cognitive Milestones for five-year-olds

Here are some important cognitive milestones for your five-year-old preschooler.

By Arun Sharma

Cognitive Milestones for five-year-olds

During the later preschool stage, children can focus for longer periods of time and indulge in activities like drawing, cutting and pasting. They are much better at taking turns and cooperating during play. They know how to phrase most sentences using correct grammar and are ready to step into a regular school. Here are the major areas of cognition where your child should exhibit considerable development at this age.

  1. Vocabulary: By now, he can say words having similar sounds or make up his own rhyming words and understands words like ‘first’, ‘next’ and ‘last’. He can understand opposites like big and little, and positional words like middle and end. He is able to listen to and understand most of what is said in the classroom and at home. He can follow longer instructions and also understand words used to denote time like ‘yesterday’, ‘today’ and ‘tomorrow’.
  2. Understanding cause and effect: She will have a better understanding of cause and effect at this age, which is an important milestone. Your child will feel more empowered as she keeps perfecting her ability to solve problems through reasoning and creativity.
  3. Self-care: He should know how to brush his teeth properly and remember to wash his hands after using the bathroom. Melissa Roy, MEd, author of the parenting blog, ‘Beyond Mommying’, says that children at this age should be playing a larger role in taking care of themselves.
  4. Learning the basics: She will be able to count at least up to 10, learn and remember the names of several colours and begin to get a better understanding of the passing of time. She would also be able to write some numbers and letters. She will start understanding the relationship between numbers and objects. In addition, the US National Library of Medicine says that she will be able to recite her phone number and would know about common household items and their uses. She can answer simple questions and follow simple rules.
  5. Attention span, concentration, reasoning: His attention span will show a slight increase. It will be between 5 and 10 minutes. He can concentrate better. He will also be able to recount a recent story. However, his reasoning skills are not yet developed and will be based on appearance and not observation. He will have a good imagination and will display unrealistic or magical thinking.

You can encourage and support your child's cognitive growth in many ways. You can expand her communication and narration skills by encouraging role-playing, reading simple stories and having her draw a picture of a scene from the story. You can also involve her in planning her daily activities. Remember, you don't have to do it alone. One of the best ways to support your child is to keep the lines of communication open with her teachers and caregivers, and also with her.

Cognitive Milestones for five-year-olds


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