By Joyce Destefanis, M.A. , Nancy Firchow, M.L.S.
Since birth, you've watched your child grow and develop. You've noted his height and weight, when he crawled, stood, and walked, even when he spoke his first words - and perhaps compared all of these milestones of his infant and toddler years to the "norms." The preschool and early school years are also full of changes. From three to five your child's motor skills, language, thinking, and social development change dramatically.
Knowing what to expect as your child grows can reassure you that your child is on track with his peers or alert you to potential concerns. Below are some milestones to watch for.
Your cooperative, easy-going 5-year-old loves to play and that's how he learns.
This story of Jimmy and Maria illustrates the range of skills, interests, and abilities considered typical development for this age.
Jimmy pressed his forehead against the window as he watched his neighbor Maria drive away in the car with her mother on their way to her first day of kindergarten. He sighed and waved. He hoped Maria would see him, yet he didn't want to go outside to make sure.
Jimmy felt sad and disappointed that he was't going, too. At the same time he was glad that he could stay home.
Jimmy had asked his mother why he wasn't going to school. He was going to be five soon, just like Maria. And he could do all kinds of things. He was good at running, jumping, and climbing. He could roller skate and ride a tricycle. Maria could do some of those things, too, but not like Jimmy.
Maria couldn't really climb a tree, but Jimmy was the best tree climber ever. He didn't tell his mom, but he had climbed the tall tree in Maria's back yard. She didn't even try to climb it. She just yelled at him to come down. She thought he was going to hurt himself.
"Girls! Maybe it's a good thing that Maria is going to school," Jimmy thought. "It's better to play with boys anyway. Boys do more fun things. Girls like to sit and color and write and play house and cut out paper dolls and all those yucky things." But Jimmy had to admit that Maria liked to play ball and chase and run, too.
If only Billy lived closer! But mom said he's too young to walk all the way over to Billy's by himself.
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