School Age Child Development, A General Overview

School-age child development covers the physical, emotional and mental skills of children between six and twelve years old.

Physical Development

School age children have strong motor skills yet have varying degrees of hand-eye coordination.     Fine motor skills for children in this age group also may vary, affecting the degree to which they can do certain tasks such as making a bed, writing, or dressing properly.

There are some differences in height and weight according to the age groups. The genetic background also plays an important role on their physical development. There are also physical differences when they develop their sexual characteristics. For girls, it includes:

  • Breast development
  • Growing underarm and pubic hair

For boys, development includes:

  • Growing underarm, pubic and chest hair
  • Developing genital organs

Language Development

Young school age children are typically able to use simple complete sentences that include between five and seven words. As the child grows through elementary school, his/her language skills evolve.

Language skills may be delayed for several reasons.  Many children with hearing or other cognitive issues develop aggressive behavior when they cannot express themselves properly. Typically, six year olds can follow three commands in a row. By the time they are ten, they can typically follow up to ten commands in row.


Children may have issues about their physical development when they become more aware of the changes to their body.

Making new friends is also a very important part of the social development of school-aged children. At this stage, they accept new peers and become a new part of a group. If you talk about these behaviors to be a part of a group with your child, it would let your child feel accepted in the group.

Some children test the boundaries and may develop new behaviors such as lying or stealing.   Parents may have to face these problems and discipline their child accordingly.

When they grow up, their ability to focus improves as well. A six years old child could focus on a specific topic for 15 minutes at least, where a 9 years old child could focus for about an hour.


Safety is also very important part of school age children’s development. They become more active and enjoy more  adventuresome behaviors and activities.

  • They need to be told that they should play in safe area with their parents supervising.
  • Swimming and pool safety should be taught.
  • They should be told to stay away from some dangerous items such as matches, lighters, stoves, ovens etc.
  • Car safety also should be taught.

School age children development includes so many improvements and awareness as well. There are many exciting and new changes this age group encounters, but they need to be explored with safety and sensitivity in mind. The children should be taught about the difference between safe and dangerous. You also need to answer their questions about the changes in their life and body.

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