Normal Development: 6 Years Old

Each child is unique. While some behavior and growth milestones tend to happen at certain ages, a wide range for each age is normal. It is okay if your child reaches some milestones earlier and others later than the average. If you have any concerns about your child’s development, check with your healthcare provider. Here’s what you might see your child doing at 6 years of age.


  • May have unpredictable mood swings.
  • Is quite sensitive to criticism.
  • Has a problem admitting a mistake.
  • Feels guilty about mistakes.


  • Evaluates self and friends.
  • Starts to make rules for play activities.
  • Cooperates with other children with some difficulty.
  • Has trouble considering the feelings of others.
  • Values independence.


  • Likes to be responsible for simple household chores.
  • Likes to make simple decisions.
  • Counts to 100.
  • Asks lots of “how-what-when-where-why” questions.
  • Continues to understand more about shape, space, time, color, and numbers.
  • Starts to understand the difference between “on purpose” and “by accident”.
  • Starts to understand differences of opinion.
  • Has a short attention span of no more than 15 minutes.
  • Enjoys dramatic play.


  • Loves active play but may tire easily.
  • Can be reckless and does not always understand dangers.
  • Is still improving basic motor skills.
  • Is still not well coordinated.
  • Starts to learn some specific sports skills like batting a ball.
  • Dawdles much of the time.
  • Is fascinated with the subject of teeth.
  • May become a more picky eater.
  • Uses crayons and paints with some skill, but has difficulty writing and cutting.
  • May resist baths.
  • Permanent teeth start to erupt, both molars and front teeth.
Written by Robert Brayden, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, University of Colorado.
Pediatric Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2012-09-25
Last reviewed: 2013-09-18
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright ©1986-2015 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

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