Activity Milestones - For Four, Five and Six Year Olds

Parents and caregivers often want to know timeframes for children’s physical development. Consider the normal age ranges as opposed to average ages, and only concern yourself if the child is late in all or most skills. There are no advantageous or disadvantageous to being an early or late developer.

When skills fail to develop by the end of the normal age range, seek professional help. The movement skills milestones chart below lists physical skills usually seen between ages three and six. It indicates:

  1. The age by which 25% (one quarter) of children perform the skill reasonably well,
  2. The average age when the skill appears, and
  3. The age by which 90% of the children perform the skill.

Don’t worry if a child is unable to do a single skill (or even a couple of skills) until they are beyond the age when 90% of the children can do them. If a child is beyond that 90% mark in most or all skills, inform your health care provider so that testing can take place.

Boys and girls differ as to when they perform particular skills. A range of normal ages exists for every skill. Being early or late doesn’t matter. The child’s body does the skill when the body is ready.

In the first three years of life, children learn new skills because their bodies have matured. During ages four, five and six, children typically learn new skills because they have the opportunity to play in activities that promote the learning of those skills. Learning also occurs when they see older children and adults using skills in a meaningful way.

Providing opportunities for children at this age to try new skills in a safe and stimulating environment will help them to develop the skills and attitudes for becoming active, healthy people throughout their lives.