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Milestones for 7-Year-Olds

Topic Overview

Children usually progress in a natural, predictable sequence from one developmental milestone to the next. But each child grows and gains skills at his or her own pace. Some children may be advanced in one area, such as language, but behind in another, such as sensory and motor development.

Milestones usually are grouped into five major areas: physical growth, cognitive development, emotional and social development, language development, and sensory and motor development.

Physical growth and development

Most children by age 7:

  • Grow about 2.5 in. (6 cm) and gain about 7 lb (3 kg) in a year.
  • Lose about four baby teeth each year. These are replaced by permanent teeth.

Thinking and reasoning (cognitive development)

Most children by age 7:

  • Have a solid sense of time. They understand seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, seasons, and sometimes years.
  • Begin to show a preference for learning style. For example, some children like hands-on activities, such as a science experiment with color. Others like to work independently and quietly, such as practicing printing.
  • Can solve simple math problems using objects (such as counting beads).
  • Consider issues and problems using only one factor at a time.

Emotional and social development

Most children by age 7:

  • Become more aware of and sensitive to the feelings of others. This trait is called empathy.
  • Overcome some fears they had when they were younger, but still can be terrified of the unknown. For example, going to a new school can be a tremendous stress for a 7-year-old. Many children also fear being in trouble with their parents or other adults. They are generally worried about the opinions of others.
  • Develop friendships, usually with other children of the same gender.
  • Play in larger groups sometimes but also need time alone.

Language development

Most children by age 7:

  • Tend to talk a lot in situations where they are comfortable.
  • Pronounce words correctly. For example, most children do not substitute the sound "fr" for "thr" in words like "through."
  • Are becoming better readers, but sounding out vowels often can still be difficult.
  • Still have some difficulty with basic spelling.

Sensory and motor development

Most children by age 7:

  • Are becoming more coordinated in activities that use the large muscles, such as swimming or climbing.
  • Use safety scissors easily.
  • Draw a person with 12 parts.
  • Use a pencil to write their name.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Louis Pellegrino, MD - Developmental Pediatrics
Last Revised May 14, 2013

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