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
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
2.5 in. (6 cm) and gain about
7 lb (3 kg) in a
Have growth patterns related to gender. Girls are usually
taller and weigh more than boys. Signs of early puberty may develop in girls,
such as breast buds.
Lose about four baby teeth each year. These
are replaced by permanent teeth.
Thinking and reasoning (cognitive development)
children by age 10:
Know the complete date (day of the week, day of
the month, month, and year).
Can name the months of the year in
Can read and understand a paragraph of complex sentences.
Are reading books with chapters.
Are skilled in addition and subtraction and are building skills in multiplication, division, and fractions.
Have learned to write in cursive.
Can write simple stories.
Emotional and social development
Most children by
Enjoy being with their friends. They often have
a best friend of the same gender.
Continue to enjoy team
and group activities.
Continue to insist they are not interested in children of
the opposite sex. But they may show off, tease, or act silly as a way of
getting attention from or interacting with them.
Like and listen to
their parents. Some children, though, will start to show irritation with or
lack of respect for adults who are in charge.
Most children by age 10:
Enjoy reading. They may seek out magazines and
books on subjects of special interest.
Can converse easily with
people of all different ages.
Have speech patterns that are nearly
at an adult level.
Sensory and motor development
Most children by age
Have developed control of their large and small
muscles. They are able to enjoy activities that use these skills, such as
basketball, dancing, and soccer.
Have developed endurance. Many can
run, ride a bike, and enjoy activities that require a degree of physical
Continue to advance their fine motor skills, such as
those needed for clearer handwriting and detailed artwork.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.