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Milestones for 7-Year-Olds

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 they may be behind in another area, 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.
  • Start to prefer a learning style. For example, some children like hands-on activities, such as a science experiment with color. Others like to work quietly on their own, 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 they 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. In general, they are worried about the opinions of others.
  • Form friendships, usually with other children of the same gender.
  • Play in larger groups sometimes. But they 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 don't substitute the sound "fr" for "thr" in words like "through."
  • Are becoming better readers. But sounding out vowels often can still be hard for them.
  • Still have some trouble with basic spelling.

Sensory and motor development

Most children by age 7:

  • Are getting 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

Current as of: September 20, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
John Pope MD - Pediatrics
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Louis Pellegrino MD - Developmental Pediatrics
Susan C. Kim MD - Pediatrics

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