The way your child learns, plays, and acts shows you important steps in development. All children grow and develop at their own rate. However, most follow a predictable skill path along the way. These skill paths are called developmental milestones; skills that most children can perform by a certain age. Refer to the checklist below to determine what milestones your child has completed by five years of age.

By five years most children:


Fine Motor (skills that require balance and movement of small muscle groups)

_ Have a hand preference (righty or lefty).

_ Grasp a pencil like an adult.

_ Cut and paste simple shapes.

_ Color within the lines.


Cognitive (memory, problem solving, thinking, and overall play)

_ Count 10 or more objects.

_ Can print some letters and numbers.

_ Know about things used everyday like money or food.

_ Draw a person with at least six body parts.

_ Confuse fantasy and reality at times.

_ Understand and name opposites.



_ Tell stories using sentences.

_ Speak very clearly.

_ Use future tenses “Mommy will be here after work.”

_ Say full name and address.



_ Want to please friends.

_ Want to be like their friends.

_ Follow and understand rules, right and wrong.

_ Show more independence (stays by a friend’s


Gross Motor

_ Hop, maybe skip.

_ Run like an adult.

_ Jump rope.

_ Walk on a balance beam.



_ Use the bathroom completely independently.

_ Dress and undress independently.

_ Use all utensils to feed themselves.


Talk to your doctor or contact an early intervention program in your community if you notice any of the following signs of a possible developmental delay in your child of five years of age:

_ Unusually withdrawn and not active.

_ Shows extreme behaviors (sad, shy, angry, fearful or aggressive).

_ Doesn’t respond to people.

_ Can’t focus on one activity for more than five minutes.

_ Can’t tell the difference between real and make believe.

_ Doesn’t talk about daily experiences.

_ Doesn’t speak clearly or use correct grammar.

_ Doesn’t play or interact with other children.

_ Can’t perform self-help skills such as dressing and toileting independently.

_ Loss of skills.

ASQ. Ages and Stages Questionnaires, Third Edition (ASQ – 3)

CDD. Centers for Disease Control <>

D’Eugenio, Diane and Rogers, Sally J. Early Intervention Developmental Profile (EIDP). 1981. University of Michigan.

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