Youth Focus

Youth Focus
Cheerful, energetic and enthusiastic are words that may describe a 5-year-old. Fives enjoy planning and discussing who will do what. A best friend is important but hard to keep as social skills are not well developed yet.

Individual development of children can vary at all ages, but what I am sharing with you is typical of most children. The 5-year-old developing body is 31-57 pounds and stands 39-48 inches tall. They may begin to lose baby teeth and learn to skip, or are able to dress self with little assistance. The 5-year-old can throw the ball overhead and catches bounced balls, uses a fork and knife well, cuts on a line with scissors and hand dominance is established.

The developing mind for a 5-year-old includes: knowing basic colors like red, yellow, blue, green and orange; understanding that stories have a beginning, middle and end; understanding that books are read from right to left, top to bottom; and draws pictures that represent animals, people and objects.

Their developing communication skills include enjoying telling his or her own stories, riddles and jokes, and identifying some letters of the alphabet and a few numbers.

They can take turns and share but do not always want to, often exclude other children and want only best friends to play with. Five-year olds like to try new things and take risks and make their own decisions. They notice when another child is angry or sad, they are more sensitive to feelings of others, and they like to feel grown up and boast about it to younger less capable children.

They encourage their physical development by playing follow the leader with skipping, galloping and hopping. Have them cut out coupons in the paper using scissors. Have a jumping contest and jump over low objects.

Ask what if questions to build on their curiosity. What if there were five little pigs instead of three? What if Goldilocks had stayed home? Children will use great creativity to share their thoughts on how these stories might have taken place.

Enjoy your 5-year-olds. If you would like more of this newsletter stop in at the Clay County Extension office or go to fact/ASC9.pdf

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