Knowledge of child development and changes in children's needs, interests and learning abilities is crucial to create an appropriate kindergarten curriculum that is engaging and stimulating for children. The table below lists the developmental highlights in children between the ages of 5 and 6. Remember that each child progresses at his or her own rate.  

Cognitive Social Emotional Physical

Beginning Organization patterns

Example: Patterning (such as the calendar patterns)

Playing/interacting with a group of children for increasing time periods

Example: Planning for and playing a game during a 15- to 20-minute time period

Expressing feelings in words

Example: Telling another child "I was sad when you were sick"

Refining use of large muscles

Example: Running, hopping, beginning to skip, and throwing and catching a ball

Connecting symbols to representations

Example: The numeral 3 refers to an amount of 3 objects

Having a "special" friend, although these may change suddenly and/or frequently

Example: Sharing a computer program each day with one friend, then tiring of the program and shifting to another special friend interested in building blocks

Learning to interpret emotional expressions of others

Example: Consoling a friend who feels sad or upset

Using small muscles

Example: Painting, drawing, cutting with scissors, and printing letters/numerals