Kindergarten children are like other children in many ways. They have similar developmental, physical, and behavioral characteristics that characterize them as kindergarteners—children ages five to six. Yet, at the same time, they have characteristics that make them unique individuals.

Physical Development

Kindergarten children are energetic. They have a lot of energy, and they want to use it in physical activities such as running, climbing, and jumping. Their desire to be involved in physical activity makes kindergarten an ideal time to involve children in projects of building—for example, making learning centers to resemble a store, post office, or veterinary office.

From ages five to seven, children’s average weight and height approximate each other. For example, at six years, boys, on average, weigh 46 pounds and are 45 inches tall, while girls, on average, weigh about 44 pounds and are 45 inches tall. At age seven, boys weigh on average 50 pounds and are about 48 inches tall; girls weigh on average, 50 pounds and are about 48 inches tall (see table below).

Average Height and Weight of Kindergarteners

  Males   Females  
Age Height (inches) Weight (pounds) Height (inches) Weight (pounds)
5 years 43 40.5 42.25 40
6 years 45.25 45.5 45.25 44
7 years 48 50 47.75 50
8 years 50.5 56 50.25 56

Social and Emotional Development

Kindergarten children ages five to six are in Erikson’s industry vs. inferiority stage of social and emotional development. During this stage kindergarten children are continuing to learn to regulate their emotions and social interactions.

Some things you can do to promote kindergartener’s positive social and emotional development are:

  • Provide opportunities for children to be physically and mentally involved in activities involving problem solving and social activities with others.
  • Teach and role model how to make and keep friends.
  • Model positive social and emotional responses. Read stories and discuss feelings such as anger, happiness, guilt, and pride.
  • Give children opportunities to be leaders in projects and activities.
  • State your expectations for appropriate behavior and discuss them with your children.

Most kindergarten children, especially those who have been to preschool, are very confident, are eager to be involved, and want to and can accept a great deal of responsibility. They like going places and doing things, such as working on projects, experimenting, and working with others. Socially, kindergarten children are at the same time solitary and independent workers and growing in their ability and desire to work cooperatively with others. They want to be industrious and successful. Their combination of a “can do” attitude and their cooperation and responsibility make them a delight to teach and work with.

Cognitive and Language Development

Kindergarten children are in a period of rapid intellectual and language growth. They have a tremendous capacity to learn words and like the challenge of learning new words. This helps explain kindergarten children’s love of big words and their ability to say and use them. This is nowhere more apparent than in their fondness for dinosaurs and words such as brontosaur. Kindergarten children like and need to be involved in many language activities.

Additionally, kindergarteners like to talk. Their desire to be verbal should be encouraged and supported by allowing many opportunities to engage in various language activities such as singing, telling stories, being involved in drama, and reciting poetry.  What children know when they enter kindergarten helps determine their success in school and what and how they are taught.