Child development and milestones: Your 6-years-8-months old
Your 6 years 8 months old child is inching closer to the big 7! Find out more about your kiddo's growth and development so you know what to expect.
Your adorable little one is now 6 years 8 months old and you can literally see his/her 7th year right around the corner. Naturally you must be excited, as you should be. At this stage, you'll notice that your child can easily write his/her first and last names. He/she's is also a very active bundle of energy.
This is also an interesting stage for your little one as he/she would be keen to try new tasks that maybe a little more dangerous than you would allow. But his/her safety is important and you need to constantly ensure safety in your home.
As your child begins to understand the difference between reality and make-belief, he/she would still enjoy playing pretend from time-to-time.
Let's take a closer look at your child's developmental milestones at 6 years 8 months old.
6 Years 8 Months Old Development and Milestones: Is Your Child on Track?
At 6 years 8 months old, your child will take up a wide range of new physical skills. From Tae Kwon Do and soccer, to throwing and catching a ball, your child is very involved. This is because he/she is a physically active child.
Your child's gross motor skills and fine motor skills are well developed at this stage. Now, his/her jerky movements are history. Your child can skip, throw and catch a ball, and take walks. So you can keep giving your child the opportunity to engage in physical activity.
Your child’s average height and weight* should be as follows:
– Height: 119.9 cm (47.2 inches)
– Weight: 22.4 kg (49.3 lb)
– Height: 119.6 cm (47.1 inches)
– Weight: 22.0 kg (48.5 lb)
You'll notice that your child can now use a skipping rope, and may even be able to propel himself/herself along on inline skates. The more your child practices these complex motor coordination tasks, the better he/she becomes. So don’t let your child give up if he/she struggles. Gently persuade him/her to persist until he/she notices the improvement.
By this age, your 6 years 8 months old should be able to:
- Build stairs from memory using building blocks.
- Draw diamonds and other irregular shapes.
- Write his/her first and last names.
- Can move to the rhythm of some music or a beat.
- Improved hand-eye coordination.
- Follow outdoor gaming instructions carefully.
- Dress him/herself up, and tie shoelaces.
- Look both ways at the street.
- Remember to bring belongings when going out.
- Ensure that your child has at least one hour of physical activity every day.
- Encourage exercise as a family activity. Now that your child can skip, he/she will want to do it regularly. You can make this fun by doing it together.
- Encourage your child to write often. You can have him/her write short stories.
- Continue to read to your child and have him/her read to you. You're helping him/her build his/her vocabulary, enhance hand-eye coordination and build his/her fine motor skills.
- It would also be fun to organise mini spelling bees after each reading session.
- Don't forget to protect your child from accidents by keeping him/her away from harmful household equipment.
- Children at this age are still learning about sound, distance, and speed. So keep them away from the street. They don’t yet know the dangerous of a car or truck.
- This is a critical time for your child to develop confidence in all areas of his/her life. He/she will do this through friends, schoolwork, and sports. You can help him/her when you acknowledge his achievements, and praise them.
- Make a point of attending your child’s school and sports events. It’s important for them to show off their accomplishments.
When To Talk To Your Doctor
The following signs in your 6 years 8 months old may indicate that something is wrong. You'll need to inform your doctor if you notice your child:
- Still wets the bed often, either during the day or at night.
- Can no longer practice some of the milestones that he/she had previously achieved.
- Shows no interest in trying to write his/her own name.
Your 6 years 8 months old child has an ever-increasing attention span. He/she is now capable of critical thinking, so get ready to be bombarded with questions. Your child will often tell you how he/she feels about a given subject.
This is because your child is getting better at expressing himself/herself by using words. We can also say that your child is moving towards abstract thinking. Your child is better at seeing other people’s points of view. This helps him/her to make friends and meet new people.
And if your child sometimes comes across as a 'know it all,' they are not alone! As his/her first year in primary school slowly comes to an end, your 6 years 8 months old should be able to:
- Understand cause-and-effect relationships. "Magical thinking" that is typical of preschoolers quickly fades around this age.
- Draw a 12 to 14 part person.
- Create and write short stories.
- Understand the concept of numbers up to 20.
- Develop reasoning skills.
- Shift from learning through observation and experience to learning via language and logic.
- He/she wants it all and has difficulty making choices.
- Read 200 words.
It's important your 6 years 8 months old child has the right guidance at this age of critical thinking.
- Encourage your child to express his/her thoughts and feelings. You could regularly ask questions such as "How are you feeling?" or "What do you think?"
- Teach your child that he/she must respect the feelings of others even as he/she expresses himself/herself.
- Your child needs to understand that he/she cannot have it all and must learn to choose. You can teach him/her about making good choices.
- Your 6 years 8 months old has a well of questions, and this can wear your patience thin. But try to be patient and engaging with your answers.
When To Talk To Your Doctor
Please visit your doctor if you notice that your child showing any of the following signs:
- Has difficulty in reading or other possible signs of disability.
- Shows aggressive tendencies, like hitting or kicking or scratching people.
- Has a mental health issue or is stressed.
- Suffers from separation anxiety.
- Enjoys spending his/her playtime alone.
- Seems withdrawn from social activities.
Social And Emotional Development
Play, play play! Group play is a vital part of your 6 years 8 months old child's social development. It is where friendships are forged and bonds are created. By this time, your child may have a best friend, most likely of the same gender.
His/her self confidence grows, as he/she navigates these relationships. Expect your child to feel a huge sense of accomplishment after winning a round or two of board games with friends.
Your 6 years 8 months old child will also:
- Enjoy school a lot, because of his/her friends.
- Want to please his friends to gain their approval.
- Grow more independent, yet feels less secure.
- Crave affection from parents and teachers.
- Show his/her unkind side to peers, but will manage to make up quickly.
- Need to win and may change rules to suit himself/herself.
- Be hurt by criticism, blame, or punishment.
- Be increasingly aware that others have may have different feelings.
- Engage your child in board games. At this age, your 6 years 8 months old should have fun with Snakes and Ladders and other fun board games.
- You would do well to connect with parents of your child's friends. That way, you all can take turns planning sleepovers for the kids. This will further deepen the friendship bond that exists between them.
- Encourage your child to make choices for himself/herself. Try not to always choose for him/her.
- Keep reading to your 6 years 7 months old, and have him/her read to you.
- Install parental controls on computers and television.
- Don’t be afraid to talk to your child about tough topics like peer pressure, violence, drug use, and sexuality. Find age-appropriate ways to answer questions without adding to confusion or fear.
- Consider swimming lessons and fire safety training for your child.
- Encourage your child to see things from other people’s points of view. Try asking questions like, "How do you think John feels when you do that?"
- Give praises to your child for all his/her accomplishments.
- Help build your child’s self-esteem and self-confidence. It helps to pay attention to his/her strengths and positive qualities and acknowledge them.
- Adopt a side-step approach rather than being confrontational, i.e. change the subject rather than let it escalate into an unpleasant situation.
When to Talk to Your Doctor
You must visit a doctor if your child:
- Faces difficulty following instructions.
- Finds it hard to make friends.
- Is aggressive with other children.
Speech And Language Development
At 6 years 8 months old, your child is quite the little talkative. You'll notice that he/she can follow two and three-step directions. Interestingly, he/she will remain a very literal and concrete thinker. Your child can maintain the topic of conversation and take turns speaking.
Your 6 years 8 months old child makes good eye contact. He/she can use language for multiple goals, such as to gain information, for entertainment, or to persuade others. Children this age are able to control the use of different tenses (past, present, future).
You'll also notice that your child can retell and extend a story and predict what will happen next. He/she is learning to describe the character’s motive and identify cause and effect events.
Additionally, your child can now recognise and spell many words! The spelling may be based on the sounds the words make, such as 'tre' for 'tree.' This is to be expected, and appropriate.
Your child can also repeat 8 to 10-word sentences. He/she has mastered the sounds of 'r' and 'l.' To make you even prouder, your 6 years 8 months old knows all the days of the week!
- Continue to read to your child. It is the best way to build his/her vocabulary and have him/her increase the word bank.
- Occasionally, encourage your child to read back to you. Let him/her write down the words that interest him/her.
- Play spot the difference games and have your child verbalise what he/she notices.
- Model correct pronunciation, instead of correcting your child when he/she makes articulation errors.
- Support your child’s creativity and writing development by emphasising the process and purpose of writing, as opposed to focusing on correct spelling and grammar.
When to Talk to Your Doctor
Talk to your doctor if your child:
- Has difficulty following two-part directions like, “Put your bag away and then bring me your soccer uniform.”
- Shows no interest in trying to write his/her own name.
- Refuses to read.
- Exhibits lots of challenging behaviour.
- Cannot tell left from right.
- Is unable to spell even the simplest words.
Health And Nutrition
Your 6 years 8 months old needs regular meals and snacks to give him/her the energy and nutrients he/she needs to grow and fight off illness. Eating family meals together will encourage him/her to enjoy a variety of foods.
Your 6 years 8 months old needs at least approximately 1800 calories daily. Snacking all day in place of meals usually results in eating an unbalanced diet. To encourage good eating habits, try to sit down and eat meals as a family. Try to do this without the distractions of the television or computer games.
Don't forget exercise. Your child should be doing at least 60 minutes of exercise every day. Try to include it in everyday living activities such as walking to school or the shop.
Walking the dog and playing in the garden tend to be easier to stick to compared to going to an event or leisure centre. They don’t take much organising and are free!
Typically, the calorie intake for boys and girls of this age are as follows:
- Boys: 1,812 Kcal/day
- Girls: 1,700 Kcal/day
Their nutrition should be composed of the following:
Encourage your 6 years 8 months old child to eat and drink fat-free or low-fat dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, cheese or fortified soy beverages.
These are all calcium-containing foods and are important in your child’s diet. They support bone and teeth development. Offer your child either semi-skimmed or skimmed milk. He/she should aim to have 17 to 20 ounces of dairy a day.
Think seafood, lean meat and poultry, eggs, beans, peas, soy products, and unsalted nuts and seeds. These are all protein foods that are important for helping children to grow and repair muscles.
Try and include a variety of different protein-rich foods into your child's diet. He/she should have at least 36 grams of protein daily.
Fruit and vegetable group
Encourage your child to eat a variety of fresh, canned, frozen or dried fruits — rather than fruit juice. If your child drinks juice, make sure it's 100 percent juice without added sugars and limit his or her servings. Your 6 years 8 months old needs 3 cups of fruits and 2 cups of vegetables daily.
Provide a variety of vegetables, including dark green, red and orange. Include beans and peas, starchy and others, each week.
Introduce a minimum of four ounces of grains in your child’s meals. One ounce of grains equals one slice of bread, one cup of ready-to-eat cereal, or half (1/2) cup of cooked pasta or cooked cereal.
Choose whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, popcorn, quinoa, or brown or wild rice. Limit refined grains such as white bread, pasta, and rice.
In a nutshell, here’s what your child needs every day (refer above for what the amounts look like):
- Fruits: three cup for boys; three cups for girls
- Vegetables: two cups for boys; two cups for girls
- Grains: four ounces for boys; four ounces for girls
- Proteins: 32.4g for boys; 32.4g for girls
- Milk: 17-20 ounces for boys; 17-20 ounces for girls
- Water: 1500 ml for boys; 1500 ml for girls (around six cups)
- Keep your fruits washed, cut up, and in plain sight in the refrigerator.
- Serve salads more often, if possible every two meals per day.
- Experiment with vegetarian recipes or add more vegetables to meat dishes.
- Occasionally replace meat-based protein with vegetable-based protein.
When to Talk to Your Doctor
See your doctor as soon as you notice that your child:
- Is under or overweight.
- Has unusual rashes, lumps or bruises.
- Has a fever over 39 degrees C.
- Often vomits during meals.
Vaccinations and Common Illnesses
Most of your child’s vaccinations have already been covered by this age. But if that hasn't been the case, we'd recommend that you check with your physician for those still left, on a regular basis.
As your child spends more time in school, he/she may or may not contract common colds and the flu. So keep an eye out for rashes or fever, itching or even body ache. Encourage your child to share any feeling of physical discomfort and rush to the doctor if you are unsure of the cause.
If your child shows signs of severe discomfort, including vomiting, diarrhoea or very high fever (over 38°C/100.4°F), you should consult a doctor.
Treating Common Illnesses
To manage the three most common medical issues in kids – fever, cough, and cold, try the following:
- Fever: If your child has a fever up to 38°C (100.4°F), give him/her plenty of fluids and encourage your kid to rest. You could also apply lukewarm compresses to your child’s forehead, armpits and groin areas to help bring the temperature down. If your child’s temperature rises above 38°C (100.4°F) you should bring him/her to the doctor and follow medical advice to manage your child’s health.
- Cough: While coughing is a reflex that clears the throat, it can become a nuisance if accompanied by a runny nose and sneezing. Ideally, you should first try home remedies such as ginger and honey mixed in lukewarm water. Plus, ask your kid to drink a minimum of eight glasses of water a day to help ease the discomfort. If your child cough does not ease after three to five days, or turns very phlegmy, bring him/her to the doctor for treatment and management advice.
- Cold: Unless its extremely distressing, avoid taking any OTC medication for common colds. Colds are caused by a virus and so antibiotics will not help. If your child’s cold is accompanied by body aches and very high fever, it could, in fact, be influenza. You’d need to bring your child to a doctor if so for medical advice.
It’s crucial to note here that while some medications can be bought without any prescriptions, your first option of treatment for mild health issues should be simple home remedies. For example, a child with a cold and cough should be given extra-warm fluids. He or she could gargle with warm salt water for a sore throat remedy. Meanwhile, a nasal saline solution will help decongest the nasal passage.
It’s also important to teach and encourage your child to practice good hygiene, especially hand-washing which can help prevent the spread of illnesses.
When to talk to a doctor
If your child,
- Has a fever over 39 degrees Celsius
- Has unusual bruises, bumps or rashes
- Complains constantly of headaches or other aches
- Has been vomiting or has diarrhoea for more than two days
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