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Development of Children Ages 2-6

by Amanda Rumble, studioD

Keeping track of your child's development to ensure she is on the same path as her peers gives you peace of mind and allows you to spot problems as soon as they appear, according to the website WebMD. It can be difficult to know what to expect developmentally for your child as he grows from a rambunctious 2-year-old into an independent 6-year-old. Development is not the same for all children, but for the most part it does follow a general path.

2 Years Old

The "terrible twos" are a big year for both language and physical development. A typical 2-year-old knows about 50 words, can link two together and is mostly understood by her parents, according to the Mayo Clinic. She might also begin to show signs of defiance and handle being separated from you for longer periods. Cognitively, she might find hidden objects, sort objects by color or shape and scribble on paper with a crayon. This is also the stage when she'll start climbing on furniture, running around and emptying out containers.

3 Years Old

By age 3, your child's vocabulary explodes to about 300 words. She'll also say her own name, use pronouns and speak in sentences of three to four words. Your child will also take turns with you and other children and express emotions, especially affection. WebMD also notes that she'll learn colors, engage in pretend play and understand when two objects are similar or different. Physically, she should be able to go up and down stairs, climbs, kicks and might even be able to pedal around on a tricycle.

4 Years Old

At age 4, she'll speak in full sentences, answer questions and talk clearly enough for strangers to understand. Cooperation with others develops during this period and she will also learn how to solve various problems as she encounters them. You might also be met with defiance a bit more as she develops more independence. She prints some letters, can draw a stick figure person with a couple body parts and knows the difference between morning, afternoon and evening.

5 Years Old

According to the Mayo Clinic, at age 5 your child will speak in more developed sentences and use both past and future tense in everyday language. Children begin to understand the concept of gender and learn how to follow instructions, which is especially important because most children start kindergarten at age 5. She'll also draw complex shapes, know how to count objects and understand time and sequences of events. Physically, your 5-year-old might hop, skip or jump and learn how to ride a bicycle.

6 Years Old

Most 6-year-olds learn better reasoning skills, but still struggle with making choices between two or more objects since they have the expectation of being able to have everything. Children also begin to develop friendships, be sensitive to punishment and crave affection from their parents. 6-year-olds are still working on mastering how to ride a bicycle and might move to music.

About the Author

Amanda Rumble has been writing for online publications since 2000, primarily in the fields of computing and technology. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Buffalo in information technology. Rumble also focuses on writing articles involving popular video games and Internet culture.

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