Schoolers (middle childhood)
guide - 5 to 12 year olds
usually go to primary school between 4-1/2 and 12
years of age. This is when they build on, and
improve, their previously learned skills. They make
friends and are interested in the world around them.
are becoming independent and enjoy responsibilities
and challenges they can manage.
social skills are improving. They often enjoy
playing with small groups of three or four children.
physical skills are improving. They may be very
interested in several kinds of activities.
begin to develop hobbies and specials interests and
learn a lot this way.
enjoy helping at home and doing family things like
going on picnics and visiting relatives.
children in this age group can develop one or two
special friends of the same sex. Friendships with
people of other ages and sex are also important to
them. They like learning about their neighborhood
and may be particularly fond of a pet animal.
such as cooking, bike riding, cubbies, legos,
reading, TV, sport, and making things are all
popular. Many of these things are fun to do
learn and develop at different rates, try not to
compare children and/or siblings.
five & six year old child can:
much of the first year of school getting used to
the rules and regulations of this new
shy and prone to crying - can be clingy
to do tasks such as tying their own shoe laces
introduced to basic reading and writing skills
seven year old child can:
be getting used to the school environment
with small groups of children - often the same
to develop reading and writing skills as well as
to have a friend 'come over' after school
less likely to cry.
eight year old child can:
interested in learning about things around them
more interest in some subjects over others
influenced more by peers
having friends to 'sleepovers' regularly
to play with same sex friends.
nine year old child can:
an increased awareness of the 'self' in relation
to the group
to change to fit in better with peers
to become critical of clothing and behavior of
and discuss 'boyfriend/girlfriends' issues
more concerned with hair, dress and weight
to physically develop (particularly girls).
10 year old child can:
an increased influence of the peer group
concerned about being embarrassed
more with the opposite sex
firmer and longer lasting relationships with
more independence and be preoccupied with socializing.
11 year old child can:
an increased influence of peers
more aware of their own identity and their place
in the world
concerned with social acceptance
more interest in the opposite sex
to be treated like an adult
critical of themselves and others.
12 year old child can:
being referred to as a child
major physical and emotional changes and also
experience an awakening of sexual awareness
self consciousness and awkwardness
to assert their independence
already physically developing
the age of 12 many girls have or will start
to experience rapid physical growth
generally develop two years later than girls
can start puberty as young as eight or nine
and as old as 16 or 17
usually start to develop between 12 and 14
but can also be late maturers.
12 year old child is on the threshold of adolescence
which can be described as time of dreams, fears,
romance and despair.
children start school they've already learnt
a lot about their first language. Some
children may speak more than one language.
Children will be good at naming things,
understanding action words and be able to
follow simple instructions.
will increase their language skills by:
and having books read to them
TV and videos
to people talk
to the radio
increases dramatically during this age.
children should be good readers by the time
they leave school and understand adult
age children gradually learn how adults talk
in different ways. They like to joke and
play with words. Often they go through a
stage of 'toilet jokes' where they
experiment with 'naughty' words.
can help your child's language development
help if you think there are problems;
ask the teacher, speech pathologist,
Australian Institute of Learning
Disabilities or SPEECH (Society to
Promote Essential Education for Children
with Communication Handicaps)
a good example - reading, joining a
library, speaking clearly, enjoying
words, playing spelling games
tapes and stories for children to listen
to and read
rhymes and poems
to and with your children
to your children even when they can read
children to choose what they read.
children need a friend. With this
friend they'll experience many new
things. When they feel secure with
this friend they'll branch out and
make more friends.
in middle childhood often have more
than one 'best friend'.
children are often very clear who
their friends are. ('You're my
friend' or 'I'm not your friend any
more'). Children can 'make up' after
arguments and keep friends over
children to socialize with children
their own age - both in and out of
will develop and their importance
will increase. Same sex friendships
are more common in middle childhood.
neighbors, friends, teachers and
people in the community are all
important to children. Through these
people they learn things about age,
employment and community roles. They
like to see and do new things and
will join in if they feel
like being with other people but
they need to learn and practice
learn to understand the needs and
expectations of other people and act
role models so they learn
honesty and care
clear explanations about how
people behave in the home and
ways of dealing with problems as
to listen to them
to believe in them
is part of life. Learning about loss
and grief can be an important part
of a child's education and growth.
can grieve over many things,
including some of the following:
of a pet
unsafe after a break in or
their best friend moves away
separated from parents for a
or separation of parents
of a parent or grandparent.
often don't have words to express
their feelings and may show their
grief in some of the following ways:
stomach pains, loss of appetite
aggression, behavioral problems
nothing has happened
- laughing and crying without
wanting to go to school or
can give support and help your
clear, honest, easy to
understand information and
answers, according to their age.
they need to, let the child hear
what happened over and over
the child there will always be
someone there for them.
aware that children may take
advantage of the situation.
the child to express their
feelings - through talking,
children by not sharing grief,
or lying, may cause problems
later in life.
though you may try and shield
children from the truth, they
will know something is wrong by
the behavior of those around
grief so the child doesn't feel
left out and frightened.
simple explanations such as:
'Granny died. We can't see her
any more and that makes us very
learn all the time.
are able to remember rules
and information and use this
information when it's
like to connect what they
know with new things. They
can come up with their own
ideas and reasons about how
the world works if they are
encouraged but may not
always get it right.
this age like to solve
problems. They are not yet
ready to do everything in
their heads. They learn by
doing and thinking.
this age children enjoy
games like scrabble and
yhatzee which let them
practice what they know.
They are fascinated with
science experiments. They
need to see the process of
how to do something from
beginning to end. However
they'll probably want to
begin before they have all
the instructions and will
need an adult to help them.
develop differences and
special interests at this
time. They may have a craze
for a certain topic, like
you are worried about your
development speak to your
are now learning to
be independent. When
they feel worried or
scared they may
behave in ways which
seem annoying such
laziness or telling
attention and time
children learn to
there is a
noticeable change in
the child's behavior
it is advisable to
look deeper and find
children can enjoy
begin to identify
less with parents
and more with peers
as they continue
this age may need
their own personal
space. This can be a
bedroom, a bed, a
special place (a
tree, clubhouse) or
a place for their
own things. They
still like hugs,
kisses and cuddles,
doing things with
you like watching TV
can help your
a good example
about how you
examples of how
to express their
to them about
to your child's
teacher as often
as you can..