By age 5, your child

  • •follows group directions -
    •All the boys get a toy
    •understands directions involving "if . then" -
    •If you're wearing runners, then line up for gym.
    •describes past, present and future events in detail
    •seeks to please his/her friends
    •shows increasing independence in friendships -
    •may visit your neighbour on his own
    •uses almost all of the sounds of their language with few to no errors
    •knows all the letters of the alphabet
    •identifies the sounds at the beginning of some words - Pop starts with the 'puh' sound

5-year-olds like it when you:

  • •Use new and more complex words - "before/after", "rough/smooth", "easy/difficult", "between/bedside", "same/different".
    •Talk about numbers and the quantity of objects - "a lot/a little", "more/less", "one/many".
    •Ask them to predict what will happen next - What do you think will happen when Sam opens his birthday present? - and explain the reasons behind choices - •Why do we need to wear our coats today?
    •Take turns telling each other stories using the pictures in books - children like to hear you talk and then want a turn to create their own version of the story.
    •Let them help plan events. Talk about what you need to do before a birthday party, or how to get ready to go to the zoo. Ask your child "why" and "how" questions as you talk.
    •Ask them to help. Your child will enjoy helping you bake cookies, set the table, sort laundry, etc. Give them instructions
    and see if they can tell you the steps.

From:  Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services