What Child Care Providers Can Expect in the Physical Development of 6 – 8 Year Olds

Girl with braids and rain boots jumping

Six- to 8-year-olds are continuing to grow and develop their large and small motor skills. As they enter elementary school, children may begin participating in organized sports, dance, and other activities that require well-developed motor skills. Child care providers in out-of-school child care programs need to know the basic milestones of physical development in school-age children in order to plan challenging but realistic physical activities. The following lists detail some common physical milestones in 6- to 8-year-olds.

Between the ages of 6 and 8, most children:

  • Grow quickly
  • Have a greater lung capacity
  • Begin losing baby teeth and developing permanent teeth
  • May have an awkward appearance because their arms and legs are long
  • Enjoy testing muscle strength
  • Have a good sense of balance
  • Become good at coordinating both sides of the body
  • Develop a quicker reaction time
  • Can use scissors and small tools with confidence
  • Learn to tie their shoelaces
  • May enjoy copying designs and shapes, letters and numbers
  • Begin writing with confidence
  • May begin using both print and cursive writing if taught

For More Information

To learn more about the development of school-age children, and to find activities and materials that support their development, take a look at the following eXtension Alliance for Better Child Care articles:

If you are looking for specific activities to use with school-age children, check out the Hands-on Activities for Child Care and Story-Stretching Ideas for Child Care searchable databases.