Updated January 27, 2017
School-age children are gaining the capability for thinking, reasoning and problem solving.
They are developing their skills in reading, writing and mathematics. They are more capable of understanding the concepts of time, distance, and money. They like to play games with rules that require skill and strategy. They are developing a sense of humor, love to tell jokes and laugh.
School-age children enjoy learning how to make things. They enjoy opportunities to work on real projects with real materials and tools. They may be perfectionists and product-oriented. They enjoy using real paint brushes and paper, real modeling clay, and real tools.
School-age children are developing individual interests and skills. This is a time in life when children’s special skills are emerging. Some children show a proficiency at sports, music, writing, art, or dancing. Some are interested in animals or machinery. Because the regular school day leaves little time to explore individual interests and develop skills, your center should provide time to do so.
Video found at: www.cdc.gov/Milestones
This boy can count 10 or more things, a 5-year cognitive (learning, thinking, problem-solving) milestone.
To meet the intellectual needs of school-age children, make sure you:
- Provide opportunities to complete homework, including peer or adult tutoring for children who request assistance.
- Provide opportunities to read books.
- Encourage them to write and produce plays, publish newspapers, and write stories.
- Provide space, materials, and activities to support children’s interests and curiosity.
- Encourage them to try, explore, and expand their interests.
- Provide opportunities to learn basic science and math concepts.
- Involve children in observing and investigating natural events and objects, sorting and classifying, searching for patterns, noting differences and similarities, and writing about what they see.
- Involve children in cooking activities that include reading and following directions and measuring.
- Engage children in sustained project work, seeking solutions to concrete problems, observing and recording changes in the environment, and working with tools.
- Provide opportunities for them to read for information and reference.
- Engage children in representing their understanding in various ways, including drawing, writing, speaking, and drama
- Plan trips to provide new learning experiences.
- Provide many opportunities every day for children to write for reasons that make sense to them (such as making lists, labeling their work, and writing notes to their parents).
- Give children frequent practice and help in composing, editing, and revising stories and other written products.
- Provide opportunities for children to be an active part of the community through activities such as tree planting, recycling, and clean-up projects.
- Foster and encourage the development of children’s sense of humor. Be sure to laugh with them at their jokes.