• 5 years old




Developmental Milestones

Milestone chart
  • Children at this age still need at least 10 hours of sleep per night.
  • Your child might go to preschool, child care or kindergarten where they might have nap time or quiet time during the day which is developmentally appropriate.
  • Bedtime routines and bedtimes should be established by now and 5 year olds can lead the process. Create a consistent bedtime routine such as: a bath, a couple of story books, cuddling and soothing time when putting child to bed.
  • Child can undress themselves and put on pajamas.
  • Child can also help tidying up their rooms or the bathroom as part of the bedtime routine.
  • Increased understanding of time when routines are established

Ideas for Learning and Growth

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  • Make sure the sleeping area is clear of strangulation hazards such as cords from blinds, and free of trapping dangers such as gaps between mattress and wall. 
  • Children should have access to the bathroom if they need to go potty in the nighttime.
  • Many children experience bad dreams or night terrors around this time. Parents should comfort the child during the event and then consult your pediatrician for best practices.
  • Let your child do things for himself, even if he doesn’t do it perfectly. For example, let him make his bed, button his shirt, or pour water into a cup. Celebrate when he does it and try not to “fix” anything you don’t have to.
  • Your child might start to “talk back” in order to feel independent and test what happens. Limit the attention you give to the negative words. Find alternative activities for her to do that allow her to take the lead and be independent.
  • Make a point of noticing good behavior. “You stayed calm when I told you it’s bedtime.”
  • Ask your child what she is playing. Help her expand her answers by asking “Why?” and “How?” For example, say “That’s a nice bridge you’re building. Why did you put it there?”
  • Play with toys that encourage your child to put things together, such as puzzles and building blocks.
  • Talk about and label your child’s and your own feelings. Read books and talk about the feelings characters have and why they have them.
  • Play rhyming games. For example, say “What rhymes with cat?”
  • Encourage your child to “read” by looking at the pictures and telling the story.
  • Play games that help with memory and attention. For example, play card games, Tic Tac Toe, I Spy, or Hot and Cold.


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  • You know your child best. Don’t wait. If your child is not meeting one or more milestones, has lost skills he or she once had, or you have other concerns, act early.
  • Talk with your child’s doctor, share your concerns, and ask about a developmental screening.

If you or the doctor are still concerned:

  1. Ask for a referral to a specialist who can evaluate your child more; and
  2. Call your local Missouri public elementary school in which your family resides and ask for a free evaluation to find out if your child can get services to help.

What's Next?

Download the Milestone Tracker app today!

Track your child’s milestones from age 2 months to 5 years with the CDC’s easy-to-use illustrated checklists; get tips from the CDC for encouraging your child’s development; and find out what to do if you are ever concerned about how your child is developing. Photos and videos in this app illustrate each milestone and make tracking them for your child easy and fun.


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