Physical & Cognitive Development


Physical Development- What is normal?

At the age 6, the average weight is 51.7 pounds for a male and 49.2 pounds for a female. The average height is 46.9 inches for a male and 46.1 inches for a female (Woolfolk and Perry 300). It is important to be involved in sports at this age for both physical activity and for social well being. Increased or higher physical activity in early childhood reduces the risk for being overweight and is associated with improved motor skill development, psychosocial health, and cardiometabolic health indicators (Marjo 1). It was recorded that 26.7% of five to six year olds were either overweight or obese in 2013 (Alkon 1). Children at this age should have mastered throwing, dribbling, leaping, and dodging. By this age, eyesight should be fully developed and any problems should be detected.

Cognitive Development

The average 6 year old has an expressive vocabulary of 2,600 words and a receptive vocabulary 20,000 words (Woolfolk and Perry 333). Maternal and socioeconomic factors influence language development in children (Muluk 1). By age 6, children's word play is more likely to involve word meanings, puns, and double meanings. A common example of this is when children understand the riddle "What is black and white and red (read) all over? A newspaper." A major mile stone is the ability to use figurative language such as similes. Six year old's are still in the preoperational stage of Piaget, therefore it is normal for them to confuse conservation of mass between two objects. Beginning at age 6, children understand that they must focus attention selectively to understand and remember, called meta-attention (Ogelman 1).