5 Years

Your child is 5 years old. Congratulations! As a parent you have guided your child through the most intensive period of brain development she will ever experience. Your child has grown from a tiny infant to someone ready to enter a whole new world of learning and development. Although you are celebrating your child’s achievements, it can be a bittersweet experience if you are saying goodbye at the classroom door for the first time.

Your Baby

At age five, your child may …

Hop or balance on one foot – Set up a hopscotch game or play “Simon Says.”

Show an interest in writing numbers or letters – Encourage your child’s efforts to write with their dominant hand. Early attempts at writing can be difficult.

Make up silly stories – Enjoy the burst of creativity. Laugh at the jokes and offer your own silly stories.

Experiment with new big words – Help model the appropriate use of the words.

Be curious about the world around her – Talk about nature and observe the weather together. Let your child observe the physical and chemical changes that occur when cooking, baking, melting, or freezing.

Be protective with younger siblings or pets –  Give them appropriate responsibilities so they can help take care of their pets and siblings. They can feed the pets or help a younger sibling with their shoes.

Your Family

Getting ready for kindergarten

Soon your child may be getting ready for a transition into kindergarten. This is a big step and one looked forward to by both children and parents. In Michigan, children are considered ready for kindergarten if they turn five before September 1st of that year; your child’s age is only one factor to look at when deciding if you will enroll him this year or wait a year. As an option to parents, check with you school to see if they offer the “Young 5’s” program for children with late summer and fall birthdays. You can help your child prepare for school by providing many activities to help his social, emotional, intellectual, and physical growth. Suggested activities include reading at least one book every day and visiting places like the zoo, museum, or library.

Make sure you are keeping up with your child’s changing safety needs
  • A booster seat is required by law until children reach 8 years of age or 4’ 9”
  • It is recommended that children remain in the back seat until at least age 12
  • Always use appropriate helmets and life jackets
  • During any season, sunscreen is a must for outdoor play
  • Talk with your child about issues such as street safety, fire safety, and the use of 9-1-1
  • Visit your local library together to find books that stress safety
  • Help your child identify who is a stranger and who is not. Instruct your child not to talk to or obey a stranger. Use role-playing to teach about stranger safety
  • Keep matches, knives, and other sharp objects out of reach
  • Lock away guns and gun supplies at all times
  • Keep vitamins and other tasty chewable medicines out of children’s reach
  • Post poison control number by your phone: 1-800-222-1222

Your Checklist

Attend a kindergarten round-up

Your child will be screened for vision and hearing prior to kindergarten entry. Kindergarten roundup is held in the spring in anticipation of fall school entry. Contact your neighborhood elementary school or local health department for more information.

Schedule your child’s annual check-up and make sure he/she is up-to-date with immunizations.

Any remaining booster immunizations should be completed at this time. Vaccine-preventable diseases can cause serious harm to children who are not fully immunized.

Remember to schedule your 5-year well child checkup.