During this stage, school age children have developed an increasing need of independence and become more socially accepting of peers. Play becomes more complex, with rules being established in group games and games are focused on having a “winning” team or being called the “winner” at the end of a game. Competitiveness begins to emerge as school age children continue to compare themselves with school peers. It is also common at this age, for school age children to have unstable friendships as they start to be unkind towards each other.
The language development of a school age child is quite vast and typically a wide variety of words are used to communicate thoughts, ideas and feelings. They often get over excited while talking, which may result in stuttering but normally this is only temporary. At this age, speech is of second nature and both speech and language are easily understood. School age children will also enjoy manipulating words by mimicking or teasing and begin to experiment with popular school chants and tongue twisters. Riddles and jokes are also common by this stage as they continue to build upon their vocabulary.
A school age child’s physical development has increased considerably at this point. Gross motor skills such as running, climbing etc. are of ease and a need of challenging physical activities are required (such as roller skating, bike riding, tennis etc.). There is an increase in balance, co-ordination and a confidence in using and experimenting with outdoor equipment (monkey bars, climbing frames, etc.). School age children can sometimes push the boundaries in their physical abilities and tend to have frequent minor accidents during games and while playing.
Fine motor skills have improved during this point, with increased concentration and patience. These improvements in fine motor development allow school age children to focus and develop a wider variety of tasks, using their small muscles (especially arts n craft activities).
School age children are able to concentrate for a longer period of time in set tasks, enabling them to think, understand and find reasons to simple problems. They have a greater understanding of a variety of concepts and memory also improves dramatically. A school age child will also start to have their own thought process and curiosity begins to emerge. They begin to discover answers to some difficult questions such as “where do we come from” and “how we were born”? Overall at this point, a school age child absorbs information with ease and will attain a wide range of knowledge, when being exposed to it.
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