Development & Health

Child development and skills by age: 3 to 6 years old

Child development and expected skills from 3 to 4 years old:

  • The child’s speech is closer to that of an adult. While she speaks in sentences of 5-6 words.
  • Describes the use of an object.
  • Gives logical answers to questions.
  • Uses several pronouns spontaneously.
  • Talks about current events and past ones.
  • Groups objects.
  • Understands denials.
  • Detects colors.
  • Compares objects.
  • Makes conclusions.
  • Shows more parts of her body.
  • Last produces the sounds: thanks, chain, that, s, z, j.

What to do:

  • First, read stories together and tell them to each other. Thus, you encourage a positive attitude towards reading and speech (oral and written).
  • Second, set a good example, read books instead of watching TV, mobile or computer screen.
  • Then use opportunities for play and learning. For instance, theater, museums and walks. Also, events, board games, team plays and dramatic plays.

When to worry:

  • If she still uses pacifiers or other baby habits.
  • When she has difficulty to start a sentence or repeat syllables or words.
  • If she can’t recognize smudged letters.
  • When she doesn’t know how to hold a book.

Child development and expected skills from 4 to 5 years old:

  • Understands: spatial concepts, complex instructions, descriptive complex concepts, additional temporal/quantitative/concepts and passive voice sentences.
  • Tells stories/fairy tales.
  • Expresses intentions, answers questions that are introduced with “why” correctly, uses the opposite, describes people/objects, names categories, repeats compound words, describes a process and gives word definitions.
  • The production of “r” letter begins.
  • Can recognize some letters.
  • Understands that words can be read.
  • The first writing efforts begin.

What to do:

  • Read books.
  • Write and read lists/notes together e.g. list for the supermarket.
  • Don’t give her writing exercises.
  • Learn songs that rhyme.

When to worry:

  • If by the age of 5 she doesn’t have a rich vocabulary and doesn’t seem to understand and answer correctly, all the questions addressed to her.
  • When she can’t recognize some letters.
  • If her speech is incomprehensible.
  • When she stutters.

Child development and expected skills from 5 to 6.5 years old:

  • Essentially, understands, at least two nouns and adjectives. While indicating nouns that someone is performing an act (e.g. writing, studying). Temporal and sequential concepts.
  • Adds and subtracts numbers, up to 5.
  • Names additional categories.
  • Uses adjectives to describe people and objects.
  • Gives correct and more complex definitions.
  • Uses comparatives and superlatives.
  • Repeats a story with or without visual support.
  • Uses rhyme.
  • Forms nouns from verbs.
  • Uses irregular plurals.
  • Can make the phoneme sound word.
  • Can form syllables for instance, k+a=ka.
  • Begins to read simple words and count their syllables.

When to worry:

  • If she doesn’t pronounce all the sounds/letters of her native language, correctly.
  • When she has difficulty finding object names.
  • If she doesn’t distinguish the phonemes of a word for instance, c-a-t= cat.
  • Refuses or has difficulty to read.

Other disorders that may coexist with speech/communication disorders:

  • While a weak voice or during the speech, air comes out of the nose.
  • Bedwetting, outbursts of anger, social isolation.
  • If after some illness, at the age at which the speech has developed, the progress suddenly stopped.
  • When after a fall or accident, the development of her speech gets interrupted or worsens.
  • If voice problems appear, such as: prolonged/unexplained hoarseness/fatigue or sudden loss of voice (holding).
  • When she stutters.
  • In addition, if she doesn’t socialize easily, doesn’t make eye contact or communication is difficult.

Read more about child development by age, 0-3 years old here


Rinio Liberiadou

Speech therapist-Speech Pathologist

Member of the Greek Association of Speech Therapists


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