ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Family and Parenting»
  • Kids»
  • Children's Growth & Development

Motor Skill in Five-Year-Old Children

Updated on August 25, 2011

Tricycles, roller skates, jumping, climbing, skipping, and swinging are only some of the activities that consume the days of five year olds. Given a choice, most children would rather be outside, engaged in some of these activities, rather than sitting inside playing a game. Five year olds are more poised and display better gross motor control than fine motor control.

Gross Motor Skills

Gross motor skills, the use of large muscles, are becoming well developed by age five. By this age, children become more restrained and less active in their overall level of movement. Your five year old is able to walk backward, placing one foot directly behind the other, and can run on his tiptoes. Stairs become an easy obstacle to overcome as he goes up and down stairs, alternating feet. For most five year olds, pedaling a tricycle has also become an easy task. Some well-coordinated children may even be ready for a two-wheeler with training wheels at this age. Climbing is done with sureness, and you can be certain there will be ripped pants or dirty knees from all the outside activities. Five-year-old children are able to turn som­ersaults and can jump from a 12 inch landing on their toes. A five to six year old can walk on a balance beam and may show a genuine interest in roller skates or in-line skates. Remember that knee pads, elbow pads, and a helmet are essential acces­sories to avoid injury.

Fine Motor Skills

Fine motor skills, such as those that involve manipulating objects, eye-hand coordination, and perceptual skills, are also developing at this age. These skills generally develop at a slightly slower pace than gross motor skills. Boys may be less adept than girls at this point but eventually reach the same level. Your five year old is able to build with blocks, manipulate buttons, and tie shoelaces. Coloring within the lines and cutting and pasting skills are emerging but are not well developed. Your child may be able to trace a triangle and copy a cross and square. Most children can cut on a straight line and can print their first name in capital letters. As children approach their sixth birthday, these skills become more refined. They can now copy a triangle, write the numbers 1 to 5, and color within the lines. Scissor use improves, and they are now able to cut out simple shapes. Handedness is well established by the time children reach their sixth birthday.

Fostering Motor Development

How can you, as parents, help your child's motor develop­ment? First, engage your child in any kind of physical activity to improve coordination. Running, jumping, and throwing a ball will all strengthen your child's gross motor development. Pro­vide your child with the opportunity to engage in various fine motor activities. Children who have difficulty with fine motor coordination are reluctant to engage in tasks that require those skills. Using special markers, pencils, or crayons can some­times entice a child to engage in drawing tasks. Allowing your child to "help" Mom or Dad cut out grocery coupons is a good way to improve scissor use. Clay and play dough, as messy as they can be, are great tools for strengthening hand muscles.

Sometimes, taking a close look around your house and observing the kinds of activities your child is interested in helps provide ideas for fostering fine and gross motor skills. A few more suggestions follow:

  • Use clothespins to hang small articles of clothing on the line.
  • Sort dried beans.
  • Hammer nails (with supervision!) to develop eye-hand coor­dination.
  • Seal and unseal the lids from plastic containers.
  • Set up an obstacle course using chairs, boxes, and other household items to help improve gross motor development.


Submit a Comment

No comments yet.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)