10 Years

Discover tips, tools, and support for this age

As your ten-year-old develops, they’ll grow their vocabulary and interact with others more confidently. They may also grow out of their clothes a lot! Talking about the physical and emotional changes of puberty can help prepare them for the big changes ahead. Scroll down to learn more about your ten-year-old’s development, explore resources available during and after school, and find free events across NYC. 


Skills children develop as they play, learn, speak, act, and move are called milestones. Learn about milestones to help you understand your child's development and act early if you have concerns.

Around 10 years old, many children:

  • Social

    • Solve social problems, such as fights with friends or siblings
    • Want to gain approval and live up to expectations of people close to them
    • Continue to develop and test opinions and moral values
    • Show a wider interest in things outside of their everyday life
  • Communication

    • Hold long conversations with children and adults outside the family
    • Write well without ruled lines
    • Write in more mature ways
    • Express feelings and emotions with words
  • Learning

    • Understand complex written sentences
    • Read longer chapter books in stages, picking up where they left off
    • Enjoy books and magazines on nonfiction topics they're interested in
    • Are comfortable with addition and subtraction
    • Start to practice fractions, multiplication, and division
    • Master concepts of time, weight, and distance
  • Physical Development

    • Have more control of hand movements, with better handwriting and more detailed art
    • Enjoy activities such as drawing, painting, sewing, or playing instruments
    • Run, climb, ride a bike, or skate with confidence
  • Health

    • Have 5 to 9 ounces of grains daily, including whole grains (1 ounce equals ½ cup oatmeal, ½ cup of rice, 5 whole wheat crackers, 1 slice of whole wheat bread, or ½ cup cooked pasta).
    • Have 2 to 3 ½ cups of vegetables daily (such as ½ cup baby carrots, ½ cup broccoli, ½ avocado, and ½ cup sliced peppers).
    • Have 1 ½ to 2 cups of fruits daily (such as 1 medium apple, 1 banana, and ½ cup berries). Fresh, frozen canned or dried all count.
    • Have 4 to 6 ½ ounces of protein daily (1 ounce equals 1 egg, ¼ cup of beans or lentils, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, or ¼ cup tofu). Protein foods include beans, lentils, tofu, nuts and nut butter, poultry, fish, eggs and meat.
    • Have 3 cups of dairy or suitable substitute daily. This includes whole cow’s milk, whole plain yogurt, or unsweetened fortified soy beverage.
    • Drink water at or between meals for thirst.

Act early by talking to a doctor, teacher, or social worker if your child:

  • Act Early

    • Has trouble sitting or standing up straight for long periods
    • Can't follow spoken and written directions in class
    • Often writes sentences with the wrong grammar
    • Has low self-esteem
    • Avoids activities involving movement and physical coordination
    • Doesn't make eye contact with children and adults


Find the support your family needs to thrive

Comprehensive After School System of NYC (COMPASS NYC)

NYC Department of Youth & Community Development (DYCD)

Afterschool programs for students

COMPASS NYC has hundreds of programs for young people in kindergarten through 12th grade.

School Food

NYC Department of Education (DOE)

Free school breakfast and lunch

NYC students can enjoy free breakfast and lunch every school day.

School-Based Health Centers (SBHC)

NYC Department of Education (DOE); NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (DOHMH)

Free health care in schools

Students can get free health care in their school.