6 Years

Discover tips, tools, and support for this age

Your six-year-old’s social skills are growing! As they spend more time with friends, they may also be getting better at memorizing songs and stories, learning how to add and subtract, and use other skills from school.   Scroll down to learn more about your child’s development, explore resources available to your family, 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 6 years old, many children:

  • Social

    • Begin to separate from caregiver without a lot of stress
    • Are more willing to spend time with peers
    • Begin to develop close relationships with one or more friends
    • Spend time in organized social settings, like school or sports
  • Communication

    • Are able to speak and understand spoken language well
    • Repeat songs, stories, and poems from memory
    • Have many chances to speak to friends and adults in English and their native language if they have one
  • Learning

    • Count, add, subtract, and explore shapes
    • Understand that digits stand for number names, for example "5" for "five"
    • Have a basic understanding of the alphabet, letters, and letter-sound relationships
  • Physical Development

    • Get better at moving quickly, easily, and with more coordination
    • Area able to write and connect the movement between hands and eyes
  • Health

    • Have 5 ounces of grains daily (such as 1 cup of breakfast cereal plus 1 large tortilla)
    • Have 1 ½ cups of vegetables daily (such as 3 medium carrots)
    • Have 1 to 1 ½ cups of fruits daily (such as 1 medium or large apple OR 1 to 1 ½ cups 100% fruit juice)
    • Have 4 ounces of meat and beans daily (such as 1 small chicken breast plus 1 egg)
    • Have 2 ½ cups of milk daily
    • Do 1 hour of medium- and high-intensity physical activity each day, including many 15-minute periods of activity
    • Are not inactive for 2 hours or more, unless sleeping
    • Sleep about 9–11 hours per day
    • Stay on schedule with shots

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

  • Act Early

    • Has a stutter (often repeats sounds or gets stuck when talking) or lisp (can't say certain sounds, such as "s")
    • Confuses "left" and "right" more than peers
    • Has trouble following directions
    • Has trouble sitting still for long periods
    • Doesn't make a lot of eye contact
    • Avoids social situations, even in familiar places
    • Has trouble making friends
    • Is aggressive with other children
    • Can't skip, hop, or jump
    • Can't throw and catch a small ball


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.