Lesia Oesterreich, M.S.
Family Life Extension Specialist
Human Development and Family Studies
Iowa State University
Six, seven, and eight-year-olds build on the important developments of the first 6 years of life and seem to settle down to a steadier pace of growing and learning. Young school-age children are interested in real life tasks and activities, and pretend and fantasy lessen considerably. School-agers want to make “real” jewelry, take “real” photographs, and create “real” collections.
School-age children have longer attention spans. They are more likely to stick with things until the project is finished, the problem solved, or the argument resolved. Doing things together with friends, teamwork, and following rules become very important. This age group is fascinated by rules and can develop games with extensive rules and rituals.
SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
IDEAS FOR CAREGIVERS
- Provide opportunities for active play. Throwing at targets, running,jumping rope, tumbling, and aerobics may be of interest.
- Provide opportunities to develop an understanding of rules by playing simple table games: cards, dominoes, tic-tac-toe, etc.
- Provide opportunities for children to do non-competitive team activities such as working a jigsaw puzzle or planting a garden.
- Encourage children’s sense of accomplishment by providing opportunities to build models, cook, make crafts, practice music, or work with wood.
- Encourage children’s collections by allowing them to make special boxes or books in which to store their collections.
- Encourage reading and writing by allowing children to produce stories with scripts, create music for plays and puppet shows, produce a newspaper, record events, go on field trips, or conduct experiments.
- Help children explore their world by taking field trips to museums, work places, and other neighborhoods. Invite community helpers to your home.