Grade 5 Physical Development Reference Levels

Looking to support the physical health and activity of your fifth year?

In grade five, children began to establish many personal habits that will help determine their future health and well-being. Gross motor skills, which involves movement of the whole body, is almost fully developed at this age, although it continues to refine as children grow older and gain strength. The same goes for fine motor skills, which involves the coordination of small muscle movements.

Fifth-graders are typically 10 or 11 years old, and the physical development guidelines below cover kids in the typical age group. However, the age at which children reach physical growth milestones varies widely, especially around the onset of puberty, which can begin around this time. Keep in mind that the information here is intended only as a general guide, and if you are concerned about your child’s physical development, you should consult your pediatrician.

Gross and fine motor skills

Your fifth-grader’s gross motor skills, which involves whole-body movement, should be almost fully developed by age 10. Physical activity at this age should include games and sports that focus on fundamental skills such as throwing, catching and hitting balls, and cycling. Unstructured play time is still important, but as your child’s ability to run, jump and throw, hit and catch a ball with precision improves, organized sports such as baseball or football may be worth it. to be explored. Other activities to consider include dancing, judo, and gymnastics.

Your child’s fine motor skills, which involves coordinating small muscle movements, are also almost fully developed by fifth grade, although they continue to be refined through practice. You will see evidence of greater control and precision when your child performs tasks such as writing, using a keyboard, or playing a musical instrument.


By the time they reach fifth grade, many children are ready to take full responsibility for their personal hygiene. However, parents should remain involved and supervise the bath or shower as they deem necessary. Especially if the bodily changes that accompany the onset of puberty have started, it is normal for your child to become more modest around this age and resist intrusion into their bathroom routine. It is therefore important to find a balance between respecting your privacy and ensuring that your body is cleansed effectively.

The precise age at which children are ready to take a bath or shower on their own varies from child to child. Often times, children will indicate that they are ready for more privacy and would prefer to start bathing, but the transition is usually gradual and parents will still need to weigh in with advice or verify that everything has been properly cleaned. Some children, especially girls with long hair, may need help washing or rinsing off the conditioner even after they’ve mastered washing the rest of their body.

Most children don’t need to wash their hair every day. How often your child’s hair should be washed will depend on a number of factors, including hair length, whether your child plays sports, and whether the hair is curly or straight.

Although many children do not need to use deodorant until puberty, some may have strong enough body odor that they should start applying deodorant sooner. Especially if your child plays sports and sweats a lot, they may need to start wearing deodorant on a regular basis. Let your nose be the guide.

Many girls start puberty at age 10 or even earlier. Talk to your daughter about what to expect when she starts having her period and teach her the importance of good menstrual hygiene.

Oral hygiene

Your child should see a dentist for regular check-ups, just like they see a pediatrician on a regular basis. Discuss your child’s oral hygiene with their dentist and learn about things like fluoride supplements and dental sealants, which protect your child’s teeth from cavities and cavities.

By the end of the fifth year, your child will have lost all or most of their baby teeth, and maintaining good oral hygiene habits is more important than ever. Tooth decay and cavities are completely preventable but remain prevalent and affect children in the United States more than any other chronic infectious disease. Untreated dental problems can become infected, causing pain and problems with eating, speaking and learning.

Your child should brush their teeth at least twice a day, and after eating, if possible.

Children should floss independently every day around the age of 10, when their manual dexterity is sufficiently developed.

See a dentist right away if your child injures a tooth. Dental injuries are common in children up to the age of 14 and, if left untreated, can lead to serious complications.

If your child participates in contact sports, they should wear a mouthguard to protect themselves from dental injuries and concussions.

If a child’s permanent tooth becomes dislodged due to injury, place the tooth in a container of milk and seek advice from a dentist as soon as possible. Permanent teeth can sometimes be successfully re-implanted.

To sleep

Sleep Snapshot

Sleep is fundamental for the development of a healthy child. As your child gets older, their schedule will fill up with homework and extracurricular activities, such as sports. To make sure they’re ready to do well in school, it’s important to continue to prioritize a good night’s sleep. Well-rested children perform better in school, are less susceptible to viral infections, and have lower obesity rates. Experts say the biggest barrier to a good night’s sleep for kids is technology. Artificial light emitted by computers and mobile electronic screens can disrupt your child’s sleep cycle and cause slow waking up. A well-rested child will wake up spontaneously in the morning and have energy for the whole day. If you notice them yawning at inappropriate times or receive reports from school about their hyperactivity and misbehaving, your child is probably not getting enough sleep. Talk to your child’s health care provider about additional steps you can take to make sure your child is getting a more restful night’s sleep.

How much sleep?

Fifth-graders need 10 hours of sleep every night. Students who have to get up at 6 a.m. to get ready for school should go to bed around 8 p.m. The closer they are to the recommended amount of sleep, the better.

Learn more about supporting your child with our pages of physical health tips and physical activity recommendations in Grade 5.

The Parent Toolkit Resources were developed by NBC News Learn with the help of subject matter experts including Dr. Jayne Greenberg, District Director, Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

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