7 Year-Olds

7 Year-Old Developmental Milestones

Summarized by Chip Wood’s book “Yardsticks”



  • Often keep their eyes focused on small, close areas
  • Sometimes tense
  • Like confined spaces
  • Can be sensitive to real and imagined hurts
  • Have improved physical abilities (i.e. sports)



  • Sometimes moody, touchy, depressed, sulky, or shy
  • May change friendships quickly and feel unliked by peers
  • Need security and structure; rely on adults for help and constant reassurance
  • Don’t like taking risks or making mistakes
  • Sensitive to others’ feelings but sometimes tattle
  • Conscientious and serious; have strong likes and dislikes
  • Keep belongings at school and home neater than they did when they were six



  • Listen well and speak precisely
  • Enjoy one-to-one conversations, like to send notes
  • Rapid developing vocabulary
  • Interested in meanings of words and codes



  • Enjoy repeating tasks and reviewing learning
  • Like to work by themselves and finish what they start
  • Bothered by mistakes and work for perfection
  • Good at classifying
  • Like to be read to
  • Enjoy board games and computer games
  • Enjoy hands-on exploration, taking things apart and seeing how they work
  • Increasingly able to reflect upon their learning


Vision and Fine Motor

  • Writing, drawing, and numbers are tidy and small; work with head down on desk often covering one eye
  • Find cursive writing difficult
  • Anchor printing and drawing to baseline; find filling up the line space difficult
  • Often hold pencil near point with three-fingered, pincer-like grasp


Gross Motor Ability

  • Prefer board games to gym games; playground games such as jump rope, four square, and hopscotch are more popular that team or large group activities


Cognitive Growth

  • Need a classroom environment suitable for sustained, quiet work periods
  • Appreciate a “heads-up” when it is time for transitions
  • May find timed tests troublesome
  • Like to work by themselves or in pairs
  • Enjoy memorizing, codes, puzzles
  • Comfortable with emphasis on high-quality products and proper display of work
  • Like to repeat tasks
  • Like to review learning verbally or touch base in other ways with teachers
  • Enjoy inquiry activities, discovery
  • Not fully able to read without vocalizing, still sometimes whisper to themselves during “silent” reading


Social-Emotional Behavior

  • Frequently change friends but accept teacher’s seating assignments
  • Prefer working or playing alone or with one friend
  • Find classroom changes upsetting, need teachers to prepare in advance when substitutes are coming
  • Need humor and games to moderate their seriousness
  • Can get sick from worry about tests and assignments
  • Changeable; close communication between teachers and parents helps ensure their needs are understood



  • Should have opportunities for less partner reading and more individual reading
  • Should continue phonics work
  • Should do written reading comprehension assignments



  • Longer stories with beginning, middle, and end.  Like to write non-fiction stories to show understanding of science or social studies
  • Correct spelling is emerging; proper punctuation and capitalization use is more prevalent
  • Often write about family, friends, pets, losing teeth, or serious issues
  • Pencil grip is very tense, letters are often microscopic



  • Should do more computation with money and time
  • Should do more complex mental math and solve equations
  • Should work with fractions by measuring, weighing, and comparing
  • Should experiment with symmetry and other simple geometry
  • Should do simple computations with multiplication, division based on concrete materials
  • Continue practicing skills by playing games