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LUVABLE FRIENDS HOODED TOWEL AND WASHCLOTH
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5 to 7 years

5 to 7 years

Big Kids: How They Play

Elementary school-age kids are accomplished in ways they never were before. They've grasped an understanding of the world around them and are now moving toward mastering skills that once challenged them, like catching a football or braiding a friend's hair.

This also is the time where talents and interests take hold — a 4-year-old who enjoyed story time may grow to love reading; a 5-year-old who listened to music might want to play piano.

Physical abilities, like large and fine motor skills, are being refined. Children learn to ride two-wheel bicycles and glide on skateboards. Arts and crafts become more intricate, and a child might spend hours weaving friendship bracelets or drawing comic strips.

Peer relationships take on more importance, and your child might be more interested in playing with classmates than with you. But remember that even as your child matures, you are still the most important playmate — so try to carve out some one-on-one time. Family game nights are one way to get everyone together.

And now's the time to try new adventures, such off-road biking, that kids couldn't do when they were younger and need your supervision to do safely now.

Smart Toys for Big Kids

  • Jump rope. By skipping rope with friends, kids learn to take turns and get along with peers. All that jumping, and the coordination it requires, encourages large motor development and problem-solving skills.

  • Card and board games. Card games like "war" or "crazy eights" and board games like checkers or chess teach about strategy, turn-taking, negotiating rules, and fair play. Encourage cooperation and help your child learn to manage the emotions that come with winning as well as losing.

  • Musical instruments. Learning to play the piano, violin, guitar, or another instrument encourages listening and fine motor skills and helps build attention skills.

  • Science toys. Chemistry sets, binoculars, telescopes, or other toys that promote discovery and problem-solving help improve math and science skills, and help develop imagination.
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