5 years old Milestone

Getting ready for school, here’s what to expect.

The majority of children will achieve these milestones by the time they turn 4 years. All children develop at different rates. Some children are slower than others (developmentally delayed) but catch up with time. Other children, however, may have an underlying problem that causes their development to be delayed, and they may not catch up.

Download Checklist

Evaluate your child with this checklist

It is important for these children to get as much treatment (early intervention) as possible. So if you are concerned about any aspect of your child’s development, see your child health nurse or doctor for help as soon as you can. If in doubt, it is better to have your concerns checked than to ‘wait and see’.

Gross Motor

  • Walks easily on narrow line
  • Run lightly on toes
  • Be active and skillful in climbing, sliding, swinging, etc
  • Skip on alternate feet
  • Stand on one foot for 8-10 seconds, right and left
  • Hop on one foot 10 times or more, right and left
  • Catch ball in hands, throw and kick easily
  • Ride a bike with/without trainer wheels

Fine Motor

  • Thread a large needle
  • Copy (draw) basic shapes (triangle, circle, lines)
  • Begin learning to write letters (eg name)
  • Show more detailed drawings (eg windows in the house, curtains etc)
  • Show improved scissors skills (cutting out simple shapes)
  • Use knife and fork together
  • Usually have a clear hand preference before starting school

Talking and understanding

  • Hold a long, sensible conversation
  • Make few grammatical errors
  • Understand opposites
  • Understand similarities between objects
  • Understand prepositions (eg in, out, beside) and personal pronouns (eg I, you, he, she)


  • Give home address (number, street)
  • Use knife and fork
  • Fully dress and undress except laces and difficult buckles
  • Can solve social problems, ie negotiate, share, avoid conflict


  • Identify coins and notes
  • Count 10-20 objects
  • Understand concepts of morning, afternoon
  • Able to compare objects (eg faster, slower)

Youthrive is providing this as general information only and it should not be relied upon as professional or medical advice. You should seek professional and medical advice for particular health concerns or manifestations. Our best efforts have been used to ensure this information is considered correct and current in accordance with accepted best practice in Queensland as at the date of production.

Originally produced by Child Development Network.

First Appointment

If you are a parent who has not had any experience with therapy services for your child, the process can seem quite overwhelming. Here’s what to expect at your first appointment.


Initial Consultation

The initial appointment is typically one hour in duration. Your child will attend this session for Speech Pathology, Dietetics and Occupational Therapy. For Psychology appointments you will need to check if your child is required for the initial consultation at the time of booking.


Information Session

The therapist will ask detailed information about your child’s family history, health and development, education and any concerns you may have.


Goals & Assessment

An assessment may be commenced during this initial appointment and goals for therapy will be established.