Five Years

Soon your child will be going to kindergarten. Reading, letters, and numbers are more important than ever. Help your child learn by talking about words and numbers you see in the world.

Playing Together

Now your child is probably more independent. She can follow directions and make jokes.

  • Find words all around you. Help your child learn to read his name, labels, and words on signs.
  • Play guessing games. Pretend to do something and have your child guess what you are doing.
  • Help your child learn numbers. Count everything—toys, cars, laundry, books.
  • Let your child pick and lead a game. Follow her rules.
  • Play outside. Find fun ways to get 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
  • Let your child help you make healthy snacks. Talk about eating a rainbow of foods (red apples, orange peppers, yellow bananas, etc.).

Keeping Your Child Healthy

Don’t forget to have regular doctor and dentist visits.

  • Your child will need a five-year checkup with the doctor.
  • Your child will need regular dental checkups every six months.
  • Help your child brush his teeth two times a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. Floss once a day.
  • When you brush your child’s teeth, look for white or brown spots.
  • If you don’t have health insurance, contact the Children’s Health Insurance Program at 1-877-543-7669 (1-877-KIDS-NOW) to find out about low-cost programs.

Keeping Safe

Talk to your child about safety. Help him understand that it’s important to stay safe.

  • Teach your child safe street habits like looking both ways before crossing the street and always crossing with a grown-up.
  • Always use sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) before your child goes outside to play.
  • Install smoke detectors and test them every month. Make a family fire escape plan and teach your child what to do.
  • Teach your child not to play with lighters or matches. Always keep them out of reach.
  • Talk about the difference between friends, helpful people, and strangers. Point out helpful people like police.

Watch Your Child Grow

Watch for your child to:

  • Print some letters and numbers.
  • Copy squares and triangles.
  • Count to 10 or higher.
  • Tell a simple story using complete sentences.
  • Name at least four colors.
  • Be able to follow simple directions.
  • Draw a person with at least six body parts.