Age-Level Characteristics

Area Preschool & Kindergarten Primary Grades (1-3) Elementary Grades (4-5)
Physical Characteristics


Children in this bracket are very active.

Due to their activeness, they require numerous resting times.

The large muscles develop faster than the finger and hand muscles.

The bodies of these kids are not only flexible but also resilient.

Gender differences begin to emerge in kindergarten.

The coordination of the eye-hand is still in development.



Children are highly active, which is why they require breaks such as recess to improve cognitive functioning.

Resting is necessary due to ease the fatigue from the children’s active nature.

As compared to excellent coordination, large-muscle control tends to be superior.

Bone growth continuing.

Problems when focusing on small objects.

Both genders become not only leaner but also healthier.

Obesity becomes a challenge for some children.

Motor skill differences in performance between boys and girls.

Calmness as well as predictability in the physical development of the children.

Social Characteristics Children form friendships with their peers.

These friendship bonds dissolve quickly.

Friendships last longer if both children have a similar interest.

Play activities are responsible for the development of not only emotional and social development but also cognitive development.



Children are more aware of gender roles.

Gender preference emerges during playing activities or grouping.





Selectiveness when choosing friends.

Higher chances of having permanent friends.

Children prefer to organize games but at the same question become concerned about the rules.

Quarrels develop often.


Peer groups gain more power and start replacing adults as their primary source of standards of behaving.

Selection in friendship is based on factors such as gender.

Organized play is preferred and helps in the social-emotional, as well as cognitive development.

Emotional Characteristics Easy expression of emotions with anger emerging often.

Development of jealousy among classmates.







Sensitivity to criticism as well as ridicule.

A significant number of children are often eager to please their teachers.

Sensitivity to the feelings of other people.

The self-image of these children is not only global and integrated but also complex and is characterized by self-esteem, self-concept, as well as self-description.

Delinquent behavior may start developing due to factors such as school failure, family relationships that are disruptive, as well as social rejection.

Cognitive Characteristics Children develop the theory of mind.

Language becomes a skill for children.

Overestimation of competence for other tasks.

Competence is encouraged through various ways such as interaction, opportunities, affection signs, as well as interest.





Children gain an understanding concerning the various ways of identifying things and recognize better ways.

Children recognize that learning, as well as recall, are products of cognitive processes, they have control of.

The efficiency of learning is lower when compared to older children.

Private speech, which develops to its peak between ages 6 and 7.

Children start thinking logically. However, this thinking is limited and lacks consistency.

Children can perform simple tasks the same way an adult can perform on the same job.

The performance of the children is limited in terms of complex tasks.




Chapter 3: Age-Level Characteristics
Comparison Chart

Area Middle School (6-8) High School (9-12) Trends/Patterns/Sequences
Physical Characteristics


Rapid and uneven physical growth characterized by early as well as late maturing patterns.

Pubertal development in boys and girls.

Universal curiosity about sex.





A majority of these students reach the peak of their physical maturity, and virtually every student attains puberty.

Many of these adolescents become sexually active.

Increase in sexually transmitted diseases.

Physical growth starts becoming rapid in middle school. Before this, children are very active.

The transition from childhood to adulthood begins at the adolescence stage.

Social Characteristics Interpersonal reasoning develops, which results in a better understanding of the feelings of other individuals.

Desire to conform is typically at its peak.







Peers influence immediate status such as the choice of friends, whereas adults such as parents affect the long-range plans such as career and religion.

Increased anxiety concerning friendships among girls than in boys.

Search for employment, which can either be beneficial or detrimental.

The interaction begins at an early stage in preschool.

The selection of friends starts in the primary grade and continuous until the adolescence stage.


Emotional Characteristics Exaggerated view of the adolescence period as a “storm and stress” period.

Self-centeredness as well as self-consciousness due to the egocentric though.

School programs help these children develop not only better and mature social skills but also emotional skills.





Increased psychiatric disorders during adolescence.

Depression becomes a common disorder.

Severe depression results in the contemplation of suicide.

Awareness concerning other people’s emotions begins at an early stage and continues to develop until it reaches its peak during adolescence.


Cognitive Characteristics These children require a supportive as well as an intellectually stimulating environment.

Intellectual, as well as social behavior, is influenced by self-efficacy.







Increasing engagement of formal thought, which at times may not be used.

Political thinking starts becoming abstract, liberal, as well as knowledgeable between ages 12 and 16.

Cognitive development begins by identifying the theory of mind before children develop and start becoming aware of the different ways of defining things.

Logic thinking begins in elementary school and continues to improve through the supportive environments surrounding them. Age-Level Characteristics


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