Birthday: Five Years!

published 17 July 2009
written by


What an age! But what happens at that age? What can we expect to happen with ICM during the next 12 months? And how should you behave around ICM?
Here is what science says: [ICM: And our comments]

Five-year-olds are cheerful, energetic, and enthusiastic. They enjoy planning, and spend a great deal of time discussing who will do what. They especially enjoy dramatic play, usually with other children. Five-year-olds are more sensitive to the needs and feelings of others around them. It is less difficult for them to wait for a turn or to share toys and material. “Best friends” become very important.


  • organizes other children and toys for pretend play
  • still confuses fantasy with reality sometimes [ICM: Oh no! Rupert’s not real???]
  • often fears loud noises, the dark, animals, and some people
  • expresses anger and jealousy physically
  • carries on conversations with other children and adults
  • uses swear words or “bathroom words” to get attention [ICM: Oh shit!]
  • likes to try new things and take risks
  • notices when another child is angry or sad – more sensitive to feelings of others [ICM: Group hug!]
  • plays contentedly and independently without constant supervision
  • understands and enjoys both giving and receiving
  • enjoys collecting things [ICM: Submit News, anyone?!]
  • can understand relationships among people and similarities and differences in other families
  • seeks adult approval
  • sometimes critical of other children and embarrassed by own mistakes
  • less fearful of the world than toddlers because understands the world better
  • has a good sense of humor, and enjoys sharing jokes and laughter with adults


  • requires approximately 1,700 calories daily [ICM: that’s about 800g of ice cream each day…]
  • sleeps 10-11 hours at night [ICM: ICM is NOT 5!]
  • able to dress self with little assistance [ICM: new layout…]
  • rides a tricycle skillfully; may show interest in riding a bicycle with training wheels
  • interested in performing tricks like standing on head, performing dance steps
  • capable of learning complex body coordination skills like swimming, ice or roller skating, and riding bicycles
  • may be able to copy simple designs and shapes [ICM: Where are our graphic artists?]


  • understands about 13,000 words
  • uses 5-8 words in a sentence [ICM: We think we’re ahead of our time…]
  • likes to argue and reason; use words like “because” [ICM: … because we manage to form longer sentences than that!]
  • knows basic colors like red, yellow, blue, green, orange
  • able to memorize address and phone number
  • understands that stories have a beginning, middle, and end
  • able to remember stories and repeat them
  • enjoys creating and telling stories
  • understands that books are read from left to right, top to bottom [ICM: “All was well.” …]
  • enjoys riddles and jokes
  • draws pictures that represent animals, people, and objects
  • enjoys tracing or copying letters
  • can place objects in order from shortest to tallest
  • can understand and use comparative terms like big, bigger, or biggest [ICM: You Rupervs!]
  • recognizes categories (“These are all animals; these are all toys.”)
  • has good attention span and can concentrate well
  • is project minded – plans buildings, play scenarios, and drawings


  • Teach sack-walking and “twist-em,” “statue,” or “freeze” games to provide an outlet for their drive for physical activity.
  • Provide carpentry, take-apart, and put-together experiences with junk clocks and old small appliances.
  • Add drama to your reading sessions each day by using different voices for different characters. While reading a familiar story, stop before the end and ask children to add their own end to the story.
  • Ask 5-year-olds to tell you a story. Write it down and post it on the wall or refrigerator. [ICM: We’ll put it on Grintastic.]
  • Ask “what if” questions. What if there were 5 little pigs instead of 3? What if Little Red Riding Hood saw a rabbit instead of a wolf? [ICM: What if… Rupert came to our birthday party?]
  • Involve children in writing “thank-you” notes, holiday greeting cards, and letters. If a 5-year-old enjoys copying letters, let him dictate a
    short message to you and copy it from your writing. Old typewriters are favorite writing tools. [ICM:]
  • Help children learn to make rules and play simple games by providing opportunities for them to play in small groups.
  • Help children understand and cope with strong feelings by giving them words to use when they are angry. “I can see you are SAD about going home, ANGRY at your friend ….”
  • Observe how a child plays with other children. Teach him to request, bargain, negotiate, and apologize.
  • Take questions seriously. Talk to children about what happens and why. Give answers they can understand.
  • Take fears seriously. Reassure children that you will make sure that nothing bad will happen to them.
  • Encourage interest in jokes, nonsense, and riddles by reading humorous stories, riddles, and nonsense rhymes. Join them in jokes from school, books, and TV.
  • Give opportunities to express dramatic and creative interest. Teach children how to move their bodies to dramatize the opening of a flower, falling snow, leaves, or rain; wiggly worms and snakes; and laundry blowing in the wind.

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