By 5th grade children have begun to establish many of the personal habits that will help determine their future health and well-being. Gross motor skills, which involve whole-body movement, are just about fully developed by this age, although they will continue to be refined as children grow and gain strength. The same applies to fine motor skills, which involve the coordination of small muscle movements. Children in 5th grade are usually 10 or 11 years old, and the information in this section covers children in the typical age group. However, the age at which children reach milestones for physical growth varies considerably, especially around the onset of puberty, which can start around this time. Keep in mind that the information here is intended only as a general guide. If you are concerned that your child’s physical development seems to lag behind her peers’, you should consult your pediatrician.
Sleep is fundamental to the development of a healthy child. As your child ages, their schedule will fill up with more homework and extracurricular activities, such as sports. To ensure that they are set up for success at school, it is important to continue to prioritize a good night of sleep. Well-rested children perform better academically, are less susceptible to viral infection, and have lower rates of obesity. Experts say the biggest detractor from a healthy night of sleep for children is technology. The artificial light emitted from computers and mobile-electronic screens can disrupt your child’s sleep cycle and cause their to wake up feeling sluggish. A well-rested child will wake up spontaneously in the morning and will have energy for the entire day. If you notice that they are yawning at inappropriate times, or get reports from school about their hyperactivity and misbehavior, your child is most likely not getting enough sleep. Consult with your child’s health care provider about additional steps you can take to ensure your child gets a more restful night of sleep.
Fifth grade students need 10 hours of sleep every evening. Students who need to be up at 6 AM to get ready for school should go to bed around 8 PM. Though an 8 PM bedtime may seem unattainable to some, experts recommend making sleep a priority by encouraging your child to get as much sleep as possible. The closer they are to getting the recommended amount of sleep, the better.
Follow these tips on how to advance your child's physical health and development in 5th grade.