image001By age 5 your child may be reading independently, but they will still need activities that will boost their word recognition, phonic skills and other basic language development. As these skills develop you may notice that your child starts paying more attention to headlines, posters, notices or signs. Playing a wide range of games both with and without educational content will also allow your child to have fun and build confidence. Read on to learn the development characteristics of your 5-year-old kids and 5 years kids games to help them grow socially, mentally and cognitively.

Developmental Characteristics of 5-Year-Old Kids

Developmental Aspects


Physical development

Five year olds have a lot of energy as they start to develop more coordination and balance. They should be able to control the quality direction and speed of their movements.

Problem solving

At this age your child loves abstract puzzles and working together with other to solve a challenge. This encourages socialization and cognitive development.

Language development

Children at this age have more advanced vocabularies and love opportunities to speak up. They love the chance to share their experiences with others.

Reading and writing

At this age oral skills will start to translate to reading and writing. They want to learn how spoken sounds translate to works so they can create their own stories.

Mathematical development

At this age math becomes a skill they can use. This can include counting, creating a chronological sequence of events or describing objects based on more than one characteristic.

Social skills

Children should be able to manage their feelings with more independence such as removing themselves to calm down or seeking help with a conflict. They will start to learn to make friends on their own.


Children love creative outlets but still need a few guidelines. They want to create recognizable objects with art or tell stories as long as the activity is planned. This can lead to elaborate plays or other activities.

10 Best Games for 5 Year Olds

Games help to entertain five year olds. There are a variety of commercial games for 5 year olds available, but if you do not have the money to purchase these there are still plenty of games you can play with things around the house. Encouraging these games can help teach educational lessons such as reading or math and entertain your child while encouraging developmental needs such as teaching your child to take turns or practicing good sportsmanship. Here are 5 years kids games!

1. Hide & Seek

You can play this game indoors or outdoors, though it could be helpful if you designate some areas off limits. For example, you may tell your child that they are only allowed to hide in the backyard.

2. Simon Says

Have everyone sit in a group and select one child to be the leader “Simon.” Simon will direct the group to do different things like jump, point at something or dance. Children must only follow these directions if the command is given with “Simon says.” Children that follow directions without this cue or fail to follow “Simon says” directions are out.

3. Red Light / Green Light

Have all players stand in a line 20-40 feet from the person acting as a traffic signal. The traffic signal will turn around and count backwards from three. During this time players will move as quickly as they can toward the traffic signal. When you turn around call “red light” which means everyone playing must freeze in place. If someone moves they will have to go back to the starting line. Continue this pattern until one of the children reaches you.

4. Patterns

Learning patterns is an important skill for 5 year olds. Get items like colored sticks and use them to make a pattern. Encourage your child to mimic the pattern with their own sticks. As they find this easier to do, add more colors to the pattern, or add items like letters and numbers to the sequence.

5. Picture Search

Get items like printed clip art or stickers and hide them around a room. Put some in easy locations and others in areas that are harder to find. Tell your child to bring back all the pictures, or only certain types to encourage their thinking skills.

6. Lid Match

Get several containers with lids, preferably ones that do not match so only one lid will fit on each container. Mix all the lids up and time your child to see how many matches they can get in a designated time.

7. Family Memory Game

This is one of the best games for 5 year olds. Use photos of your family and friends to create a home version of memory. Cut out matching cards and mix them up face size down. Then encourage your child to flip over two at a time trying to create matches. This will help them improve their memory both by finding the cards and learning about people that they are getting to know.

8. Musical Bumps

Ideally this should be played on carpet. Play fun dancing music and tell the children they should dance but sit down as quickly as possible when the music stops. The last person to sit is out. You may want to have a larger group, such as the top 5, to win to avoid the others becoming restless.

9. Duck, Duck, Goose

Have all the children sit in a circle and pick one to start. The child who is “it” will walk around the circle and tap the others on the head saying “duck.” The child can then say “goose” when tapping a particular child who will then have to chase the tapper around the circle while the tapper tries to sit in the empty space left by the child named the goose. If the tapper makes it into the seat the next child is “it.” Otherwise the tapper will continue their role.

Watch the video to learn how to play this game for your 5 year old:

10. Tongue Twisters and Language Games

Saying tongue twisters such as “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers” is one of the best 5 years kids games for language development. You can also recite poems or rhymes like “There’s Mustard in the Custard” by Michael Rosen for entertainment. If you run out of options consider making up your own fun phrases. Playing guessing games such as 20 questions can also help stimulate young children.