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  /    /  Developmental Milestones: 9 Years

Developmental Milestones: 9 Years

As hormones are starting to kick in, or preparing to kick in, at this age it is not uncommon for children to start showing signs of early puberty, including longer sleeping patterns or a growth spurt.

Their attention span is getting more advanced and a nine year old can spend prolonged periods absorbed in activities that are of interest to him or her. Reading in depth to learn more about a particular topic is common, and they can start to express their thoughts and opinions with others on these.

Relationships with peers are becoming more intense and although they know right from wrong and that “we don’t hit because we’re not allowed to”, now is a good time to start introducing them to “we don’t hit because it hurts and can make someone unhappy” – helping them understand the morality of rules and consequences.

Please keep in mind that these milestones are guidelines only, as all children are different and develop at their own pace. Do not be concerned if your child does not perfectly ‘tick all the boxes’ and avoid comparing your child to other children of a similar age. If you are worried that your child’s development is particularly delayed, visit your GP.

  • Memory and attention are developing rapidly and children are able to concentrate on single activities for prolonged periods of time. It’s important to give children plenty of time to devote to single activities, especially in this fast-paced world of bite sized entertainment
  • Reading should be encouraged. This can entertain children for long periods, giving them time some quiet time out from today’s rushed lifestyle whilst also stimulating imagination, vocabulary and communication skills
  • Consequences are starting to make sense. They will be thinking about what other peoples reactions will be to their actions
  • Whilst children are able to differentiate between right and wrong their morality is still very much rule-based and can be quite black and white. Helping children develop empathy around this age can have a massive impact on their ability to form and maintain mutually rewarding relationships
  • They may have developed a core group of friends with similar interests, however may feel pressure to ‘fit in’ and can be easily influenced by peers
  • Their sense of identity will be changing as they find themselves, but also want to be liked by their friends
  • They are able to emotionally deal with conflicts themselves, needing far less intervention from adults
  • Some children enter puberty as early as 9 and it is not uncommon for children’s bodies to start changing as hormones surge. They may sleep more and have a growth spurt and their taste in food may change
  • This is the age some children may start to notice changes in their bodies and are vulnerable to ‘body image’ issues. It is important to eat a healthy diet and participate in a healthy active lifestyle
  • Communication skills are almost at adult level, and children have a wide vocabulary
  • Their cognitive reasoning skills are combining with communication skills to enable children to negotiate effectively and start to contribute to conversations around more abstract concepts, although questions will feature heavily in conversation as children are still trying to make sense of the adult world
  • Art work will be showing signs of becoming more realistic – for example, people will have full bodies and not just lines, animals will be looking more shapely and have more true to life features
  • Concentration is getting better and your child will be wanting to spend more time perfecting their piece of art and also looking at or thinking about the subject and how it needs to be drawn

At 9 years old, a child’s understanding of the world is being guided by the National Curriculum subjects.

Children love to play and this is a great way to support their development and learning. See below for our independently tested and approved toys and apps to support your 9 year old’s development.

More Child Development Milestones by Age