6–7 years old: Cognitive and linguistic development

6–7 years old: Cognitive and linguistic development

What happens in your little one’s brain as they get older? Follow your child’s cognitive development from age 6 to 7.

Cognitive development refers to the acquisition of skills such as memory, attention, reasoning, and planning. These skills allow children to manage their emotions, thoughts, and behaviours, in addition to helping them store information, solve problems, exercise judgment, and understand the world around them. Cognitive development also includes language development, which is a child’s ability to communicate, understand speech, and express themself verbally. For school-aged children, this also includes reading and writing comprehension.

Cognitive and language development: 6–7 years old

Cognitive skills

At this age:

  • Your child can focus on an activity for 20–30 minutes, or even longer if the activity interests them.
  • They can concentrate, remember several pieces of information simultaneously, and demonstrate flexibility. For example, if your child has an idea for a DIY project, they’re able to keep their objective in mind while taking steps to achieve it: they’ll talk to you about the project, gather materials, and make changes if needed.
Remember that not all children develop the same skills at the same speed. The material on this website is for general information purposes only. If you’re concerned about your child’s development, speak with a doctor.
  • They know the days of the week, the months of the year, and the seasons, and can name them in order.
  • Your child can solve simple math problems (article in French), such as addition and subtraction.
  • They understand the principle of conservation, according to which the quantity of a liquid doesn’t change even if the shape and size of the container it’s in changes.

Little by little, your child will begin to do the following:

  • Form logical connections between certain concepts, such as the fact that it rains in the summer and snows in the winter, according to the temperature.
  • Understand and use measuring tools, such as rulers.
  • Understand that events occur outside of their own community and environment. For example, they’ll be able to understand that a news item they hear about on TV is happening in another country, such as wildfires in Australia.
  • Understand the concept of money, specifically that coins and bills don’t all have the same value.

Language skills

At this age:

  • Your child knows and uses more complex vocabulary that includes words that aren’t used every day (e.g., think, surround, measure).
  • They’re starting to think about words and talk about them more. For example, they might say: “The word frustrated is a bit like the word angry.”
  • They can form long, complex sentences (e.g., “If you want, you can come to our house tomorrow”).
  • They can contribute to a conversation by adding information.
  • They can tell a story that includes a beginning, a trigger, a character with a purpose, a problem, and a resolution.
  • They have no trouble making connections between their real-life experiences and the stories you read to them.
  • They can properly pronounces all sounds, including the most challenging ones, like “th” and “z.”
  • They’re learning written language. For example, they’ll learn the sounds associated with the letters of the alphabet, which will lead to learning to read and write words.
  • They’re learning to read words in books without any help.

Little by little, your child will begin to do the following:

  • Spontaneously recount past events while focusing more on the goals and emotions of the people involved.
  • Read with less hesitation.
  • Be able to write more words without making mistakes.

How can you help your child progress?

Your child is unique and will develop at their own pace. They have strengths and weaknesses and are becoming increasingly self-aware. You can encourage your little one’s cognitive development with these simple everyday actions:

When you read with your child,
they become more interested in reading and feel proud when they manage to “decode” words on their own.
When your child helps you with a recipe,
they learn about the different measuring tools needed for cooking (e.g., measuring spoons, measuring cups).
When you ask your child to summarize a book or movie that you’ve read or watched together,
they develop their memory and their ability to explain things in an organized manner.
When you show your child the various types of coins and how to tell them apart,
they gain a better understanding of the value of money.
When you ask your child to explain the rules of a game they’re familiar with, such as a board game (article in French),
they learn how to use reasoning and strategy to earn points and win. They also develop their ability to describe steps in the right order.
When you ask your child to read out simple words from a restaurant menu,
they get to practise decoding words and learn that reading is useful.


Naître et grandir

Scientific review: Marie-Ève Bergeron-Gaudin, speech-language pathologist, and Noémie Montminy, doctoral student in psychopedagogy at Université Laval.
Research and copywriting: The Naître et grandir team
Updated: August 2021

Photo: GettyImages/SeventyFour



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