8 Year Old Developmental Milestones for Boys and Girls

Featured image of smiling girl in white and yellow superhero costume

This age and the third grade mark great developmental milestones for your little ones. Once they hit 8 years of life, they will experience growth spurs on a physical, mental and emotional level. One of the 8-year-old milestones is certainly their gains in cognitive development, and they tend not to ask questions until they have enough information to draw conclusions.

Also, at this age, they start to bud into more mature kids, and these are certainly the most interesting years both for them and their parents. So, let’s see what are all the 8-year-old developmental milestones and what makes this year so special for all of you.

Physical Development

Your little one certainly isn’t so little anymore, and this is due to their physical development at this age. Eight-year-olds now tend to have more refined skills, coordination and better muscle control, and all these are big changes. Also, they now start to look like “big kids”, but puberty is still years away, so they still preserve their cute child-like looks. 

Another one of the 8-year-old milestones in physical development is that they will start showing athletic potential and abilities. This is because their physical skills are now more precise and accurate. As a matter of fact, this is the age when they decide if they are athletic or not and if they want to participate in any specific sports like soccer, basketball, football and such. But, whatever their decision and skills are, your role as a parent is to promote and encourage physical activity. Even if your little one is not athletic, they will certainly benefit from and enjoy running, biking, swimming, and other types of fun physical activities.

So, the major 8-year-old milestones here are their now more fluid combination of motor and locomotor skills. This means that they can jump, spin, turn and perform tasks that can help them in sports. Also, their coordination keeps improving, as well as their small muscle control, which makes playing an instrument or using tools much more fun and easier. 

Lastly, at this age, they become more aware of their bodies and body image, which can affect their confidence. So, your job here is to talk about health, rather than appearance and help your little one find activities they enjoy and which will make them feel good about themselves.

Cognitive Development

As far as cognitive development milestones are concerned, 8-year-olds gains some great improvements. Most of the 8-year-old boys and girls start to understand what money is and why we use it, but it might be hard for them to count it. Also, the way they think at this age will be affected by their emotions, which leads to a lack of focusing if they are worried or upset. Another cognitive milestone is that most kids this age will become able to tell time and exhibit a better understanding of time and how long it lasts.

Additionally, 8-year-old developmental milestones include some great advances in the child’s speech and language. They rapidly continue to develop their vocabularies, and it’s estimated that during this year they learn about 3,000 new words. But, children who read will expand their vocabulary even faster. Another thing that can occur is their display of play on words and verbal humor. So, this year is going to be fun for the whole family. Also, their sense of irony improves so they can use words to convey opposites of their literal meanings.

In addition to language advances, your kids will improve their skills in play. However, the way they play at this age will depend on the activities you’re exposing them to. Some kids will enjoy playing sports with their peers, while others may display interest in doing art projects or creating music. Plus, many kids love to dance and sing at this age. 

In addition to that, 8-year-old milestones in cognitive development include improved ability to focus on a task for more than an hour. Also, they are now able to better understand their place in the world and they will be able to do math with larger numbers. So, your task here is to encourage them with puzzles and tasks that will challenge their minds and help them develop better problem-solving skills.

Image of boy and girl in school looking at globe

Emotional Development

Once they reach this age, your 8-year-old girls and boys will start to show more complex and sophisticated emotions and interactions with people. Besides that, some kids will show the ability to mask their emotions or thoughts in order to spare someone’s feelings. The best example of this is a child who doesn’t like the present they got but still smiles and says thank you for the gift. 

In addition to this, 8-year-old developmental milestones include a more sophisticated sense of themselves and their place in the world. This means that their talents, friends, interests and relationships with the rest of the family will help them establish a clear self-identity. Plus, this is when they start showing the desire for privacy. 

The key milestones of emotional development to keep an eye on include the mentioned desire for more privacy, better control of their negative emotions, such as frustration, failure and disappointment. Also, they may seek more physical contact from caregivers when under stress, but they also may resist physical contact at some other time.

Your job here is to praise your child for coping with emotions in a healthy and grown-up way. For example, when they manage to take a break for a minute when they are frustrated, praise them with a “Great job”.

Social Development

This year is when your child may express the love of being a part of social groups. Most 8-year-olds actually enjoy school and playing and learning with peers and they will count on and value those relationships with friends and classmates. However, parents should still be on the lookout for problems such as refusal at school. This is because such problems may indicate some learning difficulties or bullying at school. Regarding that, this is the perfect age to discuss respecting others with your kid.

You may also begin to see a newfound sense of self-confidence in your child. This will occur if they start to express their thoughts and opinions about people and things around them. They may also start paying more attention to news and they will try to share their opinion on the current events and topics. 

Another beautiful 8-year-old developmental milestone is the desire to have sleepovers with their close friends. However, don’t be surprised if your child doesn’t follow through the entire sleepover at a friend’s house. Many kids of this age are still attached to their parents and home, and they might not be fully emotionally ready to handle being away for an entire night. On the other hand, they might enjoy sleepovers and being away for a while, playing with their toys and telling stories. 

So, as far as social development is concerned, you should be experiencing milestones such as the beginning of understanding how someone feels in a given situation. They will also become more capable of placing themselves in another person’s shoes and they will exhibit a wide spectrum of pro-social skills. Lastly, they will show the desire to follow the strict rules to be “fair”, which may lead to conflicts during group plays.

Your role here is to keep an eye on gender stereotypes at this age. Also, pay attention to what your child is learning from media and how it shapes their opinions.

Image of happy kids jumping in park

Other Milestones

Even though an 8-year-old is not quite an adolescent yet, you will notice their increasingly bigger interest in their appearance. They will start exhibiting that interest by deciding not to wear their hair in the fashion they’re already wearing it, or they might want to change their dressing style. 

Another one of the 8-year-old milestones includes their increased interest in personal hygiene. Also, they will become more capable of taking care of their own hygiene by themselves, such as brushing their teeth and taking a shower. However, you still might want to supervise them to make sure they are brushing and flossing properly, as well as to make sure they are cleaning themselves thoroughly.

When to Worry

Even though not every kid is the same and they don’t all develop at the same pace, you want to keep an eye on your child’s progress. If you believe that your child is behind emotionally, physically, cognitively or socially, you should talk to your pediatrician. 

Also, if you notice that your child has trouble managing their emotions, including anger, or if you notice that their social skills aren’t as equally developed as with their peers, they might be some reason to worry. Those kids who fall behind emotionally and socially at this age may struggle in the future to catch up without employing some extra support. In order to avoid such issues, talk to your child’s teacher or mental health professional and develop a course of action. It is of the utmost importance to react in time in order to avoid learning disabilities or having poor social skills and not fitting it with peers.

At this age, kids are the most fun. They have learned a lot in the past few years, but they are still learning and developing. They will start to express their thoughts in a grown-up like way, they will come up with their own jokes and express their sense of humor, which will only bring laughs to the family.

Also, they will make close friends, have sleepovers and play with their toys, but you should keep a close eye on all the major 8-year-old developmental milestones in order for your child to grow up into a healthy person.

Author: Catherine Evans
Author: Catherine Evans

Catherine is a writer from Canada who simply loves toys, collectibles and superhero figurines. Writing is her passion, but she also loves reading, enjoying her “me time” and finding new ways to improve her work and ways to entertain the readers.

Find Out More

Leave a Comment

error: Alert: Content is protected !!