Your Simple List of 7-year-old Milestones

Jan 5, 2022

by Camille Everett

Creator of Be That Place

Handwritten notes and lunchtime chats from students kickstarted Camille's mission to help families teach sex ed at home. She is a graduate of Utah State University with a bachelor’s in Secondary Health & English Education. She loves having real conversations while devouring bowls of chocolate peanut butter ice cream.

Your simple list of seven-year-old milestones

Seven-year-olds experience a lot of cognitive growth and may become more serious, self-conscious and self-absorbed.

Although serious, this doesn’t stop them from breaking into spontaneous giggles and craving moments of lighthearted humor. An ever-expanding imagination and an interest in precision and perfection make seven-year-olds wonderful inventors. 

7-year-old milestones


  • Experience a big cognitive and emotional change and may become more self-absorbed as they turn inwards to make sense of managing new cognitive structures and emotional feelings.
  • Try to avoid uncertainty and risk.
  • Really like structure and security and an idea of what’s happening next.
  • Enjoy spending a fair amount of time alone as they build upon their imagination.
  • Work diligently on products and projects for displaying to make sure they are correct and precise as well as attractive. 
  • Have a strong sense of right and wrong and are quick to alert adults when they observe inappropriate behavior.

Social & emotional milestones


  • Can change moods without warning.
  • Often concentrate on one “best friend” relationship, although this best friend may change regularly.
  • Still engage routinely in imaginative play with peers and younger siblings.
  • Are usually perfectionists and may display intense frustration when things don’t go the way they want.
  • Show increased sensitivity to other people’s feelings and express compassion more genuinely.
  • Often prefer playing or interacting with just one other friend.
  • Tend to be more interested in outside activities that don’t rely on large groups.

Cognitive milestones


  • Really enjoy discovering how things work, which includes taking things apart and putting them back together.
  • Are very curious about the world around them and will start to examine it in more detail as well as apply principles of math and prediction to their environment.
  • Appreciate structure and order and need to feel that they can finish assignments in a calm, unhurried way.
  • Want to know what’s happening next.
  • Desire to work slowly and really want to finish what they are working on before being forced to move to another activity.
  • Are distressed by mistakes.
  • Like board games, especially games with just one other person.
  • Are better able to express or re-tell what they are learning.

Sexual development

Seven-year-olds MAY…

  • Want and need privacy.
  • Ask questions about pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Show interest in puberty and how bodies change.
  • Make comments or express opinions about behaviors such as kissing and hand holding.
  • Express how boys and girls are different, including noticing stereotypical gender roles.

Parents can do a lot to encourage healthy sexual development. Being an example of respectful attitudes, opinions and behaviors about gender and bodies is a good place to start.


It’s worth noting that child development experts generally agree on the following 4 principles:

  1. The stages of growth and development follow a predictable pattern.
  2. Different children do not progress through stages at the same pace.
  3. A child progresses through the various parts of a stage at different rates.
  4. Each stage is uneven. For example, one stage may experience a lot of physical growth while another stage may experience a lot of cognitive development. 
  1. Yardsticks: Child and Adolescent Development Ages 4-14 by Chip Wood
  2. Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS). “What is Normal Childhood Sexual Development?” Families are Talking, vol. 3, no. 4, 2015,
  3. National Center on the Sexual Behavior of Youth (NCSBY). Accessed 20 May 2021.
  4. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN). “Sexual Development and Behavior in Children.”