This page is all about 6 year old speech and language skills.  Keep in mind that these milestones are based on research about typically-developing children but this information is not meant to diagnose a speech-language delay or disorder.  There is a wide range of “normal” and even if your child is slightly delayed in a few of these areas, it doesn’t necessarily mean he or she has a speech or language delay.  Please contact a speech-language pathologist for a screening if you are concerned about your child’s speech and language skills.  All norms are taken from the  Linguisystems Guide to Communication Milestones which sites the specific resources and research articles used to find each milestone.

Speech Sound Development

By this age, your child should be able to consistently make the following sounds correctly:
-/p/, /b/, /m/, /h/, /n/, /w/, /d/, /k/, /g/, /d/, /f/, “y”, /t/, “ng”, /r/, /l/

Your child’s speech should be understood by a stranger 90%-100% of the time.

Speech Sound Resource Page

Grammatical Markers

Your child should be correctly using most of the following grammatical markers:

  • Pronouns:
    – I, me, you, he, she, him, her, we, us, they, them

How to teach the pronouns “he” and “she”

  • Possessive Pronouns:
    – My, mine, your, yours, his, her, hers, our, ours, their, theirs
  • Other pronouns like:
    – myself, yourself, herself, himself, itself, ourselves, yourselves, themselves
  • “-ing” on the end of verbs

How to Teach Present Progressive “-ing”

  • Plural -s (The apples)

How to Teach Plurals

  • Possessive -s (Mommy‘s ball)

How to Teach Possessive ‘s

  • Past tense verbs (jumped, ran, etc.)

How to Teach Past Tense Verbs

Past Tense Verb Flashcards

  • Regular third person singular (he jumps, she runs)
  • Articles (the ball, a banana)

How to Teach Articles “the” and “a”

  • The conjunction “and”

How to Teach the Conjunction “And”

  • Helping verbs such as “to be”, “to do”, and “to have”, including contractions (such as “that‘s my ball”, “I’ll do that”, and “I have two”)

Your child should also be producing sentences with an average length of 4.5 words/morphemes or more.

How to Increase Sentence Length

Pragmatic Skills

Your child should be interacting with other people in most of the following ways:

  • Uses threats and promises
  • Asks for the meanings of words
  • Likes to complete projects
  • Makes purchases at store (with adult supervision)
  • Asks questions for information

Asking Questions Resource Page

  • Chooses own friends
  • Takes more care in communicating with unfamiliar people
  • Engages in cooperative play, such as making group decisions, assigning roles, and playing fairly
  • Announces topic shifts

Social Skills Resource Page

Literacy/Book Skills

Your child should be using books in most of the following ways:

  • Recognizes letters and letter-sound matches
  • Understands that print is read left to right and top to bottom
  • Retells simple stories
  • Begins to write stories with some readable parts with assistance
  • Tries to spell words when writing
  • Understands that spoken words are made up of sounds
  • Recognizes some words by sight
  • Identifies and writes uppercase and lowercase letters
  • “Reads” a few picture books from memory
  • Prints own first and last name

Literacy Resource Page

  • Has mastered phonological awareness and pre-reading skills:

The Ultimate Guide to Phonological Awareness and Pre-Reading Skills

Concept Development

Your child should have an understanding of most of the following concepts:

  • Understands comparative and superlative adjectives, such as “big”, “bigger”, and “biggest”
  • Understands time concepts yesterday, today, tomorrow, first, then, next, days of the week, last week, next week
  • Understands different, nearest, through, thin, whole
  • Identifies positional concepts first, middle, last

Sequencing Game

  • Understands opposite concepts, such as big/little, over/under

Opposites Game

  • Understands left/right
  • Understands number concepts up to 20
  • Answers “How are things different/same?”
  • Uses adjectives for describing

How to Teach Adjectives

Adjectives Game

  • Uses comparative adjectives such as loud, louder
  • Uses yesterday and tomorrow
  • Uses adverb concepts of backward and forward
  • Uses prepositions through, nearest, corner, middle

How to Teach Spatial Concepts

Spatial Concepts Game

  • Names ordinal numbers, such as first, second, third

Vocabulary Development

Your child should have a vocabulary of about 2,600-7,000 words.  We don’t recommend you try to count all of them, this should just give you a rough estimate!

Vocabulary Resource Page


Your child should be able to use questions in most of the following ways:

  • Answers a variety of questions, including “yes/no”, “what”, “who”, “where”,  “why”, “how”, “when”, and “how many” (as long as there are only a few things)
  • Asks “what”, “where”, “when”, “how”, “whose” and one-word “why” questions
  • Asks “is” questions (like “what is this?” and “is she crying?”)

Questions Resource Page

Listening Skills

Your child should be doing most of the following listening skills:

  • Repeats sentences up to nine words in length
  • Follows three-step directions

How to Teach Following Directions

Following Directions Game

  • Responds correctly to more types of sentences but still may be confused at times by more complex sentences

More Information

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