Summarise the main development of a child from the age range 0-2 years, 3-5 years and 5-8 years
Although the development of each child is unique to the individual, there are certain ‘milestones’ that need to be achieved before a child moves on to the next stage of its development. These milestones, or averages, are used to assess the development of an individual child, all the time recognizing that different children will reach these milestones at different times.
There are five defined areas of development that can be observed during childhood and these are physical, intellectual, language, emotional and social development. I will look at these areas in turn, noting the average milestones that can be expected during the early years.
In the first two years of life we see probably the most accelerated physical development in a child’s life. They move from being unable to hold their own head up to being able to walk and run with confidence.
When a baby is born it will be very limited in its physical abilities, spending most of its time lying on its back. However by the end of 3 months a baby will begin to lift its own head, kick vigorously and follow the movement of its own hands. By 6 months it will be able to grasp objects, often trying to put them in its mouth. By one year most children will be moving either by rolling, shuffling or crawling (some will even be able to walk unaided by this time).
In the second year there will be the further development of mobility skills such as jumping, walking up and down stairs and being able to throw and kick a ball, though they may still lack confidence in catching a ball.
Between the ages of 3-5 a child’s physical development will have come on in leaps and bounds – literally! They will be able to run, jump, ride a tricycle, throw and catch a ball, balance, hop and move to music. Their fine motor skills have developed to the point that their drawings will now resemble the subject.
By the age of 8 they will have developed both physically and in confidence so that they will be able to jump from a height, ride a bicycle without the aid of stabilisers and will have grown in agility and coordination.
In the early months of a new-borns life they will begin to focus on faces and, in time, reach and grasp for objects that are close by. By the time they are 9 months old they will enjoy simple games (such as peek-a-boo) and be amused by more complicated objects. By the end of their first year a child will have begun to imitate those around it and will also be aware of how people react to their moods.
Pretend play becomes part of the child’s life by the age of two and will continue in complexity over the coming few years. By three their fine motor skills will have developed to the point where they can hold and control a pencil. Over the next two years their memory and concept of time will develop further and they will begin to recognize letters and numbers, being able to read simple words and count with confidence. For the most part, their inquisitiveness will know no bounds resulting in numerous questions.
From age 6-8 they will gain confidence in their numeracy, literacy and motor skills.
Communication for a 0-3 month old baby is limited to crying, gurgling and cooing. However over the following few months a baby will learn how to laugh and will begin to imitate sounds they hear. By the age of one they will have begun to understand and respond to simple instructions, and may be using simple words themselves. By the age of 2 a child may be using a limited number of words in speech, however they will understand a great many more.
Between the ages of 3 and 5 a child may experience some frustration in speech as they find it difficult to communicate exactly what they are meaning but they will continue to develop verbally and will become more inquisitive, asking questions and often understanding far more...
Bibliography: Centre on the Developing Child, Harvard University available at: http://developingchild.harvard.edu/index.php/topics/science_of_early_childhood/ (Accessed: 10 January 2014)
Harker, L (2006) Chance of a Lifetime
http://england.shelter.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/39202/Chance_of_a_Lifetime.pdf (Accessed: 18 January 2014)
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