A child's development is measured through social, emotional, physical and language development milestones.
Although each child will follow a sequence of milestones throughout their development, the rate at which they reach those milestones may differ between each individual.
Development is broken down into a series of age groups:-
0 - 3 years
3 - 7 years
7 - 12 years
12 - 19 years
These development rates are guides based on various research undertaken.
A child's physical development increases the most between 0 - 3 years. As a baby between 0-3 months they go from being only able to move their hands, arms and legs in a limited movement, to by the age of 3 years being able to run, have hand co-ordination i.e. throwing balls etc.
Social and emotional development is slower, with interaction with adults slowly building up i.e. recognition of mother/father in the first few months, but by 12 months, they will have show affection to carers, although be wary of strangers. Generally during the latter stage of this development they will start to have a sense of self and independence including impulsiveness by the age of 3.
The language development in this stage is slow - with only gurgles and babbling for the first few months, with laughter not really developing until 6-12 months. Together with intellectual development children between 2-3 years should be able to put together a simple sentence of words, ask questions and even scribble & mark paper with pencils and crayons.
The sequence of development, as earlier mentioned, differs from child to child. In the 0 - 3 years category, a baby may have developed stronger neck muscles earlier so can hold up its head within a few weeks, others may take longer. Other physical examples are with crawling and walking. Some children will continue to crawl until they are 15 months before they take their first steps, whilst others may commence those early steps at 11-12 months.
The majority of children, unless there are medical/mental factors, will reach the 0-3 years milestones but at their own rate.
Age range 3-7 years is when children start to become individuals. They start to learn, take interest in their environment and their social and intellectual development starts to increase.
Physically a child's hand-eye co-ordination progresses. Hand skills i.e. pencil skills, threading laces through objects, using scissors etc all increase. In the later stages of this age group more complicated skill sets become apparent e.g. writing words and numbers, learning to tie shoe laces etc. A sense of balance comes more into being - many children begin to learn to ride a bike without stabilisers.
The social, intellectual and language rate increase, especially from age 4 years, when children start pre-school or primary school. At school, children start to build friendships with their peers, learn about caring for one another and they start to understand parameters, as a daily structure is put in place.
Language becomes more complex. Use of vocabulary increases so children can start to read simple books which allows their imagination to expand.
The sequence in this age group is probably more apparent in the language/intellectual side of development. Children will learn to read and write at different rates and this therefore has a knock on effect with vocabulary. For example a child aged 4, who has been to pre-school and just starting school may already be able to write their name, where as others, are still trying to develop their pen holding skills and therefore may take longer to learn.
The 7 - 12 years group is a key stage of development, especially the latter ages, who are reaching towards puberty. All areas of development increase rapidly. Physically, by this age, children's hand-eye co-ordination and foot skills are very much in place. This is primarily through children starting to play sports in schools which homes in on particular skills. Older...
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