Child Development Project

The purpose of this document is to look at 6 different areas of a child??™s development from the age range 0 to 16 years. The six areas are classified as follows:

Communication and Language

Under each of these 6 areas the age range of children will be split into 4 sections:

0 to 3 years
4 to 7 years
8 to 12 years
13 to 16 years

Each age range will be examined under that area of development.

1. Physical Development

The first thing that springs to most parents??™ minds when they hear the phrase ???physical growth??? used in the context of child development is height. Height or how tall a child grows to be, can easily be measured and compared and whilst this makes it something of an easy indicator of growth, it is by no means the only facet of physical growth in children. In addition to height, the development of gross motor skills, fine motor skills and coordination are all important indicators of physical growth. Without these developments children remain unable to explore and understand the outside world

1.1 From 0 to 3

1. Newborn babies

In the first year of their lives, babies??™ physical development is rapid. Newborn babies are born with a range of refluxes to help them survive. This includes:

Rooting reflex Moving mouth if face is touched to search for food
Startle reflux If a sudden sound is heard their arms and legs suddenly move together as if catching something
Grasp reflux When something is placed in the babies hand the babies fingers tighten around it automatically
Crawling reflex When placed on the front the baby tucks their knees underneath

From 6 weeks the baby develops and becomes more alert. Their arm and leg movements are now jerky, they follow objects and faces at close range, and they are soothed by their carer??™s voice.

2. From 3 to 12 months

From 3 months the baby develops even more and can:
??? Kick their legs and move their arms.
??? Smile and make coo noises
??? Find hands and bring them to their mouth
??? Looks and plays with fingers
??? Looks around and is alert
??? When lying on front can lift head and turn head
??? Can briefly hold a rattle

From 6 months :
??? Smiling and laughing
??? Grasps objects
??? Beginning to roll over
??? Pull up legs with hands when lying on back ??“ may suck toes
??? Sit up with support and maybe for some babies sit up without support for short periods
??? Follow adult movements
??? When lying on their front push up head, neck and chest of floor

From 9 months :
??? Sit up without support
??? Maybe crawling or shuffling on bottom
??? Reaching for toys when sitting
??? Bang objects together
??? Pick up objects using fingers and thumb
??? Babbles and may understand bye-bye , no and yes

From 12 months :
??? Most babies are mobile ??“ crawling, rolling or bottom shuffling
??? May stand alone for few seconds
??? Walking by holding onto furniture
??? Understands name and simple instructions
??? Points to objects using index finger
??? Drinks from cup, eats using fingers and maybe spoon

1.1.3 From 1 to 3

From the age of 1 to 3 children??™s physical skills continue to develop. The body has developed further and bones have started to harden and form. The brain is also growing and developing and is co-ordinating messages between different parts of the body. Hand-eye co-ordination improves as does gross and fine motor skills.

|Age |Fine manipulative skills |Gross manipulative skills |
|1 year |Picks up and holds toys |Mobile ??“ walking between 12 and 15 months |
| |Uses thumb and forefinger to pick up objects |Seats self in small chair |
| |Points to objects |Rolls and throws a ball |
| |Holds and drinks from cup with help |Walks down stairs with help |
| |Puts small objects in container |Pushes and pulls toys whilst walking |
| |Builds tower of 2 blocks |Bends down from waist to pick up toys |
| |Tries to turn pages in book | |
| |Turns door knobs and handles | |
| |Pulls off shoes | |
|2 years |Feeds themselves with spoon |Kicks a ball |
| |Puts on shoes |Climbs on furniture |
| |Builds tower of 5/6 blocks |Walks up and down stairs |
| |Puts 5 rings on stick |Puts together and pulls apart snap together toys |
| |Draws circles and dots | |
| |Starts to use preferred hand | |
| |Zips and unzips large zippers | |
|3 years |Puts on and takes off coat |Walks and runs |
| |Washes and dries hands with help |Throws and kicks a ball |
| |Can draw a face with crayon |Pedals and steers a bike |
| |Turns pages in book |Jumps from low step |
| |Uses a spoon well |Walk on tiptoes |

1.2 From 4 to 7
During this period children become more co-ordinated. This is because their brains have developed more and they are able to process information faster. They become quicker at performing everyday tasks eg putting on shoes and coat and are less clumsy and more co-ordinated in their actions.

1. Age 4

From this age children can perform the following gross motor skills
??? Runs and can change direction
??? Hops on one foot
??? Pedal a tricycle and steer it
??? Catch and bounce a ball
??? Aim and throw a ball
??? Walk on a line

And the following fine motor skills:
??? Can button and unbutton own clothing
??? Cut out simple shapes
??? Do a 12 piece jigsaw
??? Draw a person with arms and legs

2. Age 5

From this age children can perform the following gross motor skills
??? Runs quickly avoiding obsticles
??? Can use large play items eg swings, slides, climbing frames
??? Plays throw and catch with another person
??? Hits ball with bat or stick
??? Skips with rope

3. Age 6 – 7

From this age children can perform the following gross motor skills
??? Ride a bike without stabilisers
??? Chasing and dodging others
??? Hop, skip and jump confidently
??? Kick a ball in a certain direction
??? Balance on a beam or wall
From this age children can perform the following fine motor skills
??? Cut out shapes accurately
??? Detailed drawings
??? Legible handwriting, evenly spaced and joined
??? Ties / unties laces
??? Able to sew simple stitches

2. From 8 to 12

During this period children continue to become more physical. Their interests begin to play a big part in their development, so for example someone who enjoys gymnastics will show more skill in that area. As will someone who enjoys football or running.

Children??™s fine motor skills are also becoming well developed. Someone who enjoys drawing or art are able to use precise movements.

From around 10 years of age, girls bodies will start the process of puberty, whereas in boys this starts later at around 13 or 14. Puberty usually begins with a growth spurt with hands and feet growing first to reach adult size followed by arms legs and then trunk. The body also becomes stronger as bones have hardened and there is an increase in muscle strength and hand grip. In girls puberty ends around 15 whereas in boys it is around 16.

3. From 13 to 16

By the age of 14 or 15 most girls have completed the process of puberty and by 16 are having regular periods. Boys will not complete puberty until they are around 16. By the end of puberty most boys will be stronger than girls because of the fat to muscle ratio. This ratio is higher in girls thereby giving boys a higher muscle ratio. Boys are also on average taller than girls too.

The brain also continues to develop during these years and speed, reaction times and co-ordination are a result of brain development. Having a good diet and exercise is very important during these years and boys and girls are physically at their peak during these teenage years.

2. Intellectual Development

The following section details the intellectual or cognitive development of children from 0 -16 years. This is a difficult area to define exactly as children??™s intellectual abilities are strongly shaped by their experiences with the environment. One child can move at a different rate than another. This progression is different and changes over time if the experiences of the child also changes.

Much of modern cognitive developmental theory stems from the work of the Swiss psychologist, Jean Piaget. He observed that children??™s reasoning and understanding capabilities differed depending on their age.

1. From 0 to 3

During Piagets sensorimotor stage (birth to age 2), infants and toddlers learn by doing: looking, hearing, touching, grasping, sucking. The process appears to begin with primitive ???thinking??? that involves coordinating movements of the body with incoming sensory data.

|Age |Months |Probable sequence of tasks |
|0 -1 years | 0 ??“ 2 months |Simple reflexes such as grasping sucking |
| | 2 ??“ 4 months |Opening and closing fingers |
| | 4 ??“ 8 months |Cause and effect eg kicking feet against a mobile in a cot to make it move |
| | 8 ??“ 12 months |Infant reaches behind a screen to obtain a hidden object. |
| | |Look for object that??™s been removed |
| | |Puts an object into a container |

From the age of 1 infants become more

|Age |Probable sequence of tasks |
|1 ??“ 2 years |Remove objects one by one from container |
| |Points to parts of body |
| |Scribbles |
| |Points to named picture eg of mummy/daddy |
|2 ??“ 3 years |Completes a simple 3 piece puzzle |
| |Can point to little and big objects eg which is the big shoe |
| |Copy a circle |
| |Match 3 colours |
| |Stacks beakers in order |
| |Match texture |