Know the main stages of child and young person development
AC 1.1 a) The expected pattern of children and young people’s development from birth to 19 years, on the physical side, will see improvements in
❖ fine motor skills, i.e. writing, threading, drawing and painting. These really begin to show from about 3 years.
❖ gross motor skills, i.e. running jumping, balancing, skipping and hopping. This starts anytime from 9 months when babies begin to crawl. Walking – by 18 months – and running, jumping, balancing, skipping and hopping which improve gradually from 18 months upwards.
❖ hand to eye co-ordination. From watching their own hands to trying to grab their first toy, babies are improving their hand to eye co-ordination from an early age. The ability to use hands and eyes together to perform a task (i.e. pick up a pencil at 12 months) is something everyone uses every day.
❖ general co-ordination. This starts between birth and 1 month when a baby will start to hold its head erect for a few moments. It gradually develops to kicking, crawling, standing and walking, between 3 and 18 months, and as they get older, become more skilled.
b) In the arena of communication and intellectual, you will see them make huge strides in
❖ developing creative and imaginative skills. Here you see evidence of role-playing. From as early as 3 years, children ‘pretend’ to be other characters, be it with others or alone with toys for company. The stories they write – between 5 and 10 years – will become fiction as opposed to something that really happened in their lives and this is only seen developing more as they get older. For example one 5 year old boy told his class about a holiday he’d just been on in the snow and at the end of the day the teacher asked the parent if they had had a good time. It turned out the family hadn’t been away and the story was just that, a story, made up. The child was that convincing in his imagination, it had seemed real to everyone else.
❖ problem solving. This doesn’t really appear until about 3 years when the child is seen to find simple solutions to stumbling blocks. For instance, they wake up and want their Mummy who’s outside feeding the chickens. The child works out that rather than crying, they’d be better off putting on wellingtons and a coat and going outside to find her (still crying). ‘Bargaining’ can be seen whilst the child is between 5 and 10 years old. For instance, they may try the “if I get changed, can I have a piece of chocolate” ploy when asked to go upstairs and get ready.
A bit like ‘bargaining’, working out compromises comes whilst the child is between 11 and 19 years old. They are getting more sensible and are beginning to appreciate the point of view of others more.
❖ decision making. Giving the child simple decisions to make from an early age helps them to develop this skill. For instance, “which cereal would you like this morning?”, “which hair band do you want to wear today?” As they get older, their ability to decide things of greater importance gets better.
❖ using language. Babbling from about 9 months gradually develops into speaking. Their vocabulary increases and by the age of 5 they can use grammar correctly. The ability to concentrate (between 5 and 10 years) and the way they see and appreciate others (between 11 and 19 years) becomes apparent. It is in these years that they begin to reason things out.
c) Whereas with their social, emotional and behavioural development, they
❖ take turns better. Before about the age of 3, children do not understand the concept of letting another child ‘have a go’. Even then, they may have a tantrum if a toy they want is taken by someone else. As they get older the tantrums stop and the young person is more willing to share, bordering on the point of maybe missing a go rather than let someone think they were being unfair.