Human Growth and Development

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Four phases of development

Early Childhood

Early childhood describes the years from ages two to six. During early childhood, the body no longer grows at the rapid pace that it did during the first two years of life. On average children add two to three inches in height and about 5 pounds in weight each year (Berk, 2006).The weight increase is due mainly to increases in the size of the skeleton and muscular systems as well as some body organs. Consequently, posture and balance changes that support gains in motor coordination. Cognitive development – Children begin to make gains in tasks that depend on the frontal cortex and language skills and motor coordination increase at an astonishing rate. Children begin to gain the ability to control impulses. During the early school –age period, children are constructing a broad overview of how their interpersonal world is structured and where they fit in. They are devising a scheme for self in society. Because children’s life experiences are limited and they are still highly impressionable, the nature of this initial worldview as likely to be very compelling, permeating their outlook in the years ahead.


The period of middle and late childhood involves slow consistent growth. This is a period of calm before rapid growth spurt of adolescence. Among the important aspects of body change in this developmental period are those involving the skeletal system the muscular system and motor skills.

Motor Development
During middle and late childhood, children’s motor development becomes much smoother and more coordinated. Children’s center of gravity begins to shift and they become more steady on their feet making it easier to balance and complete tasks such as throwing, hitting, catching, hopping, and jumping.

Gross Motor
As children move through the elementary school years they gain greater control over their bodies and can sit still and pay attention for longer periods of time. However,...
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