Unit 2 – Development from conception to age 16 years
The age range I have chosen to discuss is birth to three years and the two areas of development are physical development and social and emotional development.
During the first few months of their lives, babies will develop rapidly in all areas. Motor control develops from the head, moves down through the arms and then to the legs and feet. This is (find in book for head to foot and in to out etc)
Initial movements are reflexive in nature, such as turning the head to the side when the cheek is stroked, which aids in feeding. Babies will start to turn their heads from side to side when lying on the back or belly,this will happen around one month. At three months a baby can start lifting up its head and chest up when lying on its belly. Children generally learn to walk anywhere between seven and sixteen months of age. But before a baby will walk they will most likely engage in some pre-walking behaviours such as pushing up from the floor, rocking on their stomach, pulling up into a sitting position or scooting on their bum and crawling on all fours.
Three examples of settings where children play could be a local park, a creche or adventure play area. Although these settings could have a child of many ages playing in them, a typical age for a local park would be 3-5 who are in the co-operative stage of play. A creche would typically take care of children who are 0-2 years old and in the solitary stage of play, and an adventure play area would normally have mostly children aged 2-3 who are playing parallel with eachother.
A park is a fantastic place for children to start to be become involved with fantasty play with their friends. This is where they take on the role of an adult. There are many things in a park which could spark their imagination. In a creche children could begin to use painting equipment. This is creative play where children will create a picture or model from playdough etc. A setting such as an adventure play area would typically have children taking part in physical play where they use the objects and environment around them.
An example of a child taking part in fantasy play is that one child could roleplay that they are a policeman, chasing their friend (the 'bad guy') around the park. They may use the equipment in the park as props, such as a climbing frame may become a prison or the balance beam could become a walk between two high buildings. They also tend to use language to support their roles, for example the child taking the role of a policeman could use phrases such as 'Stop in the name of the law'. In a creche, the children are relatively young and so they might not have fully developed their fine motors skills yet so instead of using paintbrushes their hands and fingers can become a valuable, creative tool. In an adventure play area the children are physically moving around and using the area as their equipment. There are many objects in an adventure play area that children can climb onto, crawl through, swing on etc such as platforms, ball pits, rope swings, slides.
Lev Vygotsky's social development theory says that social play in children supports their learning. He also believed that children benefit from playing with someone who knows more than they do. He calls these the 'more knowledgable other' (MKO). The MKO is someone who has a better understanding than the child. The MKO is normally seen as a teacher or parent but is also sometimes a peer.
When playing children will experience challenges. For example, in a park children aged 3-5 would have to evaluate risks such as if they can safely lift themselves onto a play object or if they need help, if it is safe to slide down something if there is a child at the bottom etc. In this environment you could ask the children to choose whether they would like to go on a young childs swing with the bars around...
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