There are five stages of development that a child experiences.
These are ; Physical Development Intellectual Development Language Development Emotional Development Social Development
Development refers to the process of learning new skills and abilities, and acquiring emotional maturity *.
All children grow and develop at different rates, but there are certain stages of development that they should reach at a particular age (give or take a few months or so). This is to ensure that they are growing and maturing in the right direction, so as to progress with their skills and abilities.
When we talk about the development of children they are often referred to the ‘average’ child. There is no such thing as the ‘average’ child, each child will grow and develop at their own pace, and therefore may be a little bit quicker/slower at reaching certain stages in their development.
0-2 years - For the first 3 months of a baby’s life they will lie on their back and be able to kick their legs, towards the end of 3 months they will be able to watch their own hands and play with their finger, often with the fingers ending up in their mouths. They will also turn their heads towards the breast for feeding. As time progresses they will be able to control their head movements more, grasp objects and move the object from one hand to the other.
*Berk L (2005). Infant, Children, and Adolescents. Boston: Allyn & Bacons
Usually at around 9-12 months they will become mobile, either by shuffling, crawling or rolling, and be able to sit up unaided. By the age of one most babies will be able to climb stairs (supervised). By the age of two they should be very mobile, walking, running, and will be able to throw and kick a ball.
3-5 years - By the age of three they will have mastered most methods of movement, running, walking backwards and forwards as