Children develop skills in five main areas of development:
1. Cognitive Development
Cognitive development is characterized by the way a child learns, acquires knowledge and interacts with his surrounding environment. Different cognitive skills are acquired as a child meets certain developmental milestones, but a child of any ability will benefit from activities that promote active learning. As an educator and a parent, I encourage children’s cognitive development in the areas of memory, concentration, attention and perception by incorporating simple activities into our everyday routine.
2. Social and Emotional Development
This is the child’s ability to interact with others, including helping themselves and self-control. Examples of this type of development would include: a six-week-old baby smiling, a ten-month-old baby waving bye-bye, or a five-year-old boy knowing how to take turns in games at school.
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3. Speech and Language Development
This is the child’s ability to both understand and use language. For example, this includes a 12-month-old baby saying his first words, a two-year-old naming parts of her body, or a five-year-old learning to say “feet” instead of “foots”.
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4. Fine Motor Skill Development
This is the child’s ability to use small muscles, specifically their hands and fingers, to pick up small objects, hold a spoon, turn pages in a book, or use a crayon to draw.
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5. Gross Motor Skill Development
This is the child’s ability to use large muscles. For example, a six-month-old baby learns how to sit up with some support, a 12-month-old baby learns to pull up to a stand holding onto furniture, and a five-year-old learns to skip.