Which development goals should my child achieve at his/her age?
From 0-6 months, babies will start showing early signs of communication (through gaze, smiles, and noises) and their muscles will develop (supporting their own head is often the first sign of muscle control).
At 6 months the interaction with their environment increases dramatically. Experimenting with noises and actions is highly entertaining, especially when mimicking others. As their muscles strengthens babies will start to sit, crawl, stand and may even take their first steps. Hand-eye coordination is developing; finding their hands and feet is always a highlight. Most of the communication at this age is non-verbal, but the beginning of babbling is the start of meaningful verbal communication. Manipulating materials will help babies begin to understand that they can create things themselves and change the appearance of something by pulling or squeezing it.
Playing games involving hiding and finding objects can be fun and a great way to develop their memory & concentration. Independent play is starting to feature more as they grow in confidence and ability. Any activitiesb that use their arms and legs are ideal to keep strengthening muscles. Songs, books and visuals are all great to stimulate language and creativity at this age. Although most young ones will still prefer to hold things with their entire hand, as baby’s grip develops they will start to pick up small objects with their thumb and forefinger. They will also start to understand the meaning of some words and simple instructions.
From 18 months onward children grow physically stronger and so does their sense of adventure and desire to explore. They are slowly learn about cause-and-effect and will be ready to explore this at every opportunity. First words will become clearer, and their language will start to take shape, which is such an exciting time for all. Imagination is evolving and will be evident as they play. Active play will help their muscles develop further and keep their rapidly growing bodies healthy. At the age of two, your child’s attention span is still very short and they may get bored and distracted easily. As a result of this they require a variety of activities and challenges to keep them stimulated. As their balance increases, you will find that they can even jump with two feet.
At this ages kids are keen to learn and explore the world around them. “Why” questions become frequent and although this might be frustrating for the adults it is a vital part in their learning and understanding the world around them.
Kids’ concentration and focus will now stretch and their fine motor skills become stronger. Arts and crafts are also starting to get more advanced. Dancing, role play and singing are popular with this age group. Children have more control over their body’s movements, running and playing is a huge part of their entertainment. The attention span and problem solving of this age group will also increase dramatically. This means that they engage in short memory games and become proficient in it. They will also become more confident in their own abilities and try to solve problems first before asking for help.
At this age investigative learning builds on trial & error and enhances natural curiosity if encouraged through play. Interacting with others will introduce them to the different opinions, rules and methods of play. They may however struggle with understanding the different rules and opinions and not be overly willing to adapt or adjust their ways just yet. Don’t let this discorage them. Fine motor skills will continue to develop and continuous encouragement to strengthen these is still very beneficial.
Kids will become more familiar with rules of society and learn when rules apply and when they don’t. Drawings will become more detailed and you can easier identify what they are crafting. In sketches people for example are more likely to have hair and facial features will be apparent, arms will have hands or fingers on them. In effect details willbecome a more prominent part of their creative interpretations. Fine motor control will develop rapidly and children will be primed for more formal styles of learning.
At this age group play activities can now extent over days and weeks with a theme being sustained and expanded upon. This is laying down the foundations for more complex thought patterns such as sophisticated reasoning, logic and abstract thought. Imagination and decision making will play a large part in the creations and the narrative that their fun follows.
9 Years and Older
As kids move beyond the age of eight their learning will start to develop and expand in a more exploratory nature. While there will still be reliance on trial & error it will also be complimented with predictions, expectations and experimenting to find out new answers. At this stage the world is full of potential and possibilities and this is the perfect time to expose them to as much as possible.