Child development is how children are able to do more complex things as they get older. As a child develops, she will learn skills like talking, skipping, and tying shoes. She will also learn to manage her emotions and build relationships with others.
Children develop skills in 5 main areas:
1. Cognitive (Learning and Thinking)
A child’s ability to learn, solve problems, reason and remember
- A baby will explore the environment with his hands or eyes
- A young child does simple math problems
2. Social and Emotional
A child’s ability to form relationships
- A baby smiles and waves bye-bye
- A young child knows how to take turns in a game
3. Speech and Language
A child’s ability to communicate using both gestures and verbal cues
- A baby will say first words
- A young child will say “feet” instead of “foots”
A child’s ability to understand words and follow directions
- A baby will look at family members when named
- A young child will follow multi-step instruction or direction
4. Physical and Movement
Fine Motor Skills
A child’s ability to use small muscles, specifically their hands and fingers
- A baby will use a pincer grasp to pick up a Cheerio
- A young child will use scissors to cut a piece of paper
Gross Motor Skills
A child’s ability to use large muscles to sit, stand, walk or run. It includes keeping balance and changing positions
- A baby will sit up with some support
- A young child will skip
A child’s ability to learn and use self-care tasks
- A baby will feed themselves
- A young child will dress himself
There are a lot of things families can do to help their child learn new skills.
What can families do?
- Support your child’s development by reading, playing and talking to your child! For more ideas, read Tips for Families
- Learn about Developmental Milestones. Milestones help you understand what to expect for your child and when to be concerned. Click here for Developmental Milestones.
- Join fun activities in the community. Activities such as library story times and playgroups help children practice skills and have fun.