Early Childhood

Physical Development
In children ages 3 to 5, they are learning to run, jump, climb, ride tricycles, dress themselves, and
draw circles (Cherry, 2013).They feel like they are capable of doing everything that they see
someone else doing. In this stage, children are learning to play with other children, and they can
learn to hop like a rabbit, waddle like a duck, and tiptoe like a bird (Ohio State, n.d.). They are
learning better hand-eye coordination.
A sign of atypical development may include a child not being able to run forward, kick a ball
forward, or scribbles. I would encourage the family to allow the child more time to play outside
or possibly take them to the park more, and I would encourage them to play more with the child
and model the skills that they child is not able to complete. Furthermore, I would encourage the
family to provide the child with art supplies and allow the child to write, draw, color, and simply
be creative.
Language Development
In this stage of development, children begin using syntax, which means that they begin speaking
in sentences. As their language acquisition improves, their syntax will also improve. Children
need the social environment to enhance their grammatical and communicative skills (Piper,
2012). Children take words that they hear, and they use them to fit their own situation, and they
use them in an appropriate manner. In this stage of development, children use semanticity, which
is when a child expresses meaning with complete phrases, words, and symbols (Piper, 2012).
They then move on to productivity, which refers to the capacity of speakers to produce an
infinite number of distinct utterances. Another aspect of productivity is the capacity of the
language to add words and to change or add meanings to existing words (Piper, 2012). Next,
they move on to displacement, which is used on a daily basis. Displacement is the fact that lan-
guage is capable of generating meaningful utterances not tied to the immediate environment
(Piper, 2012).
A sign that there might be some atypical development would include not being able to make
short sentences, narrate past experiences, and repeat at least one nursery rhyme. I would
encourage the family to talk to the child about whatever activities the child is engaged in, and ask
lots of questions while allowing the child time to talk. I would encourage the family to read to
the child, and I would encourage the family to recite a nursery rhyme to their child daily until the
child is able to recite the words on their own.
Cognitive Development
Cognitive development is associated with memory, reasoning, problem-solving and
thinking (Cherry, 2013). Children become increasingly capable of analyzing the world around
them in more complex ways. As they observe things, they begin to sort and categorize them into
different categories. Children in this age group demonstrate awareness of the past and present,
actively seek answers to questions, learn by observing and listening to instructions, organize
objects by size and shape, understand how to group and match object according to color, develop
a longer attention span of around 5 to 15 minutes, and asks “why” questions to gain information
(Cherry, 2013). One way to help a child better develop their cognitive abilities is to scaffold. Ask
a lot of questions to get the child to thinking about different things critically. Ask them about
what they are doing, what they see, and anything else that is happening within their environment.
Do not stop and “yes” and “no” answers. Continue to stimulate their thinking so that they can use
their imagination and produce more detailed answers.
A child may display signs of atypical development if they are not able to organize materials on
their own or stack blocks or rings in order of size. They may also display signs of atypical
development if they do not ask “how” and “why” questions. I would encourage the family to
work with their child in this area by presenting them with different manipulatives and work with
them on sorting them into different groups. I would also encourage the family to scaffold the
child and ask lots of questions about any and everything going on in the child’s environment in
order to strike up an ongoing conversation and stimulate their thinking.
Social/Emotional Development
During the early childhood period in a child’s life, they are developing social and emotional
skills through a wide network of social relationships, which includes, family, other adults, and
other children. They are learning to wait for things they want, negotiate solutions to everyday
problems, and make decisions for themselves and with others (PBS, n.d). They are learning to
share, and they are learning to be considerate of other people’s feelings and wants as well as their
A sign that a child may be showing signs of atypical development may include a child not
helping to dress or undress themselves or indicate toileting needs. I would encourage the family
to encourage the child to assert more independence and allow the child to dress themselves, and
assist the child with whatever they are not yet able to complete alone. I would also encourage the
family to allow the child to play dress up and encourage the child to engage in make-believe
play. I would also encourage the family to continue working with the child on toileting issues,
and do not become frustrated when the child has an accident. I would encourage the parents to
put the child on a schedule and stick to the schedule until the child begins to understand toileting
and can complete the task independently without having an accident.
Self Regulation
In this period of a child’s life, they are learning to better self-regulate their emotions and
behaviors. They are learning to stand up for themselves by using their words rather than reacting
and using their hands. They are learning to share and take turns. They are learning to control
their impulses for instant gratification. They are learning to control their temper tantrums and
they are learning to think about other people’s feelings rather than always thinking of their own.
They are moving away from an egocentrical way of thinking, which means they are taking other
people’s feelings thoughts and feelings into consideration. They are learning right from wrong,
and sometimes they will choose right over wrong, but many times they will make poor choices to
see what they can and cannot get away with.
Factors That Influence
A social factor that may influence a child during this stage of development might be a language
barrier between the child and their peers or care givers which would cause the child to not be
able to communicate effectively within their environment. A cultural factor that may influence a
child’s development is a culture not wanting their child to speak in a language other than their
home language, but the most dominant language in the child’s environment is another language
other than their own. This would cause the child to not be able to effectively communicate in
their environment due to a language barrier.
Cherry, Kendra. (2013). “Developmental Milestones.” Retrieved from:
The Ohio State University Extension. (n.d.). Ages and stages for caregivers fact sheet
index. Retrieved From: http://ohioline.osu.edu/asc-fact/.
Piper, T. (2012). Making meaning, making sense: Children’s early language learning. San
Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education. Retrieved from: http://content.ashford.edu.