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Developmental Summary Assignment

Kayte Canning
December 4, 2015

(Personal photograph)

Birth to Six Months

Opening Statement
The first age group to examine begins at birth and finishes are the age
of six months. The categories I am going to go through are the five domains
of development: social, emotional, communication, cognitive, and physical.
For each domain I will examine the milestones and skills that should be
developing during the birth to six months stage. One specific example of
development at this age is that their physical growth is rapid both inside and
outside the body. Infants build up a lot of fat, which we refer to as baby fat
(Kail & Zolner, 2012, p. 111).
Cognitive Development
At this stage in life, infants are in the sensorimotor stage of Piagets four
stages of cognitive development. This means that their knowledge of the
world is based on senses and motor skills (Kail & Zolner, 2012, p. 152). A
specific example of a skill that infants develop from birth to six months is
Problem Solving: engaging others as agents in solving problems (Excerpts;
p. 22. Cognitive 4.2 Problem Solving). As infants learn that they can depend
on their caregivers, they often look to them when they have a problem or
they need help with something. For example, if they are hungry, they cry to
their caregiver so that they know to help them solve this problem. Infants
know to do this because in the past when they were hungry and cried about
it, they were likely fed. Another skill that is present at this age is the ability of
memory: recognizing previously seen faces (Excerpts: p. 23. Cognitive 4.8
Memory). Although the infants memory only lasts a few weeks, they know
their caregivers from strangers and will often behave different when being
held by a stranger as opposed to their caregiver. In addition, infants from
birth to six months develop Primary circular motion. This is the act of
recreating a pleasing event with the body (Kail & Zolner, 2012, p. 153). The
text gives the example of a baby girl who sucks on her finger to recreate the
pleasing feeling of sucking on her mothers nipple. There are many cognitive
skills developed from birth to six months, these being some key skills.
Emotional Development
Emotions are a significant part of a childs life at this stage. Since they
cannot yet speak, they must express their emotions visibly so that their
caregiver can attend to them accordingly. One example of emotional
development is happiness. At two months infants tend to coo and smile when
they wish to express their pleasure of seeing another human face. Then, at
four months, they smile and laugh when receiving physical attention, like
tickling. At this age, displaying happiness is related to physical feelings
rather than psychological feelings. They are normally happy because they
are full, comfortable, and well rested (Kail & Zolner, 2012, p.181). Another
emotion developed at this time is Self-Regulation: becoming calm when
comforted by familiar adults (Excerpts; p. 19. Emotional 2.2 Self-
Regulation). Caregivers can often get an infant to calm by comforting them
and making attempts to sooth them.
Physical Development
Physical Development is also important at this age, and at every age. One of
the first aspects of development is reflexes. A specific example of a reflex is
sucking. When something is placed near an infants mouth, it sucks on it.
This allows for feeding because whether the infant is bottle fed or breast fed,
they must know how to suck to get the nutrients they need. Another aspect
of physical development is that around five months, an infant should be able
to sit on someones lap and hold something. This is a development of their
fine motor skills. (Kail & Zolner, 2012, p. 127). Around six or seven months of
age, the infant can likely sit up on their own. This can be assisted by while
the infant is straddling your extended leg, hold her arms and bounce her
gently. This rhythmic movement strengthens the muscles and balance
involved in sitting, (Excerpts; p. 24. Physical 5.1 Gross Motor: Sitting).
Communication (language and literacy) Development
Infants at this age do not have the ability to use words to communicate, so
they must use other methods. They do use Non-verbal Communication
Skills: Referencing: checking in with caregiver using eye contact (Excerpts;
p. 20. Communication 3.1 Non-verbal Communication Skills). The infant will
often look to their caregiver before trying something new or to make sure
that they are still there. Newborns cry to communicate. At two months, they
usually make vowel sounds to communicate, referred to as cooing. At 5-6
months infants move onto babbling. Babbling is the use of single syllables
containing a consonant and a vowel (not real words) to communicate. (Kail &
Zolner, 2012, p. 169) Communication can be tricky for infants but once they
and their caregiver get comfortable with one another, they understand each
other easier.
Social Development
During this time, children develop Social Interest: preferring human faces to
inanimate objects or animals (Excerpts; p. 18. Social 1.1 Social Interest). As
mentioned earlier, in the emotional development section, infants tend to
smile and coo when they see human faces. Also, infants develop the skill of
maintaining connection across space (Excerpts; p. 18. Social 1.4
Maintaining Connection across Space). They will cry if they want their
caregiver to come to them or make sounds to get their attention.
Closing Statement
All of these developmental domains are important for development and are
all interconnected. As an education professional, I would support an infant
between birth and six months development by always responding to an
infants distress. This would support the emotional domain: Self-Regulation
(Excerpts; p. 19. Emotional 2.2 Self-Regulation), the communication domain:
Signalling (Excerpts; p. 21, Communication 3.3 Expressive language skills),
as well as the social domain: maintaining connections across space
(Excerpts; p. 18. Social 1.4 Maintaining Connections across Space).
Six to Eighteen Months
Opening Statement
Six to eighteen months is the second of the five age groups that will be
explained in this document. This is another important period of a persons
life as it is the time when they usually learn how to walk and talk- two very
important and significant milestones.
Cognitive Development
At this point, children are still in the sensorimotor stage of Piagets stages of
cognitive development. This means that they still rely greatly on their senses
and motor skills to explore their environment. At this point they have what
Piaget referred to as an egocentric frame of reference. This means that they
only see things in relation to themselves and their own body position (Kail &
Zolner, 2012, p. 165). An example of this is that if a childs toy is under a
blanket, at this age they may still get upset because they believe that if they
cant see the toy, it is gone. Another important aspect of their cognitive
development is that they learn to understand quantities. They usually do not
yet know the names of numbers but, according to the text book, they
understand to a certain extent that quantity is a quality that makes things
different. The text gives examples, saying: [infants] play with two blocks
and see that another baby has three; they watch as a father sorts laundry
and finds two black socks but only one blue sock; and they eat one half of a
sandwich for lunch while an older brother eats two (Kail & Zolner, 2012, p.
Emotional Development
Emotional Development can often vary in children but according to My
Virtual Child, typical emotional reactions for children at this age are anxiety
towards strangers, separation anxiety, and quick, loud cries when
experiencing pain or distress (My Virtual Child, My Development Lab, (2012)
(2014), Pearson). An example of this occurrence in My Virtual Child is when
my baby would cling to me and get fussy around people he didnt know.
Another emotional development milestone at this age is that they begin to
develop empathy. A specific example listed in the ELECT document, is that
infants start noticing and responding to distress of others (Excerpts; p. 19,
Emotional 2.4 Empathy).
Physical Development
Physical development continues to occur rapidly at this age. One skill
developed at this age is visual discrimination. This is scanning objects and
identifying them by sight (Excerpts; p. 27, Physical 5.3 The Senses: Visual
Discrimination). An example of when this is put to use is when they can pick
out their favourite stuffed animal or toy over other toys. Also, a lot happens
in this age group in the development of locomotion. At seven months, the
child develops the ability to sit up on their own, at ten months they can
creep, at eleven months they can usually walk when held and by about
fifteen months they can usually walk on their own (Kail & Zolner, 2012, p.
127). Furthermore, a skill that is developed at this stage is the infants fine
motor skills. For example, around the age of one, the child begins to feed
themselves with a spoon (Kail & Zolner, 2012, p. 130).
Communication (Language and Literacy) Development
Communication becomes more interesting and easier to understand as the
child begins to use words to communicate. A milestone at this age is the
childs vocabulary. They begin to repeat overheard words (Excerpts; p. 21,
Communication 3.3 Expressive language skills: Vocabulary). This is when
caregivers have to particularly watch what they say in front of their children
because they will likely repeat it. Another example of a skill developed
between six and eighteen months is simple turn taking. The ELECT document
gives the example of simple games like peek-a-boo (Excerpts; p. 20,
Communication 3.1 Non-verbal Communication Skills).
Social Development
Social skills that develop at this time are the childs play habits. Soon after
the child turns one year of age, they engage in parallel play. This means that
they play on their own but they play near other children and are interested in
what they are doing (Kail & Zolner, 2012, p. 197). Then, at about fifteen
months, they practice simple social play. This is when they interact with one
another while they are playing (Kail & Zolner, 2012). Secure attachment is
another important part of a childs social development. Children secure
attachment is fostered by good parenting skills. One benefit of having secure
attachment is that the child will have better outcomes later in life, such as
higher quality friendships (Kail & Zolner, 2012, p. 190). A third milestone of
social development is imitation. They take part in pretend play with simple
scenarios like caring for dolls (Excerpts; p. 18, Social 1.2 Imitation).
Closing Statement
As an early childhood professional, I would support a six to eighteen month
olds development by playing games that involve turn taking. This could be a
game like peek-a-boo or catch. This will help foster social development
(Excerpts; p. 18, Social 1.3 simple turn taking). It would also help with the
communication domain (Excerpts; p. 20 Communication 3.1 Non-verbal
Communication Skills: Simple Turn taking). It could also be related to
cognitive development if the child is responding to my action by doing the
same (Excerpts; p. 23, Cognitive 4.7 Symbolic Thought, Representation, and
Root Skills of Literacy: Imitation). This is just one example of how the six to
eighteen months development can be supported.

Eighteen Months to Two Years and Six Months

Opening Statement
The next stage in development to be examined is the time period between
eighteen months and two and a half years of age. This is primarily the
toddler age group. One practical example of development during this time is
that the child becomes potty trained. This is an important milestone because
it makes things easier on their caregivers both financially and practically,
and it is also a requirement to attend most preschools.
Cognitive Development
My Virtual Child has developmental testing at the age of two and a half
and has a focus on tasks that analyze cognitive ability. It specifically
mentions that they should be able to solve problems with multiple steps as
well as group things together (My Virtual Child, My Development Lab, (2012)
(2014), Pearson). Another skill developed during this time is spatial problem
solving. Toddlers will use tools to overcome obstacles and move obstacles
out of their way (Excerpts; p. 33, Cognition 4.5 Spatial Problem Solving). An
example of this is that they will push another person or a pet out of the way
if they are in the way. Another milestone is their temporal development.
Toddlers start using terms related to time: tomorrow and yesterday
(Excerpts; p. 34, Cognition 4.6 Temporal). An example of this is that they can
understand when their parent says that they will be home tomorrow or later
Emotional Development
At this stage in life, the ability to experience complex emotions develops. For
example, toddlers can feel pride in doing well at something, such as building
the tallest tower or completing a task successfully (Kail & Zolner, 2012, p.
183). Another milestone of emotional development for toddlers at this age is
the development of self-regulation. They begin to refer to themselves as
me and can recognize themselves in mirrors as well as photographs (Kail &
Zolner, 2012, p. 199). Autonomy is another skill developed at this time.
Toddlers at this age are often setting goals and persisting in achieving
them (Excerpts; p. 31 Emotional 2.5 Autonomy).
Physical Development
Locomotion continues to become stronger and more advanced as the child
develops. Around the age of two, most children can walk backwards, kick a
ball, and climb steps (Kail & Zolner, 2012, p. 126). Fine motor skills also
evolve during this time. Specifically, dressing. At this age they start doing
up buttons [and] pulling up zippers (Excerpts; p. 35, Physical 5.2 Fine Motor:
Dressing). My Virtual Child mentions that children at two and a half years
should be able to hold things using the pincer grasp and put puzzle pieces in
place, as recognition of their fine motor skills (My Virtual Child, My
Development Lab, (2012) (2014), Pearson).

Communication (language and literacy) Development

Toddlers expressive language skills advance. They start to observe and join
in on conversations, ask simple questions, and their vocabulary increases
(Excerpts; p. 32, Communication 3.1 Receptive Language). Children can
answer when asked questions and even pose questions themselves. Their
style of language also develops at this time. Children will either have an
expressive or referential style of vocabulary. If they have an expressive style,
they primarily learn social phrases. If they have a referential style they
mostly know nouns.
Social Development
Style of play continues to advance through this age group. Around the childs
second birthday, they participate in co-operative play. This means play that
is organized around a distinct theme and involves children taking on special
roles based on that theme (Kail & Zolner, 2012, p. 197). Another social skill
developed is perspective taking. The ELECT document states that in toddler
years the child is in simple situations beginning to take the point of view of
others (Excerpts; p. 29 Social 1.2 Perspective Taking).
Closing Statement
As an early learning professional working with children between the age of
eighteen months and two and a half years, I would support development by
encouraging them when they perform a physical task properly, or attempt to.
This will support their physical development (Excerpts; p. 35, Physical 5.1
Gross Motor). It will also support their emotional development as they begin
to experience the complex emotion of pride (Excerpts; p. 30, Emotional 2.1
Expression of Feelings). This could also help with their social skills because a
lot of group or team activities require physical skills (Excerpts; p. 29, social
1.1 social interest).

Two Years and Six Months to Three Years and Six Months
Opening Statement
When a child is between the ages of two and a half to three and a half years,
they are at the end of the toddler stage and the beginning of the Preschool
stage. A key milestone at this age is that the children begin to go to
preschool. For some, this is the first time they are away from their parents
and this can be very difficult. Children react to this time in a variety of ways
and it can have an impact on their development in all areas.
Cognitive Development
At this age, children are in the preoperational stage of Piagets stages of
cognitive development (Kail & Zolner, 2012, p. 237). This means that they
use symbols to represent the world around them. An example of this is using
number and word symbols to ask for two cookies. They know how many
the number two represents and they know what the word cookie represents.
Also, at this stage of cognitive development, they live with egocentrism. This
means that they have a hard time seeing things from someone elses
perspective and think that everyone sees things the same way they do. The
text book gives the example that a three year old might nod their head when
on the phone. They do not realise that they have to verbally say yes for the
person on the other end of the line to understand (Kail & Zolner, 2012, p.
Emotional Development
A key milestone in a two and a half to three and a half year old is their
development of self-concept. For example, they start talking about their
personal characteristics (Excerpts; p. 40, Emotional 2.1 Self Concept). They
know things about themselves like their hair colour, their likes and dislikes,
etc. Also, they begin to develop their self-esteem. They judge themselves as
worthy or unworthy (Excerpts; p. 40, Emotional 2.3). Children this age can
often be seen standing up for themselves or explaining that they are good at
something because of their developing (and sometimes inflated) self-esteem.
Physical Development
Childrens gross motor skills continue to develop rapidly. An example of this
is that their coordination, speed and endurance increase (Excerpts; p. 52,
Physical 5.1 Gross Motor Skills). This allows them to play running game such
as tag for longer and with more skill. Another specific milestone in physical
development is the growth of the brain. The brain has achieved 80 percent
of its mature weight by age 3 (Kail & Zolner, 2012, p. 214). A third aspect of
physical development that advances at this age is throwing. They cannot
quite throw like an adult at this age but can likely throw and catch a ball that
is bounced between them and their partner (Kail & Zolner, 2012, p. 219).
Communication (language and literacy) Development
At this age, children tend to have a decent vocabulary and are in the process
of learning how to phrase those words properly to make correct sentences. In
Children: A Chronological Approach, they give the example that a child will
say Doggie go, and the proper way to correct this would be for a parent to
say Yes, the doggie went home. (Kail & Zolner, 2012, p. 258). This will
allow the child to learn how to be grammatically correct, without becoming
discouraged. Childrens ability to engage in conversation also improves at
this time. By 3 years, children are more adapt adept at continuing
conversations by making remarks that relate to the topic being discussed
(Kail & Zolner, 2012, p. 261). Finally, they begin to use gestures to
communicate (Excerpts; p. 42, Communication 3.1 Using Verbal and Non-
Verbal Communication).
Social Development
The way that children address play continues to change during this stage of
development. Play often involves a great deal of conflicts and children at this
age will often try to overcome these conflicts with violence/aggression.
Specific examples of these behaviours would be kicking, hitting, pushing, etc.
(Kail & Zolner, 2012, p. 297). Their play is usually co-operative play and
often involves groups of one gender or the other. (Kail & Zolner, 2012, p.
297). Typically, although not always, girls will play dress up or dolls, etc.
while boys play with cars, and more games that involve violence. Children
respond to social situations differently, but it is common at this age for
children to be hesitant before engaging in new activities, which occurs as a
result of encouragement.
Closing Statement
Something I would do to encourage development as an early childhood
educator working with this age of children would be to introduce team
games. This could be something like monkey in the middle. This type of
game would influence their throwing and catching abilities (Excerpts; p. 53,
Physical 5.2 Gross Motor Skills). It would also help with the skills of
engaging in give and take when interacting with others because this is a
game that encourages conversation (Excerpts; p. 43, Communication 3.6
Listening to Others). It also encourages co-operating because they will have
to follow the rules even when they are not happy with the outcome
(Excerpts; p. 38, Social 1.6 Co-operating).
Three Years Six Months to Five Years
Opening Statement
When a child is between the age of three and a half and five years, they are
in the preschool/kindergarten age. At this stage of development, a specific,
significant event is learning to read. At this age children often read their first
book and learn how to sound out words and make sense of them when
reading. They do this by learning the sounds of the alphabet and putting
them together slowly to sound out words. It also makes it easier if they have
pictures to refer to.
Cognitive Development
One skill developed in the kindergarten years is the ability to classify. The
children become better at comparing, matching and sorting according to
common properties (Excerpts; p. 48, Cognition 4.10 Classifying). An
example of when children put this ability to use is when they put things away
in the right place, such as pencils, crayons, markers, and glue. Another
cognitive skill that is significant to this age range is reasoning logically.
Identifying actions and outcomes (Excerpts; p. 48, Cognition 4.9 Reasoning
Logically). An example of this is when children acknowledge that their
behaviour affects the outcome; if they are well behaved, their parents will be
more pleased with them. In addition, the childs math skills improve. By
kindergarten, children have mastered counting, and they use this skill as the
starting point for learning how to add (Kail & Zolner, 2012, p. 362). The text
proceeds to give the example of if a teacher gives them a question of how
many oranges John has if he originally has four and is given two more. They
will typically solve this problem by counting.
Emotional Development
A childs self-control continues to advance during this age. Some
preschoolers are better than others at self-control, but in general it continues
to improve as they get older (Kail & Zolner, 2012, p. 302). An example of this
is that most of the time parents would have to put cookies out of reach so
their toddler doesnt eat them, but once a child is this age, they can often
exercise self-control and not eat the cookies just because they know they are
not supposed to. Positive attitudes towards learning are another aspect of
development that shines through at this age. The ELECT document explains
that they persevere when challenged, they cope with failure, and they ask
for help when needed (Excerpts; p. 41, Emotional 2.6 Positive Attitudes
towards Learning). An example of this is that they will keep trying if they
cant figure out a puzzle, but will recognize and accept help when they need
Physical Development
The brain continues to grow during this period. As mentioned above, by age
three children have developed eighty percent of the brains mature weight.
However, by age five ninety percent of the brains mature weight has been
achieved (Kail & Zolner, 2012, p. 214). Also, synaptic pruning occurs during
the preschool years. This means that unnecessary synapses are eliminated
to allow for the brain to function more efficiently (Kail & Zolner, 2012, p.
215). To continue in the physical domain, sleep is evolved in these years.
Many preschool children have nightmares and some even have night terrors.
This means that they wake up in a panic and experience heavy breathing
and sweating (Kail & Zolner, 2012). Another skill that is expanded is riding
toys, which falls under gross motor development. A lot of preschool children
can ride tricycles (Excerpts; p. 53, Physical 5.2 Gross Motor Skills) but by the
end of this age group, most can ride a two-wheeled bicycle.
Communication (language and literacy) Development
At this age a new form of communication is introduced: writing. This skill is
developed by gradually moving from scribbling to drawing to writing
(Excerpts; p. 45, Communication 3.12 Understanding of Orientation and
Familiar Conventions of Print). An example of when this is often used is
captioning pictures they have drawn. They can draw a picture of their family
and caption it This is my mom and Dad and Me walking, for example. This
helps them to communicate because people will actually know what their
picture is supposed to be. Another communication skill developed at this
time is retelling stories. They are developing the ability to make connections
to, create, and retell stories (Excerpts; p. 44 Communication 3.9). This
enables them to explain something that they did or that they are going to do
in the form of a story. Another example of language development is that
children become able to talk differently when directing their speech towards
different audiences. The text gives the example of how a four year old
explains a toy to an adult differs from the way she explains it to a two year
old. She knows she has to speak much more simply and use the toddlers
name frequently to keep her attention (Kail & Zolner, 2012, p. 260).
Social Development
At this age, development of the signs of social anxiety can occur. Most
children do engage in a mixture of co-operative and solitary play. Sometimes
the environment encourages solitary play. In moderation, solitary play is
nothing to worry about. However, if a child spends their time aimlessly
wandering, watching instead of engaging in play, this can be a sign of social
anxiety (Kail & Zolner, 2012, p. 299). The preschooler develops skills to
engage in group play. They start by observing the play. They ask if they can
play or offer ideas to help improve play. Then finally, they join in and engage
in the play (Excerpts; p. 37, Social 1.3 Peer Group Entry Skills). Another
aspect of social development that is significant at this time is their helping
skills. Children often become very interested in helping others at this age.
They have the ability to recognize how other people are feeling and offer
comfort. They also can see when someone needs help and take advantage of
the opportunity to offer assistance (Excerpts; p. 37 Social 1.4 Helping Skills).
Closing Statement
As an early childhood educator in a preschool or kindergarten environment, I
would support childrens learning by encouraging children to play together
and supporting them so that they are more comfortable meeting new
friends. This would help their social skills (Excerpts; p. 38, Social 1.6 Co-
operating). It will also foster cognitive skills if they ask for clarification on
why someone else is behaving the way that they are (Excerpts; p. 47,
Cognition 4.4 Questioning). In addition, it would support their communication
skills (Excerpts; p. 43, Communication 3.6 Listening to Others).
Best Start Expert Panel on Early Learning (2014) Excerpts from ELECT.

Queens Printer for Ontario

Kail, R & Zolner, T. (2012) Children: a chronological approach (3rd

edition.)Toronto, ON: Pearson.

My Virtual Child, My Development Lab (2012) (2014) Pearson