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Essential areas of childhood development

Through the stages of development, your child will grow in five significant areas. We explore them here.

Your child is continuously learning and growing, no matter their age. They may reach different levels of development at different times. Growth rate differs for every child. Through the stages of development, your child will grow in five significant areas:

Cognitive Development

From the time your child is born, they are taking in information and acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience and senses. This process is known as cognition. Cognitive development involves the processes of learning, problem-solving, communication, comprehension and critical thinking.

Social and Emotional Development

This stage is where your child learns how to interact with those around them. It’s also part of how they experience, process, express and manage both their own emotions and the emotions of others. This is sometimes tied in with spiritual development and your child’s understanding of social values and practices.

Speech and Language Development

Speech and language development are rooted in your little one’s ability to use and understand language. This paves the way for them to communicate, understand and express the other areas of development.

Fine Motor Skill Development

These are small muscles that are used for dexterity and tasks that require smaller movements of the wrists, hands, fingers, feet and toes. Activities associated with these skills include holding a crayon, writing and threading beads as examples. These actions work together to build coordination.

Gross Motor Skill Development

These are the larger muscles in the body, such as in the arms, legs and torso. Gross motor activities include crawling, walking, running, climbing, throwing and catching. These actions are tied in with body awareness, reaction speed, balance and strength.

All kids grow and learn differently. Have fun with them and try to let them develop at their own pace. There are loads of activities that you can do that can help to stimulate various stages of these areas of development, some of which may get messy. Encourage your kids to get messy with fun activities. After all, every stain represents an important experience. Mud stains are the stamp of adventure, grass stains are the sign of exploration and fruit stains are the aftermath of discovery.

Don’t stress about stains; after all, dirt is good. Simply check the laundry symbols on the label, get a good laundry detergent and follow these washing tips and your clothes will be just fine.

Every moment in the world for a child is an opportunity to learn – what better way to learn about the world than to experience it first-hand. Everything from their first encounter with an animal or insect to their first taste of solid food, are opportunities to develop these skills and fine-tune the people they will become.