What is child development?

All that makes a child great

Child development is something that a child goes through from the day that they’re born. Put simply, it’s the process of learning and mastering the fundamental skills they need to use their body successfully. It is broken up into five accomplishment categories – developmental milestones – that happen during predictable times throughout a child’s early life.

Those five main areas are:

1. Cognitive Development
As the first skill a child learns, this is a child’s ability to learn from experience and use their mind. Not limited to logic, cognitive skills help children establish right from wrong, as well as solve simple problems. A good example of this is a baby’s instinctive nature to explore with their hands or figure out shape games.

2. Social & Emotional Development
As the next milestone, social and emotional development is a child’s ability to make friends, interact with others, help themselves and utilise self-control. A few good examples of this skill set are: a six-week old baby girl being happy to see her friend, an 18-month old sharing their toys, and a two-year-old boy protecting his little sister.

3. Speech & Language Development
After that is a child’s ability to use and understand language. This is when children start to express how they are feeling freely, and communicate their thoughts with accuracy and composure. Examples of this include: a 12-month old baby boy saying his first words, a two-year old girl naming her body parts, and a five-year old learning to say bubble-gum instead of guggle-bum.

4. Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills include a child’s aptitude for using small muscle groups, specifically in their hands and fingers. Tasks such as picking up a bowl, holding a spoon, turning pages in a book or using a crayon to draw are all part and parcel of this vitally important ability.

5. Gross Motor Skill Development
This is a child’s ability to exercise its large muscle groups (arms, back, legs, neck, abdomen, etc.). It is when a child starts to use its body, move around and explore their environment. A six-month old learning to sit, a 12-month old holding onto furniture and a five-year old skipping are all good examples of this.

1. http://www.childdevelopment.com.au/what-is-child-development
2. http://www.howkidsdevelop.com/developSkills.html

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