Key Child Development Stages

child development stages

Child development stages are essentially the theoretical milestones of child development. These stages are divided into various stages, and each stage is supposed to represent a major milestone on a developmental course of development that the child has undergone. The first two stages of development, the infancy stage and the toddler stage, encompass a very brief period before a child moves on to the next stage. Each stage is made up of smaller milestones, and they form the basis of further development towards the next milestone. Each stage is also associated with a developmental milestone: the first two represent the beginnings of child development while the last two represent the completion of development in this phase.

Five Groups

A woman sitting at a table with a cup of coffee

Child development stages can be broadly classified into five groups: cognitive, visual/spatial, interpersonal, motor and verbal skills. Cognitive development stages, which include such things as alphabet and number learning, basic reading, writing, coordinate systems, and simple coordination, can be completed before the toddler stage. These include such “innate” intellectual capabilities as the ability to understand the world around them, to learn their language, and to execute instructions. Visual/Spatial development encompasses such things as recognizing color, shape, and perspective and being able to distinguish one object from another. Perceptual skills include such things as color perception, hand-eye coordination, and being able to recognize an object by its shape.

The Toddler Stage

A person sitting on a bed

The toddler stage is considered the beginning of child development stages, and it typically involves the development of the typical child care and sleep habits. The toddler will be capable of falling asleep, but he or she will not yet have the cognitive abilities to fall asleep with a sufficient amount of time to spare. On the other hand, the child care and sleep habits that a toddler acquires in this phase of child development are likely to be the same as those he or she will retain throughout his or her life. Toddlers can begin to acquire language skills through a process of phylogenesis, a process that results in the first sounds of speech.

Verbal Skills

Children experience three additional child development stages that are not included here. First, children begin to acquire motor skill development. This involves, among other things, the ability to stand, sit, walk, and use one’s hands after a certain point in development.

Second, children begin to acquire verbal skills, which are necessary for communication. Children also begin to acquire a sense of self-awareness and responsibility for their actions at this point in child development. Finally, they begin to develop social skills, such as following directions and communicating with others.

Bottom Line

By the time your child reaches the age of four, he/she will be able to recognize, name, and describe all the basic objects in his/her surroundings. At this point, your child should be able to describe the shape, size, color, and location of all objects he/she has come in contact with. By six months of age, your child will be able to match colors, numbers, and the alphabet to the objects.

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