Child development key areas

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Introduction to Child Development

Brain development video


Developmental Models:

  • Physical development proceeds from the large to the small. This refers to the observation

that infants’ gain control over their large muscles before the smaller muscles.

Large muscles are in the main body and neck area.

Small muscles are in the hands and feet.

  • Development is orderly. Children usually have to learn one skill or develop in one

area before they can learn another skill.

For example, infants crawl before they walk, eat soft foods before solid foods, and coo and babble before they form words.

  • Development occurs in stages.

Children seem to go through stages of development where a lot of changes will occur followed by a period of little noticeable change before the next level of development occurs.

Nature or Nurture?

  • Some theorists believe that children are born knowing nothing.

Children are blank slates and development depended almost totally on their parents and their environment.

Inheritance was not very important in this theory.

  • Other theorists believe that children are born with everything they needed to develop.

Genetics or inheritance plays the largest role in how children develop.

Have we answered this question yet?

What do you think?

Technical terms you need to know:

1. Gross motor control - controlled movement of large muscle groups and whole body movement.
2. Fine motor control - what do you think? Quick discussion
3. Eye tracking - a pre-reading skill, this involves the ability to follow a line of type across a page from left to right and from the top of the page to the bottom
4. Hand-eye coordination - is the coordinated control of eye movement with hand movement, and the processing of visual input to guide reaching and grasping along with the use of proprioception of the hands to guide the eyes.

Optional after class challenge:

Find out what "proprioception" means

Areas of Development


  • Physical
  • Intellectual
  • Emotional
  • Social

Look at Child Development Charts

Scaffolded Group Activity I Can Statements

Using the table help me fill in the I can statements poster for 0-3


I Can Statements Activity

In 3 Groups based on your placement

  • Group 1 - 3–7 years
  • Group 2 - 7–12 years
  • Group 3 - 12–16 years

Fill in the poster handout using what you can find out from the child development tables handouts.

You should have 3 statements under each heading:

  • physical
  • Intellectual
  • Emotional
  • Social

Be ready to share with whole class:

Explain the age and gender of the children.

Add more detail to the “I can” statements

Explain where they found the information.

Examples of how different aspects of development can affect one another

In pairs

  • 3 examples of how aspects of development interact.



Homework 1

Write 2 paragraphs explaining the key areas of child development.

Paragraph 1 should cover:

  • Physical,
  • Emotional (and behavioural)
  • Intellectual (and communication)
  • Social

Paragraph 2 explain in a few sentences

  • That development is holistic
  • That the areas of development are connected

Include 2 examples ideally from your placement.

Don't forget to change all names (children & staff)

Homework 2 Use your I can posters from today to help you

Make simple table of the stages of development 0-16

Include examples of things children can do in each area (PIES) at each stage.

  • Birth to 3 years;
  • 3–7 years;
  • 7–12 years
  • 12–16 years

Explain in a few sentences that all children pass through these stages at their own pace and exact ages may vary.

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