Child Development 0-5

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Child development refers to the biological, psychological and emotional changes that occur in human beings between birth and the end of adolescence as an individual moves from dependency to increasing autonomy. It is a continuous process with a predictable series of changes, but it is also a unique process for every child. While there a common ‘milestones’, all children are different and some will do things faster or slower than others. Parents play a large role in a child’s development. On this page you will find a range of information resources that will provide you with an overview of what you might expect in the first five years of your child’s life, as well as how you can assist your child’s development so that they grow into happy, healthy teens.

Topics
Milestones Overview Growing & Changing 0-6 months 6-18 months 18 months – 3 years
3 – 5 years Toddlers & Eating Toddlers Teething Sleep 0-6
Nurturing Communication Learning to Talk Talking and Listening 0-6 months 6-18 months
18 months-3 years 3-5 years More than Reading & Writing

Milestones Overview 0–4 years

Milestones Overview 0–4 years PDF file‘Ages and Stages’ is a term used to broadly outline key periods in the human development timeline. During each stage growth and development occur in the primary developmental domains including physical, intellectual, language and social – emotional. Babies and young children develop quickly across these initial ages and stages.

← Open this information resource for an overview of each stage of your child’s development up to the age of four, as well as signs to look out for if they are out of step;

Growing and Changing 0 – 6 months

Growing and Changing 0 - 6 months PDF fileIn the first few weeks babies learns to develop control of muscles around the eye to be able to focus on objects nearby, as well as strength in neck and shoulders to hold up their head. During the first 3 months your baby will watch your face and listen to your voice. They will smile when they see and recognise you, and they will create different cries for different needs.

← Open this information resource to find out more about your baby’s social, emotional, physical and brain development in the first 6 months of life, as well as suggestions that will help you ensure each of these areas progress healthily.

Growing and Changing 6 – 18 months

Growing and Changing 6 - 18 months PDF fileIn the first years of life, your child’s brain develops more and faster than at any other time in their life. The early experiences your child has – the things they see, hear, touch, smell and taste – stimulate their brain, creating millions of connections. Babies are born ready to learn, and their brains develop through use. So your child needs a stimulating environment with lots of different activities that give them plenty of ways to play and learn, and lots of chances to practice what they’re learning.

← Open this information resource to find out more about your child’s social, emotional, physical and brain development in the first 18 months of life, as well as suggestions that will help you ensure each of these areas progress healthily.

Growing and Changing 18 months – 3 years

Growing and Changing 18 months - 3 years PDF fileAt this age, unfortunately for parents, tantrums are extremely common. This behaviour is how young children deal with difficult feelings as they grow. But don’t worry, tantrums tend to tail off after children turn four. You’ll see fewer tantrums as your child gets older and better at handling bad feelings. Your child will also get better at communicating their wants and needs using words. This is the time in your child’s life where they begin to show signs of the little person they will soon be.

← Open this information resource to find out more about your child’s social, emotional, physical and brain development in the first 3 years of life, as well as suggestions that will help you ensure each of these areas progress healthily.

Growing and Changing 3 – 5 years

Growing and Changing 3 - 5 years PDF fileAt this age children will learn a number of different physical skills including running smoothly, balancing, beginning to hop and skip, and throw and catch a ball with accuracy. They will move more rhythmically in movement and dance. They will also develop greater empathy or the recognition of other people’s feelings. As they move into preschool and then primary school, this will be a particularly important skill in making and keeping friends.

← Open this information resource to find out more about your child’s social, emotional, physical and brain development in the first 5 years of life, as well as suggestions that will help you ensure each of these areas progress healthily.

Toddlers & Eating

Toddlers and Eating PDF fileThe toddler years are a time for learning, and they are learning about new foods at a time when long term eating patterns are being created. Teaching your toddler healthy eating habits can help them grow up to be healthy adults.

← Open this information resource to find out more about toddler eating habits, toddler appetite, and a few handy tips for meal times.

Toddlers Teething

Toddlers Teething PDF fileBaby’s teeth start growing around six weeks after conception, and all twenty primary teeth are in place in the jawbone by the time of birth. Approximately 1 in 100 babies are born with natal teeth, but many of these are lost in the first few weeks of life.

← Open this information resource to find out more about teething and how to keep your child’s teeth healthy.

Sleep 0-6 years

Sleep - Children 0-6 years PDF fileManaging sleep for babies and children is one of the most common concerns for parents. Many worry about whether they are doing the right thing if their child doesn’t sleep soundly all through the night. There are many different ways parents can help babies and children to sleep, and patterns vary between cultures and families. What matters most is that bedtime is relaxed and comfortable and that babies and children have comfort when they need it and that they are safe.

← Open this information resource to find out more about sleep for your child, night walking, safe sleeping, and various tips to help settle them down.

Nurturing Communication

Nurturing Communication PDF fileAs children explore and play with others and the environment around them, they draw upon communication skills to make sense of their world, clearly communicate their needs, and understand others. Children’s ability to make themselves understood, and in turn understand others, is critical to their engagement and success as learners. Communication skills can consist of listening, verbal and non-verbal response, eye contact, humour and expression of personality.

← Open this information resource to find out more about the development of your child’s communication skills, as well some handy hints on how to help them become good communicators.

Learning to Talk

Learning to Talk PDF fileLearning to talk is one of the most important steps that young children take. It helps them make sense of the world and to get along with other people. Language and speech development starts at birth and progresses quickly through the early years and beyond. As with other learning, it happens at different rates for different children.

← Open this information resource to find out more about the different stages your baby goes through in learning to talk, and what you can do to help them.

Talking & Listening 0 – 6 months

Talking and Listening 0 - 6 months PDF fileChildren learn to talk by hearing and listening to others speaking and by our encouragement to join conversations. Talk to your baby often, making eye contact and responding to the sounds baby makes with smiles and appreciation. Baby will soon be babbling along practising sounds.

← Open this information resource to find out more about the different stages your baby goes through in learning to talk, and what you can do to help them.

Talking & Listening 6 – 18 months

Talking and Listening 6 - 18 months PDF fileAfter about 9 months, babies can understand a few basic words and may also begin to use a wider range of consonant sounds and tones of voice. After 12 months, babies begin to say a few simple words and respond to – or at least understand, if not obey – short requests. Open this information resource to find out more about the different stages your baby goes through in learning to talk, and what you can do to help them.

← Open this information resource to find out more about the different stages your baby goes through in learning to talk, and what you can do to help them.

Talking & Listening 18 months – 3 years

Talking and Listening 18 months - 3 years PDF fileBy age 2, babies string together a few words in short phrases of two to four words, such as “Mommy bye-bye” or “me milk.” They’re learning that words mean more than objects like “cup” — they also mean abstract ideas like “mine”.

← Open this information resource to find out more about the different stages your baby goes through in learning to talk, and what you can do to help them.

Talking & Listening 3 -5 years

Talking and Listening 3 -5 years PDF fileAs your child grows, she’ll become more of a chatterbox. There might be moments when you long for those peaceful days of speechlessness! Children at this age are developing a sense of time and sequencing as well as developing their imagination.

← Open this information resource to find out more about the different stages your baby goes through in learning to talk, and what you can do to help them.

More than Reading and Writing

More than Reading and Writing PDF fileMost parents know that reading and writing are very important for children. However, how words help us understand our world and make the most of opportunities is much more than reading and writing – it is called ‘literacy’. Children don’t wait till they start school to learn literacy skills. The experiences they have every day from birth help them develop their literacy and their knowledge and understanding of the world.

← Open this information resource to find out more about literacy – drawing, writing, reading, watching – how children learn, and what you can do as a parent to help.

Topics:
Play for Kids 0-6 months 6-18 months 18 months – 3 years  3- 5 years
Why Story Time is so Important Out & About with Kids Music for Kids 0-6 months 6-18 months
18 months – 3 years 3 – 5 years Craft for Kids – 1 Craft for Kids – 2

Play for Kids 0 – 6 months

Play for kids 0-6 monthsIt is said that ‘play is a child’s work’, and never were truer words spoken. There are no hard and fast rules about play, except that it should be FUN. Play can be used to teach children vital social skills like making eye contact when we speak to people, turn taking, listening and giving our attention to others.

← Open this information resource to find out more about why play is essential to your child’s wellbeing in the first 0-6 months, as well as for play ideas that will suit your child’s physical and mental development at this age.

Play for Kids 6 – 18 months

play for kids 6-18 monthsThe most valuable gift you can give your child is your undivided attention. Today our lives are often very busy. Make time throughout your day to allocate for you and your baby to have quality time together. Play is one of the most important parts of a child’s development.

← Open this information resource to find out more about why play is essential to your child’s wellbeing in the first 18 months, as well as for play ideas that will suit your child’s physical and mental development at this age.

Play for Kids 18 months – 3 years

Play for children 1.5-3 years‘Unstructured play’ is play that just happens, depending on what takes your child’s interest at the time. It isn’t planned and lets your child use her imagination and move at her own pace. ‘Structured play’ is more organised and happens at a fixed time or in a set space, and is often led by a grown-up.

← Open this information resource to find out more about why play is essential to your child’s wellbeing in the first 3 years, as well as for play ideas that will suit your child’s physical and mental development at this age.

Play for Kids 3 – 5 years

Play for kids-3-5 yearsAt this age children are now more interested in playing and making friends with other children. They might start to play more cooperatively in small groups, and will also understand the concept of ‘mine’ and ‘his/hers’, so sharing starts to get easier.

← Open this information resource to find out more about why play is essential to your child’s wellbeing in the first 5 years, as well as for play ideas that will suit your child’s physical and mental development at this age.

Why Story Time is so Important

why stories are importantMany people look back with pleasure on their favourite stories from childhood. Story time with your children can be a special time they remember all their lives. Whether you tell stories or read from books, stories are one of the ways children learn about language, the world, and so much more. The books and people they read about can become like friends.

← Open this information resource to find out more why reading with your child is so important, the different ways in which they help children, and for a range of reading tops for children of different ages.

Out & About with Kids

Out & About with KidsMany of us have noticed that when we go out for the day with babies and toddlers we need about the same amount of guff as we would need to pack for a week.

← Open this information resource for a range of handy tips on making it easier to shop and visit friends with small children in tow.

 

Music for Kids 0 – 6 months

Music for Kids 0 - 6 monthsSinging and music play an important role in our culture, but none as important as how we use music with our children. From birth, parents instinctively use music to calm and soothe children, to express their love and joy, and to engage and interact.

← Open this information resource for a range of developmentally appropriate musical ideas and activities to use with your baby in the first 6 months of life.

Music for Kids 6 – 18 months

Music for Kids 6 - 18 monthsAll kinds of music can be enjoyed and learned by even very young children. And you don’t need any special skill or talent to enjoy music making with children. For most children, singing is as natural as talking. Kids learn to sing just as they learn to talk – by imitating other people. So sing away!

← Open this information resource for a range of developmentally appropriate musical ideas and activities to use with your baby in the first 18 months of life.

Music for Kids 18 months – 3 years

Music for Kids 18 months - 3 yearsChildren from 18 months through 3 years like short songs. Their memories are not fully developed, so they can remember only a few words at a time. Motion also is interesting to them, and actions put to words help them remember their order. Repeating songs encourages the use of words and memorisation.

← Open this information resource for a range of developmentally appropriate musical ideas and activities to use with your baby in the first 3 years of life.

Music for Kids 3 – 5 years

Music for Kids 3 - 5 yearsMusic powers the brain. Simply singing with a child connects neural pathways, and increases the ability to retain information. Preschool aged children enjoy a variety of songs according to their interests; animals, dinosaurs, number songs, feelings, and even silly songs as they develop their sense of humour.

← Open this information resource for a range of developmentally appropriate musical ideas and activities to use with your baby in the first 5 years of life.

Craft for Kids: Recipes for Fun 1

Craft for Kids: Recipes for Fun 1Crafts such as colouring, drawing, cutting, all require your child to use both of their hands together. This skill is important in other areas of their lives as they continue to grow, such as writing, tying shoes, typing and so much more.

← Open this information resource for a range of craft recipes to make with your kids such as long-lasting play dough, silly putty, gooey goop, finger paint and home-made glitter.

Craft for Kids: Recipes for Fun 2

Craft for Kids: Recipes for Fun 2In order to draw shapes, cut patterns, and hand writing, your child is required to use their fine motor coordination. These skills similarly translate to other areas of their lives, such as dressing ,eating, and in the academic setting.

← Open this information resource for a range of craft recipes to make with your kids such as salt dough beads and sculptures, spray painting, magic milk, puppet theatre, and Kool Aid finger paint.