Children are parents’ gifts and sometimes it’s astonishing the way their growth chart spans, especially in the first few years. Here we look at child’s growth over the first 6 years, also known as the Preliminary development stage, and the various growth characteristics of different years.
Birth – 12 Months
This is a stage when growth is most visible, in terms of size, muscle control, and skills. Physical development is fast, and children tend to start learning how to use their hands, feet and other muscles in the body. Head gains stability and mobility increases. Hearing and understanding skills as well as speaking skills are also improved. By ensuring that children hear and see good and sensitive actions and words, we can develop them into good human beings. In this age, their understanding is not logical, hence whatever they see or hear is considered to be the norm, and hence exposure to harmful actions and visuals can corrupt their understanding of life. By being sensitive and loving, we can increase their attachment to family members. Another aspect is the development of senses by exposing them to a variety of good aspects of life.
1 – 2 Years
Growth of children and increased mobility brings with it, various challenges as well. Their level of exploration goes up and every new thing or activity brings joy to them, irrespective of the perils attached. This puts the caretakers at caution, and it is important that a safe environment is available for them to explore. Their interaction with outside world also increases at this stage, which means their social skills are also put to test. The way they relate to the outside world and the reactions that their actions bring forth are a great teaching tool. Simple words and non verbal communication that make their everyday living simpler are also picked up. Exposure to audio and video tools at this stage can make their comprehension faster and easier.
See also : The Pre-Nursery Program for 2-3 year olds from Eden Castle Preschool & Early Years
3 – 4 Years
This stage is of great inventions, those which allow the child to fine tune their motor skills. They tend to understand better, the utility of materials around us. By praising even the smallest activity, self esteem can improve drastically. Regular conversations with the child can help in increasing vocabulary, understand time concepts as well as learn about the perils around them. This is also a stage of self-dependency, where with adequate support and help, they can develop their skills in dressing, eating and toilet usage.
4- 5 Years
This is a tricky stage, as they come in contact with more children, which helps them to adjust and share in a group. This is also the time when we, as adults, can understand where a child is lacking in social skills and corrective action can be taken. Joint activities increase at this age and a child tends to differentiate between self activities and activities as instructed. Education starts in a formal way now, and literacy and knowledge of numbers increases. Also vocabulary is better, as longer sentences tend to get developed. Regular communication is critical at this stage to encourage their comprehension abilities.
5 – 6 Years
This is the final stage of the preliminary development phase, where children tend to start creating an identity of their own. Behavior control, following rules, tolerating others and understanding group behavior are all critical learning of this stage. Social skills are better now, and children start developing friendships outside their immediate family group. Shared activities with peers and activities involving problem solving are of immense help during this age. This is also a stage where they are more exposed to technology around us, and tend to be more understanding of the effects of them in our daily lives, which also means that as adults, that extra caution needs to be taken to avoid over-exposure.