Outline of the development for young children during the first three years of their life. Essay


Thinking and Learning Expressing Feelings Awareness of Self and Others Communication



1 month

 Keeps hands in tight fists.

 Arms and legs move equally on both sides

 When lying on the tummy, holds head up briefly Will stare at an object placed in front of the face, especially something brightly colored

Follows faces

• Recognizes mother's voice

• When upset, responds to a parent's cuddles, voice, and affections

• Becomes alert when hearing a pleasant sound, like music

• Startles at loud noises

• Makes sounds other than crying

2 months


3 months

• when on his or her belly, can hold up the head and may even push up on the arms

• good head control when held in a sitting position

• newborn reflexes start to go away, like the moro (startle) reflex and tonic reflex (fencer's pose)

• fists remain unclenched half of the time

• gets bored and lets you know it by fussing or crying when a change of scenery or a new activity is needed

• is alert to sounds

• focuses on and tracks faces and objects from side to side

• comforts himself or herself, maybe by putting a fist in the mouth

• makes an effort to look at parents when they're nearby

• smiles when happy • develops more distinct cries to indicate hunger, pain, or tiredness

• gurgles and coos (says "ooh" and "ah")

• smiles in response to being talked to, played with, or smiled at

• turns his or her attention to whoever is speaking

4 months


6 months

Creeps when on abdomen, usually backwards before forwards.

May roll over in both directions.

May hurl body forward from crouched position.

Sits up for long periods; may need hands on ground for balance.

Keeps head level with body when pulled to sitting.

Enjoys standing with support.

Brings most objects to mouth.

Puts feet into mouth.

Rakes small items with fingers.

Reaches smoothly for items.

Explores objects by shaking, hitting, turning, dropping, and throwing.

May hold own bottle.

May feed self crackers.

Moro reflex/startle reflex begins to disappear.

Rocks on belly with limbs outstretched (airplaning). Understands that items remain even if they can't be seen.

Enjoys games like peek-a-boo.

Looks for dropped objects.

Recognizes sound of own name.

Vocalizes to mirror image.

Pays attention to very small objects.

Alert and awake for l-l/2 to 2 hours at a stretch (close to 50 percent of daylight hours).

May sleep through night. Turns to look at speaker when hears a voice.

Reacts to and even imitates inflections in others' voices.

Particularly attached to voice of mother.

May make wet razzing sound.

Distinguishes children from adults, reaching to touch passing children.

Begins to show signs of personality.

Demands attention from caregivers.

Cries when parent or familiar caregiver leaves. Says ah-goo or other vowel-consonant sound.

Babbles repeatedly when excited.

7 months


9 months

Sits unassisted

Starting to pull self up and weight-bear on legs

Crawls (or more importantly tries to move from one place to another)

Can transfer an object from one hand to the other

Eats with hands

Can use a ‘sippy’ cup Curious and eager to explore the world around them

Drops things intentionally to see what happens- both with the object and your reaction

Understands the concept of object permanence and will look for a toy that is hidden

Recognizes familiar people • Want to take part in activities with people.

• Point to things for a reason.

• Seek attention.

• Show strong feelings about likes and dislikes.

• Laugh.

• Not want to be away from you or other caregivers.

• Show fear (possibly by crying) if he is scared.

Babbles – combines syllables

Says “mama” or “dada” but not always referring to the correct person

Often babies develop “stranger anxiety” around this age

May start to use gestures or sounds to express needs instead of crying

1 year


1 ½ years

Sit without leaning on anything or being held up

Belly crawl, scoot or creep on hands and knees

Pull to standing and move, holding on to furniture

Stand alone and walk, holding on to your hands

Stick out their arms, legs and feet to help get dressed and undressed

Walk without help

Begin walking up stairs

Know the use of everyday objects, such as a spoon, a toothbrush or phone

Start following simple directions such as “blow me a kiss” or “sit down”

Start simple pretend play, like feeding a stuffed animal

Point to his own head, eyes, ears, nose or mouth

Make the connection between a word you say and a picture in a book

Show a reaction to familiar songs and stories

Start testing cause and effect, such as what happens when he throws his cup on the floors Smile and laugh in reaction to somebody else or when playing

Cry when someone nearby is upset

Feel comfortable exploring the room when a caregiver is nearby

Show affection to familiar people

Have mild temper tantrums when frustrated

Be nervous around new people and clingy with caregivers Pays increasing attention to speech

Responds to simple verbal requests

Responds to “no”

Uses simple gestures, such as shaking head for “no”

Babbles with inflection

Says “dada” and “mama”

Uses exclamations, such as “oh-oh!”

Tries to imitate words

Babble in a way that sounds like talking and try to “talk” with you

Recognize family members’ names and the words for common items (cup, ball, shoe)

Raise his arms when he wants to be picked up, point at things he wants and shake his head no

Understand basic commands like stop

Say no, mama and several other words

Express happiness, sadness and frustration with different sounds or cries

1 ½ years


2 years


walks upstairs with hand held

throws a ball

takes off some clothes

scribbles with a crayon knows the name of favorite toys

names objects or actions in a picture book

imitates household tasks, such as cooking

can match pairs of objects begins to engage in pretend play

laughs in response to others

shows affection

asserts himself or herself verbally or through angry tantrums says 10 to 20 words

understands one-step commands ("Pick up the toy.")

can point to some body parts ("Where is your nose?")

2 years


3 years

Walk, run, stop, set up and squat down

Stand on tiptoes

Walk upstairs with an alternating foot pattern with one hand on rail

Jump in place with two feet together

Walk downstairs with two feet on same step

Start riding a tricycle with using pedals

Catch a ball

Kick a ball forward

Folds paper in half

Draw straight lines and circles

Manage large buttons

Turn single pages

Hold crayons with thumbs and fingers not fits Match various objects to their uses

Name the objects they find in picture book

Respond to any simple direction their parents or caregivers give them

Imitates adult actions that are more complex

Stack rings in order starting from the largest and ending with the smallest

Sort various object based on their category

Identify their own reflections in the mirror by name

Respond to simple directions given by parents and caregivers

A strong sense of ownership

May begin cooperative play

Treats dolls or teddy as if it is alive

Play alongside others but will not play together with them

Begins to use symbols in their play such as a pencil as sword

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