In the first years of a child’s life many important milestones are reached. By the end of the first year a baby will have already acquired some social skills. He will enjoy imitating people and will also test parental responses to his behavior. For example, what do my parents do if I refused food? In terms of movement, an infant will be able to reach a sitting position pull himself up to stand. He may be able to walk momentarily without support. As far as communication is concerned, he will be able to use simple gestures such as shaking his head for ‘no’, say ‘mama’ and ‘dada’ and he will try to imitate words. When it comes to cognitive development, he will be able to find hidden objects easily and use objects correctly such as drinking from a cup.
By the age of two or three, the infant has reached the toddler stage. In terms of social skills, this means, he is becoming more independent, which may result in the occasional tantrum. However, he has learned to take turns in games and spontaneously expresses affection. His physical development will also have increased significant as he can now move around a lot faster and even run. He can also climb up stairs or onto relatively low obstacles, and even ride a small tricycle. However, he will still be rather unsteady on his feet at times. When it comes to language and communication he can now understand most sentences and uses four and five word sentences. In terms of cognitive development, he’s learned to play make-believe games and uses his imagination more. He has also mastered the skill of sorting objects according to their shape and color.
Between the ages of six and twelve, a child reaches what is termed ‘middle childhood’ and will stay in this phase until thay reach adolescence. In the middle childhood, children’s development is more affected by the outside world and the child’s world expands to include friends, teachers, sport trainers and so on. Children develop at various rates and while some children in middle childhood seem very mature in terms of their emotional and social skills, others seem very immature. As far as physical milestones are concerned, during the pre-school years. There are some major changes occurring at this stage ad baby teeth will come out and permanent adult teeth will grow. As the mouth is not yet fully developed this may cause overcrowding. Eyes will reach maturity in both size and function. In terms of their cognitive ability, children at this stage master the skills of sequencing, which are essential for math. By the end of this period children should have acquired effective reading and writing skills.