Child Development

Growth in All Areas of Development

Cognitive, social, language and physical are stimulated through the use of appropriate practices for young children. Involving active learning and active play is the process by which young children explore their world.

Examples: observing, smelling, tasting, listening, touching and playing.

Cognitive Skills are appropriate to the school situation, for they are concerned with knowing and thinking. Cognitive development focuses on how children learn and process information. It is the development of the thinking and organizing systems of the mind. It involves language, mental imagery, thinking, reasoning, problem solving, and memory development. A child enters this world very poorly equipped. The knowledge a child needs to become an individual is not dormant, it is not lurking in them. Everything the child eventually knows, or can do, must be learned. This of course excludes natural body functions, such as breathing, as well as the reflexes, for example the involuntary closing of the eye when an object approaches it.
Everything else, however, must be learned. Remember cognitive development is not an automatic process.

Example toys: puzzles, blocks, pegs, etc…

An estimated 6–10 percent of all children develop serious emotional or personality problems at some point. These problems tend to fall into two groups: those characterised by symptoms of extreme anxiety, withdrawal, and fearfulness, on the one hand, and by disobedience, aggression, and destruction of property on the other. Give your child the opportunity to interact with other children and adults in an active environment.

Example: mirrors, active play-pretend play games, etc…

Many definitions of language have been proposed. Henry Sweet, an English phonetician and language scholar, stated: “Language is the expression of ideas by means of speech-sounds combined into words. Words are combined into sentences, this combination answering to that of ideas into thoughts.” Literacy is essential – engage your child in reading and conversations.

Example: language videos and books

Fine motor skills can be defined as small muscle movements: those that occur in the finger, in coordination with the eyes.
Teaching fine motor skills requires patience and understanding.

Fine motor skills won’t develop over-night, but with time and practice. All fine motor activities are built upon four important skills. They are: Grasping objects, reaching out to objects, releasing objects deliberately, and turning the wrist in various directions. The term “skill” denotes a movement that is reasonably complex and the execution of which requires at least a minimal amount of practice. Thus skill excludes reflex acts. One does not become skilled at sneezing or at blinking the eyes when an object approaches.

Children benefit from activities that help achieve gross and fine motor control.

The following are some activity ideas that can be used in the home or preschool/classroom environment:

∙ Puzzles with small pieces
∙ peg board games
∙ painting, drawing, cutting
∙ Stringing and lacing activities
∙ Construction and building sets like Bristle Blocks
∙ Buttons, snaps, tying, and other fasteners

Gross Motor skills involve the larger muscles in the arms, legs and torso. Gross motor activities include walking, running, throwing, lifting, kicking, etc. These skills also relate to body awareness, reaction speed, balance and strength. Gross motor development gives your child the ability to move in a variety of ways, the ability to control their body and helps promote your child’s self-esteem. Different gross motor activities make multiple demands beyond muscle movements.
The following are some activity ideas that can be used in the home or classroom environment:

∙ Walk on toes, heels, toes pointed in or out
∙ Animal walks – inch worm, crab walk, bear walk, bunny hop, frog leap, elephant walk
∙ Kickball, tether ball, balloon volleyball, basketball
∙ Playground – swings, slides, monkey bars, tire swing
∙ Balancing Games – walk on 2 x 4’s (on the flat side), curbs – forward, backwards, sideways, heel-to-toe, while balancing a beanbag on your head
∙ Jumping and hopping patterns – i.e. around obstacles, over things, Jumping jacks, snow angels

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