What does your child need?
This month your child’s teachers are again carefully observing your child to assess for appropriate developmental milestones. We’ve detailed what you can expect your child to able to do at each age & stage of development in our How Is Your Child Developing post. But what does your child need to reach those milestones? Find out here.
What Babies Need
- Loving parents and caregivers who respond to their cries and gurgles and who keep them safe and comfortable;
- Opportunities to move about and to practice new physical skills;
- Safe objects to look at, bat, grab, bang, pat, roll and examine;
- Safe play areas; and
- Many opportunities to hear language, to make sounds and to have someone respond to those sounds. Developing Trust Feeling your touch, hearing your voice and enjoying the comfort of physical closeness all help your baby to develop trust.
What Toddlers Need
1- to 2-year-old children require:
- Opportunities to make their own choices: “Do you want the red cup or the blue one?”;
- Clear and reasonable limits;
- Opportunities to use large muscles in the arms and legs;
- Opportunities to use small muscles to manipulate small objects, such as puzzles and stackable toys;
- Activities that allow them to touch, taste, smell, hear and see new things;
- Chances to learn about “cause and effect”—that things they do cause other things to happen (for example, stacking blocks too high will cause the blocks to fall);
- Opportunities to develop and practice their language skills;
- Opportunities to play with and learn about alphabet letters and numbers; and
- Opportunities to learn about books and print.
2- to 3-year-old children require opportunities to:
- Develop hand coordination (for example, by holding crayons and pencils, putting together puzzles or stringing large beads);
- Do more things for themselves, such as dressing themselves;
- Talk, sing and develop their language skills;
- Play with other children and develop their social skills;
- Try out different ways to move their bodies;
- Learn more about printed language and books and how they work;
- Do things to build vocabulary and knowledge and to learn more about the world, such as taking walks and visiting libraries, museums, restaurants, parks and zoos
What Preschoolers Need
3- to 4-year-old children require opportunities to:
- Play with other children so they can learn to listen, take turns and share;
- Develop more physical coordination—for example, by hopping on both feet;
- Develop their growing language abilities through books, games, songs, science, math and art activities;
- Develop more self-reliance skills—for example, learning to dress and undress themselves;
- Count and measure;
- Participate actively with adults in reading-aloud activities;
- Explore the alphabet and print; and
- Attempt to write messages.
4- to 5-year-old children need opportunities to:
- Experiment and discover, within limits;
- Develop their growing interest in school subjects, such as science, music, art and math;
- Enjoy activities that involve exploring and investigating;
- Group items that are similar (for example, by size, color or shape);
- Use their imaginations and curiosity;
- Develop their language skills by speaking and listening; and
- See how reading and writing are both enjoyable and useful (for example, by listening to stories and poems, seeing adults use books to find information and dictating stories to adults).
Please look for your child’s written assessments on April 1 2013. Conferences will be available April 8-12.
Milestones Ages & Stages of Development
Infant & Toddler Milestones by Age
Preschooler Milestones by Age