Child Care

Six-month-olds can pick up toys with their fingers and thumbs or grasp them with their hands, and also transfer them from one hand to the other. They sit alone with their head erect and look around. If they are placed on their back, they lift their head or roll from their back to their stomach. When they are in a crawling position, they are normally unable to move forward. As regards their cognition, babies like exploring and experimenting with objects and toys by hand and often put them into the mouth. They look for sounds in their immediate environment, localize them, and turn their head towards them.

Their vision is more developed and they can track people or objects which leave their line of vision. Linguistically, babies combine vowels and consonants and form double-syllable words such as “gaga”, “dada”. Some of these meaningless words may represent real objects, people, or processes. They also coo and giggle and adopt the linguistic rhythm they hear around them. They do not talk all the time but learn to speak with others in turn (Child development stages; Humphrey).

Six-month-old babies recognize familiar faces and smile at familiar people. They like being held and cuddled and apart from the physical contact they also seek the eye contact. They get angry if their basic needs are not met. They respond when adults call them by name. At this stage babies also start to fear unfamiliar faces (Nuttall; Developmental Milestones for Your 6-Month Old).

Twelve-month-old babies

Twelve-month-old babies normally can stand alone while their legs are stiffened and spread apart. Most of them can walk with adult support or crawl quite skillfully. They pick up and throw objects or toys in directions which are more and more deliberate. They have good balance when they are sitting and can easily shift positions. As regards their cognitive development, children at this stage watch various objects and people that can be found in their immediate environment and are aware of and point at objects which are 15-20 feet away. They also reach for toys that they can

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see but which are beyond their reach. They like dropping objects repeatedly and watch where they go. They respond to voices and can mimic some simple actions, for example, clapping. By their first birthday, most infants start to use about a dozen or so understandable words. They usually use one word to express a whole sentence or thought. They respond to questions by saying “yes” or “no” or by simply nodding or shaking their heads. Socially, these babies like being with other children, but they are usually not cooperative when playing. They often imitate adult behavior and actions when they play. They like giving kisses and hugs or waving goodbye. They like being read to and helping their parents dress them or pick up toys (Child development stages; Humphrey).

Eighteen-month-old children

By eighteen months old, children can already walk alone without any support or assistance. They sit down or stand up easily and can skillfully climb up and down on various objects. They throw or kick a ball and are able to build a tower of 3-4 blocks. They can also jump with both feet. At eighteen months, children understand the functional relationship between two and more different objects, for example, between spoons, forks, and bowls, or teacups and saucers, and so on. They continue to experiment with objects but do not understand that some of them may be dangerous. They enjoy hiding and looking for objects. They like looking at pictures in books and can name many objects in them.

Eighteen-month-old toddlers learn and use about 5-20 meaningful single words and their speech is approximately 25-50% understandable. The words mainly refer to their favorite toys, food, or animals. They can also build long sentences with some intelligible words. They use different tones of voice and give their speech various meanings. They also try to sing songs. Socially, children demand their mother’s attention and care all the time. They like playing games with other children or adults. They also help their parents with dressing.

They enjoy spending time with adults and looking at pictures in books, patting or kissing animal pictures. They point to body parts and objects they want (Child Development Milestones – 18 months; Developmental Milestones for Your 18-Month Old; Child development stages).

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Two-year-old children

By their second birthday, children hold themselves more erect when they walk and can also run. They balance on one foot for a few seconds and do not need assistance while climbing stairs. They jump up and down, squat for a long period and do not lose balance when they throw a ball or other objects. Cognitively, two-year-olds have better coordination of hand and eye movements and can put together or take apart various objects or toys. They can name many objects or animals in pictures. They attend to their favorite activities for long periods and discover the causes and effects of processes. They note their parents’ absence and know where they are supposed to be at this or that time.

They experiment with various objects and often use them for purposes other than they are supposed to be used for. Two-year-old children build three- to four-word sentences and normally use 50 to 100 words. Their speech is approximately 70% understandable and their vocabulary is increasing every day. They repeatedly ask their parents questions about things and can form correctly the plural of simple nouns. Two-year-olds normally empathize with other children when, for example, the latter are hurt, and also offer hugs and kisses to comfort them. They imitate adult activities and like helping them in their work. They also give many orders to adults and expect immediate obedience from them. They rarely offer toys to other children and become aggressive when they get angry (Child development stages; Humphrey).

Six-year-old children

Six-year-old children move in more deliberate and precise directions although they are still clumsy in some movements. Their favorite activities include climbing, running or jumping up and down. They can ride a bicycle or kick a ball. Their attention increases and they can concentrate their efforts while working at tasks. Cognitively, six-year-olds know which hand is right and which one is left. They understand time and recognize the four seasons of the year. They can also read certain words and enjoy counting activities, making various things, and the challenge of mazes or puzzles. Six-year-old children speak fluently and talk a lot. They learn about ten words a day and their

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vocabulary may reach up to 14,000 words. Their sentence structure, word order, and verb tenses are fairly correct. They often talk to themselves while solving difficult problems. Children at this age are usually eager to please and to get their parents’ approval or praise. Their mood towards their parents swings every day, their friendship with them is still based on closeness and care. They are not aware of moral standards and correct behavior, but they understand what it means when their parents tell them they are being “bad” (Child development stages).