Development from conception to 16 years New-born babies are born with many different reflexes. ‘The presence of some of the new-borns primitive reflexes is essential to survival’, Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 12. Some of the automatic reflexes include ‘swallowing and sucking, when anything is put in the mouth, babies at once suck and swallow’, Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 12.
At birth in their gross motor development babies will lie on their back ‘lie supine (on their backs), with the head to one side’, Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 8. In their fine motor development babies will hold their hands closed, ‘Usually hold their hands tightly closed, but the hands may open spontaneously during feeding or when the back of the hand is stroked’ and tuck their thumbs under their fingers, ‘often hold their thumbs tucked in under their fingers’, Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 8.
Babies’ communication and language development, they need to share language experiences and talk to others, ‘need to share language experiences and co-operate with others’, also make eye contact and cry when they need help, ‘make eye contact and cry to indicate need’, babies also move their limbs when they hear high pitched tones, ‘respond to high-pitched tones by moving their limbs’, babies may also move their eyes towards the sound, ‘may move their eyes towards the direction of sound’, Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 15.
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At three months babies gross motor development, may be able to keep their head in a central position when lying on their back, ‘keep their head in a central position when lying supine’ and have almost no head lag when moving into the sitting position, ‘have almost no head lag in moving into the sitting position’, Child Development An illustrated Guide, Page 28.
In their fine motor development, three month old babies may be able to watch their hands and play with their fingers, ‘Move their hands and play with their fingers’. Also may be able to hold onto a rattle for a short amount of time, ‘can hold a rattle for a brief time before dropping it’, Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 29. With three month old babies, communication and language development, they may take a lot more interest in their surroundings, ‘take an increasing interest in their surroundings’.
Also show more interest in playthings, ‘Show an increasing interest in playthings’. At six months, babies in their gross motor development, may be able to use their shoulders to pull themselves into the sitting position ‘can use their shoulders to pull themselves into a sitting position’, also they may be able to bear their own weight, ‘can bear almost all their own weight’, Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 36.
With six month olds fine motor development they may be able to reach out and grab a small toy when its offered, ‘reach and grab when a small toy is offered’, also explore objects by putting them in their mouth, ‘explore objects by putting them in their mouth’, Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 37. With communication and language development at six months, they may be able to babble spontaneously, ‘babble spontaneously, first using monosyllables, such as ‘ga-ga’, and then double syllables, such as goo-ga’, and later combining more syllables’.
Also talk to themselves in a tuneful song voice, ‘talk to themselves in a tuneful, sing-song voice’ Child Development An illustrated Guide, Page 39. At nine months, babies in their gross motor development, may be able to maintain a sitting position independently for up to 15 minutes ‘can maintain a sitting position with a straight back’ and ‘can sit unsupported for up to 15 minutes’, they may also be able to find ways of moving around the floor ‘may find ways of moving about the floor – for example, by rolling, wriggling, or crawling on their stomach’, Child Development An illustrated Guide, Page 44.
With six month old fine motor development they may be able to grasp objects between fingers and thumb in a pincer grasp ‘can grasp objects between finger and thumb in a pincer grasp’ also can pass toys from one hand to the other ‘manipulate toys by passing them from one hand to the other’ Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 45.
With their communication and language they may be able to imitate adult sounds ‘imitate adult sounds, like a cough or a ‘brr’ noise’ also can understand the word ‘no’ ‘understand and obey the command ‘no’ Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 46. At twelve months, babies in their gross motor development may be able to rise in a sitting position from lying down ‘can rise in a sitting position from lying down’ also they may be able to cruise along using furniture as a support ‘can cruise along using furniture as a support’ Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 50.
Where twelve month old babies fine motor development is concerned they may be able to hold a crayon in a palmer grasp and turn several pages of a book ‘can hold a crayon in a palmer grasp and turn several pages of a book at once’ also can build a few bricks and arrange toys on the floor ‘build with a few bricks and arrange the toys on the floor’ Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 51.
With their communication and language 12 month olds may be able to speak two to six or more recognisable words ‘speak to or more recognisable words and show that they understand many more – babbling has developed into much more speech – like form, with increased intonation’ also may be able to hand objects to adults when asked and use them in an appropriate way ‘hand objects to adults when asked and begin to treat objects in an appropriate way, for example, cuddle a teddy but use a hairbrush’ Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 52.
At eighteen months children with their gross motor development may be able to walk steadily and stop safely ‘can walk steadily and stop safely, without sitting down suddenly’ also they may be able to climb onto an adult chair and sit down ‘can climb forward into an adult chair and then turn around and sit’ Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 58.
With their fine motor development eighteen month olds may be able to point to known objects ‘can point to known objects’ also they may hold a pencil in their whole hand or between the thumb and first to fingers, called the primitive tripod grasp ‘can hold a pencil in their whole hand or between the thumb and first two fingers (this is called the primitive tripod grasp) Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 59.
Where their communication and language is they may use gestures alongside words ‘use gestures alongside words’ also obey simple instructions and answer questions ‘obey simple instructions such as ‘shut the door’ and respond to simple questions such as ‘where’s the pussy-cat? ’ Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 60.
At two years children with their gross motor development may be able to run safely avoiding obstacles ‘Can run safely, avoiding obstacles and are very mobile’, also walk up and down stairs usually putting both feet on each step ‘walk up and down stairs, usually putting both feet on each step’ Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 66.
With their fine motor development two year olds may draw circles, lines and dots using preferred hand ‘draw circles, lines and dots using their preferred hand’ also may drink from a cup and manage to scoop with a spoon at mealtimes ‘can drink from a cup with fewer spills, and manage scooping with a spoon at mealtimes’ Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 67.
With their communication and language they may talk to themselves often ‘talk to themselves often, but may not always be understood by others’ and may use phrases as telegraphic speech for example ‘daddy-car’, might mean a number of different things, ‘use phrases as telegraphic speech (or telegraphese) – for example, ‘daddy-car’ might mean a number of different things, including ‘daddy in his car’, ‘I want to go in daddy’s car’ or ‘daddy’s car is outside’, Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 68.
At two and a half years children with their gross motor development can stand on tiptoe when shown ‘stand on tiptoe when shown’, also jump with both feet together from a low step ‘jump with both feet together from a low step’, Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 66. With their fine motor development they may be able to eat skilfully with a spoon and maybe a fork ‘eat skilfully with a spoon and may use a fork’, also may build a tower of seven or more cubes using preferred hand, ‘can build a tower of seven or more cubes, using their preferred hand’, Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 67.
Where two and a half year olds communication and language is concerned they may be able to know their full name ‘know their full name’, also continually ask questions ‘continually ask questions beginning ‘what…? ’ or ‘who….? ’, Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 69. When children are three years, with their gross motor development they may be able to walk backwards and sideways ‘can walk backwards and sideways’ also may ride a tricycle using pedals ‘can ride a tricycle using pedals’, Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 76.
With their fine motor development they may be able to control a pencil using their thumb and the first two fingers (dynamic tripod grasp) ‘can control a pencil using their thumb and the first two fingers (the dynamic tripod grasp), also may copy a building pattern ‘can copy a building pattern of three or more cubes, including a bridge’, Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 77.
Communication and language, they may be able to learn to speak more than one language ‘learn to speak more than one language if they hear more than one language spoken around them as they grow’, also carry on simple conversations ‘carry on simple conversations, often missing link words such as ‘the’ and ‘is’, Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 79.
At four years of age children in their gross motor development may be able to walk along a line with good balance ‘have developed a good sense of balance and may be able to walk along a line’ also they may be able to run up and down stairs, one foot per step ‘run up and down stairs, one foot per step’, Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 86.
With their fine motor development four year olds may be able to thread small beads on a lace ‘are able to thread small beads on a lace’, also may draw a figure that resembles a person ‘can draw on request a figure that resembles a person, showing head, legs and body’, Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 87. With their communication and language they may be able to repeat rhymes and songs with few mistakes ‘can repeat nursery rhymes and songs, with very few errors’.
Also may state their full name and address ‘can state their full name and address almost correctly’, Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 89. At five years children in their gross motor development may be able to use a variety of play equipment ‘use a variety of play equipment, including slides, swings and climbing frames’ also may have good coordination playing ball games and dancing ‘show good co-ordination, playing ball games and dancing rhythmically to music’, Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 94.
In their fine motor they may be able to use a knife and fork competently ‘can use a knife and fork competently, but may still need to have meat cut up for them’ Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 94. With four year olds, communication and language they may be able to talk about the past, present and future ‘talk about the past, present and future, with good sense of time’. Also enjoy jokes and riddles ‘enjoy jokes and riddles’, Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 96.
At six years of age, in their gross motor development, children are gaining both strength and agility, they may be able to jump off apparatus with confidence ‘are gaining in both strength and agility; they can jump off apparatus at school with confidence’ also may be able to ride a two-wheeled bike, maybe without stabilisers ‘can ride a two-wheeled bike, possibly without stabilisers’, Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 102.
With their fine motor development they may be able to write their first and last name ‘can write their last name as well as their first name’, also may write simple stories ‘may begin to write simple stories’, Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 103. Six year olds, in their communication and language, may be able to talk fluently with confidence ‘talk fluently and with confidence’, also are developing literacy skills ‘are steadily developing literacy skills (reading and writing), although the ability to read independently with confidence usually begins between 7 and 9 years of age’, Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 105.
At seven years, in their gross motor development, children may be able to control their speed when running and avoid obstacles ‘are able to control their speed when running and can swerve to avoid collision’, also are skilful in catching and throwing a ball, using one hand only ‘are skilful in catching and throwing a ball, using one hand only’, Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 110.
With their fine motor development they may be able to use a large needle to sew and thread ‘can use a large needle to sew and thread’, may also use colour in a naturalistic way ‘begin to use colour in a naturalistic way, for example using a band of green colour at the bottom of the page to represent grass and a band of blue across the top to represent sky’, Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 111.
They may be able to, in the communication and language, understand book language ‘begin to understand book language and that stories have characters and a plot (the narrative)’, and may express and communicate their thoughts ‘like to express and communicate their thoughts – about a book they have read or a TV programme they have seen’, Child Development An Illustrated Guide, Page 112. Two theoretical perspectives relevant to physical development and language and communication development are Noam Chomsky, he was American professor of linguistics, and he developed a theory, based on the idea of language development as an innate process.
He believed that humans are born with the knowledge already for language; he suggested that babies have a language acquisition device (LAD). He considered that this LAD enables children to absorb the language they hear and break it up, then work out what it is and develop an understanding of its rules and grammatical structure. To support Chomskys theory it has been shown that children of all cultures develop language at more a less the same time. Another is Arnold Gessel (1880- 1961), he was an American paediatrician; he identified three principles of physical development.
The first he stated was that ‘Development follows a definite sequence’, this means that when children are growing and progressing there is a pattern in that they need to do certain movements e. g. walk, in order to do other more challenging ones e. g. skipping. The second was that ‘Development begins with the control of head movements and proceeds downwards’, this is because babies need to be able to move their head around in order to search for food, they gain control of their head and top of the spine before other parts of their body, this is thought to be a survival mechanism.
The third principle is ‘Development begins with uncontrolled gross motor movements before becoming precise and refined’, this simply means that when babies are first born they have no control over their legs and arms but control is quickly gained, first of the arms and then of the wrists. I have attached three observations as appendices; these are on a child aged 3 years 1 month. I have observed my target child’s physical development, whilst looking at her gross motor skills, I used a checklist observation. For her fine motor skills I used, written narrative and for her balance and coordination I used a photographic observation.
A checklist observation is when you draw a table with the columns, ‘developmental milestones’, this is where you write the milestones from the EYFS or a book and look for their age group and write what they should be able to achieve. You may have milestones for different ages for example six months before and six months after the child’s actual age. In the next column tick ‘yes’, if they did completed the milestone, if not tick ‘no’ in the column after. Then the last column says ‘comments’ which is where you put additional information about how or where the child completed or didn’t complete the milestones and if she needed assistance.
The photographic observation is when you look through the EYFS at your TCs age group for the chosen subject, for e. g. ‘physical development’ and see what they should be doing, then when you see your TC doing these things while observing, take a series pictures of them in a sequence so it tells a story, then write next to the picture a little caption about what the child is doing and how/ where she is doing it. A written narrative is an observation where you write down exactly what you see, including what hand the child is using, the expressions on their face etc. it’s a running commentary of what is happening.
The observer sits away from the child and does not get involved during the observation and makes notes. The observer should write the observation up ASAP whilst they still remember the information. First of all we must ask permission from the parent before we do any type of observation, if we did not do this then the practioner and the parents trust is jeopardised immediately. This is part of the settings policies and procedures which provides consistent practise, trust and high standards and if they are not followed it could lead to different standards bad reputation and inconsistent practise.
It is against the law to give out children’s details to anyone, if the child is not in danger; this is stated in the legislation, The Data Protection Act 1998, ‘To protect individuals rights from breaching of information’ all of the nursery settings are aware and follow this, if they didn’t follow this then children will be put in harm and may be taken advantage of, it will not only put the child in harm but also the child’s family as well.
We can maintain confidentiality throughout the observation by using TC meaning target child in all the observations rather than their name, this will help keep the child safe as it will not give any personal information away, we can also use TA meaning target adult and OC meaning other children, this will help keep the staff and other children from risk.
Also we can make sure we do not give away the settings name and just write, for example, ‘day nursery’ and all the observations are objective, meaning that you are not assuming anything e. g. how the child is feeling, this is needed so you are not labelling children, jumping to conclusions or being bias. Different observation techniques are used as it improves accuracy, e. g. you wouldn’t use a photographic to look at the language development.
In photographic observations you must make sure that you take the images on the settings camera not your own and print them off in the setting not take them on a memory stick, if you print off more photographs than needed you must destroy them using a shredder, also when taking the images make sure you do not get any other children in the background as they may not have the permission from the parents to do so, if we did not do this then the parent would then not feel comfortable in leaving their child in that setting, also the images may get into the wrong hands and be used inappropriately meaning the child could be at risk.
The only type of information that should be shared is safety: medical issues, allergies, Support learning: likes, dislikes, what stage they're up to, and Background info: if anything is happening at home that could affect child: e. g. separation or family death, information is only shared on a need to know basis. All the information should be kept in a locked filing cabinet. Also make sure that the observations are only shared with the parents of the hild and other professionals. With my three observations on my target child I looked at three different developmental areas, such as, gross motor, fine motor and balance and co-ordination. In the gross motor observation using quotes from the ‘EYFS’ and ‘Child Development An Illustrated Guide’, my TC is currently achieving the majority of these milestones and some of the things stated she couldn’t of accomplished in the garden, e. g. ‘using a pencil’.
My TC seems to be very confident in peddling, jumping, balancing etc and kicking a ball with great control; however, she needed assistance with walking on tiptoes, this is due to possibly not having the opportunity to try it. My TC also seems very sociable as she was playing a lot with her friends whether it was by pushing them round in the car or throwing a ball to them, this is perhaps because she is with adult company a lot of the time, this checklist information therefore shows me that there are no areas to be concerned about and my TC practises these skills every day.
When observing her balance and co-ordination, I have realised that she is very confident and in control of her balance and co-ordination, also that she is developing at the right stage for her age and is capable balancing by herself without assistance, showing that she is becoming more independent. My TC persisted with the activities even when challenges occurred which shows she is persistent and also she was finding new ways to do things which shows she is very inquisitive, this is stated in the ‘EYFS, Characteristics of effective learning’, showing she is on track and at the right place.
With the fine motor observation, my TC is meeting and exceeding the developmental milestones that she should be applying with the EYFS, this observation shows me that she engages in an activity and doesn’t give up until she has accomplished it, this shows great determination. My TC is turning out to be very independent, clever and determined, all of these things show that she is developing at the right pace for her age and is currently meeting and exceeding the developmental milestones.
This is possibly due to spending a lot of one to one time with mum and dad and being at nursery all day for three days; she always joins in with games and includes her friends improving vital skills such a socialising and physical development. My TC is always using her initiative when things go wrong and quickly amends them, e. g. when ‘she dropped all the beads, she quickly picked them up and rebuilt it’. My TCs needs are that she needs the equipment, space and time to develop these skills, improving her developmental areas.
She needs extra help with balancing; walking on tiptoes etc. so in the short term setting out obstacle courses or beams to walk along would benefit her massively as it would require her to use her balance and concentration. ‘Blocks and block play is very important for childrens learning and development. Because there is no right or wrong way to play with them, they are the perfect open-ended resource and they are so versatile that they support learning across all areas of the curriculam’.
Through my observations and discussions with my mentor, I am aware that my TC really enjoys playing outside and with her friends, and she feels lost without them; this is mainly because she spends a lot of time outside with her parents, one to one, this is massively beneficial also for her health. To support her future planning I would provide more activities that includes being outside and being active and try giving her the one on one attention, when possible.
The implications of observations are that observations need to be valid and reliable otherwise there will be biasness and different interpretations of how the child is feeling and the observations won’t be accurate. We can do this by objective observations, which are by looking at the child with fresh eyes, meaning we don’t jump to conclusions and make judgements and we so not have stereotypical views of the child. We can also make it reliable by writing it up ASAP so the observation is still in your head and you don’t forget or make-up key information.
We must use different techniques to observe the child this is because there are many aspects to look at and you can’t look at them all from one type, e. g. looking at a child’s language, you couldn’t do this using a photographic observation, if you didn’t do this then you would miss out information that might be necessary to detect any issues. Observations are needed to reflect on for future planning, if you didn’t the child will lose interest and not progress in development.
Observations are also good to give to the parent as they can see how their child is getting on and gives them reassurance as to how their child is progressing, it will hopefully highlight if there are any problems as well, which they can pass onto other professionals. If you did not do all of these things it will let your reputation down and show you cannot be reliable to look after children in a professional manner. John Bowlby (1907-1990), stated that a Child’s emotional bond to their familiar caregiver i. e. a family member or riend is a biological response that ensured survival, he called this the ‘theory of attachment’, and he said that the quality of attachment is to blame for the child’s capacity to form trusting relationships. His theory stated that children show a preference for closeness to a small number of adults and these attachments are a normal part of human development. When babies are born they are adapted to seek out attachments not just for the aim of being fed and protected but for the feelings of safety the attachment brings.
Also he said that when an infant feels safe and secure they won’t be as attached to you as when they feel scared or anxious, this is known as ‘attachment behaviour’. Also as infants mature into adulthood, the need for attachment lessens, however when we feel stress or anxiety we may find ourselves seeking comfort from loved ones. The main positive outcomes of good attachment experiences in the early years seemed to be social ones, things such as self-confidence, efficiency, self-esteem and the capacity to care for others and to be cared for.
Many practioners worry about the children becoming too attached to them and fear that it may undermine relationships at home. They don’t want to give children the feeling of loss when they have to leave them and move on to school or the next stage. However, children can cope with several close attachments, so now at most nurseries children are given a key person, but practioners must maintain professional boundaries too, favouritism is not an outcome of closeness to a child so practioners must work alongside the parent. Burrhus Skinner (1904-1990), was probably one of the best known behaviourist theorists.
Skinner applied ideas taken from his work with rodents to children, this approach is called operant conditioning, and he wrote most of his books about people. To him both animals and people are organisms – differing only to the degree of learning. Behaviourism is sometimes known as the learning theory, learning and development are often seen in terms of nature verses nurture. Behaviourism is at the extreme nurture end, Behaviourists generally believe that all behaviour is learned and can be shaped. The most common view is that behaviour is shaped by punishment and rewards, and that humans act to avoid punishment and to gain reward.
Skinner emphasised reward. He believed that punishment was counter-productive, having the opposite of the desired effect. He broke tasks down into small steps, and with each step reinforced and rewarded as it was learned. Although skinners experiments were generally carried out on animals, his work became widely applied to child development and to work with parents. Skinner proposed that a child’s language is shaped by the responses given to them by carers or parents. Skinners theory would indicate that children have to go through a trial and error aspect; however children can pick up things that are not learnt through regular reinforcement.
His work was put into practise by teaching methods which focus on the repletion of words and completion of rows of sums. Behaviourism is most often seen in the teaching of special needs children and behavioural management. Breaking down tasks into small steps, such as star charts, stamps, stickers, rewarding children for keeping to instructions and rules, and taking away of their luxury’s when they don’t keep to rules, praise and encouragement. This was introduced in the 1950s known as ‘programmed instruction’.
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