Child Development by Ages
Here are some guidelines for each age group, which help you understand your child's potential. Everyone develops differently, but most children reach these milestones by a certain age. Click on the bar below to find out more about each age.
12 - 18 months
This year, your child's biggest job is to learn how to walk and talk. While you should try to make sure your child is always supervised, hopefully you will also enjoy watching your child learn and grow!
What your child can see, hear and feel:
At this point in your child's development, he or she will spend more time exploring objects than before. He or she will try to determine how to use it, in addition to the observations made before. Your child will also want to turn the pages of his or her favorite books by him- or herself. He or she will also learn how to match two objects together by color, shape and size.
Your child is also paying more attention to the actions of others. He or she might try to imitate you or other people he or she encounters by interacting with his or her toys. For example, your child may pretend to feed his or her doll with a cup or a spoon.
Social and emotional development:
Your child is learning how to communicate his or her wants, needs, and feelings by using words and facial expressions. He or she will enjoy saying 'no,' even when they mean yes. In fact, the more often you use the word no with your child, the more likely you will hear the same word often. It's a good idea to limit your use of the word no, and to use it only when necessary.
Your child will also begin to recognize him- or herself in the mirror. He or she should also have playdates, but it's very common for your child to play next to another child, instead of with the other child. Usually children learn how to share around the age of three. At this stage, your child may also prefer the company of adults rather than other children. He or she might even become jealous (and show it) when he or she isn't the center of attention.
Gross motor skills:
Between a year and 18 months, your child will be focusing on learning how to walk. This is great because he or she is become mobile – and fast! But it's also important to know that you should now be more conscious of the footwear they are wearing. When your child is first learning how to walk, he or she should be barefoot (if it's warm enough inside) or wear socks and soft shoes. It's important to dress him or her in shoes that will allow your child's foot to bend and move easily inside of the shoe.
Once they are learning how to walk, they will also learn how to roll a ball on the floor and how to kick it. If there are stairs in your child's environment, he or she may try to walk up them with help. He or she will try to climb the stairs by putting both feet on one step before taking on the next one. Never let your child try to climb the stairs on their own. It is essential that you or someone you trust is looking after your child when he or she is near the stairs. Once your child is mobile, it's a very good idea to use baby gates or locked doors to protect your child from stairs and open windows, unless you are there to keep him or her safe.
Fine motor skills:
At this point in your child's development, he or she is learning to do more things on his or her own! It's very exciting to see them accomplish tasks on their own, and sometimes a little bit funny when they are first attempting to do something new.
Your child should try to progress from finger-feeding him- or herself to trying to use a spoon this year. He or she should also practice dropping toys into buckets or bowls. Also, your child may enjoy making marks on paper with crayons, but it's important to keep an eye on him or her to make sure that they don't put the crayons in their mouth or color on the walls. (!)
You might also find that your child likes to stack things up and then them down. Good toys or materials to do this with are nesting cups, stacking rings, and other toys that fit one inside the other. Your child's stacks probably won't be very high, for example, he or she will probably only be able to stack 2 or 3 items on top of each other.
These skills are all very tactile, meaning that they all have to do with touch. Your child is learning how to develop their sense of touch and their hand-eye coordination so that they will be able to do more complex things like write, play with more complicated toys and even play sports! To help your child develop, a good idea is to play games like simple shape sorters or puzzles. He or she may also enjoy taking things apart. Keep toys with small parts that your child could choke on away from him or her.
Speech and language development:
By now your child should be pointing at things to show you that it has caught his or her attention. It's a good idea in this situation to use your words and teach your child the names of these objects. Your child will also have learned to point at pictures that he or she recognizes in books. If you ask your child to point at body parts that you name, he or she should be able to do this too!
Around this point in your child's development, he or she will start to say words that they are most familiar with. Even if your child pronounces a word differently than you do, you shouldn't correct him or her. You can just repeat the word correctly so that he or she can hear it again.
12 - 18 months
- Walks without support
- Can self-feed sometimes
- Speaks and make their voice go up and down
- Drinks from a cup held by someone
- Uses four or five words
- Walks (may run a bit)
- Runs with a lack of coordination and falls often
- Uses five to ten words
- Climbs up or down one stair
- Climbs onto small chairs without help
- Can build a tower of two to four blocks
- Pulls toys that have wheels
- Marks on paper with crayons
- Understands easy directions
- Shows affection
- Listens to a story or looks at pictures
- Can say 10 or more words when asked
- Identifies one or more parts of the body
- Understands and is able to point to and identify common objects
- Often imitates
- Is able to take off some clothing items, such as gloves, hats, and socks
- Begins to feel a sense of ownership, identifying people and objects by saying 'my'
Want to raise a well-rounded child? Discover the different kinds of developmental benefits to see how you can help your child grow into an intelligent and healthy individual! Click an image to find out more!
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