Stages of Child Development

stages of child development

At twenty four months, your baby can remember the faces of the people closest to him or her. Often, this is why a child will cry when separated from their primary caregivers. This visual stage is very important to future development. “The ability to see and hear forms a crucial part of brain development in children. At this stage, parents must introduce the child to various colors, shapes and sounds to stimulate this area of brain,” according to Buzzle.

There are many other ideas you can use to introduce your child to other influential factors.

Influential factors

There are a few different types of brain-related development happening during childhood.  How children learn and grow with these factors depends on a few different things.

“These important factors include genetics, food and nutrition, responsiveness of parents, daily experiences, physical activity and love. In particular, parents should be aware of the importance of furnishing a healthy and nutritious diet, giving love and nurturing, providing interesting and varied everyday experiences, and giving children positive and sensitive feedback,” the North Dakota State University Extension Office supplement on Understanding Brain Development in Young Children said.

Four types of childhood learning

Each interaction a caregiver has with a child is important for fostering childhood learning. The following are four different types of learning experienced in childhood:

Motor skills

The ability to move and walk encompasses motor skills directly. “Activities like rolling over; crawling, walking, running and jumping are gross motor skills. These skills usually involve using the entire body or several parts of the body at one time,” Esther Boylan Wolfson, Director of the Early Childhood Development Center said on

Muscle strength and tone are also vital areas to evaluate when assessing your child’s motor skills.

Specific activities: Gymnastics and tumbling classes, drawing, learning to tie shoes and using scissors.

Visual capabilities

Visual skills are gained over time.

“Most children, when born, have limited visual development. They may be able to see shapes or contrasting colors like black and white, but most can’t see primary colors like red or blue before they are a month or two old,” according to Therefore, it takes awhile in the development of a child for visual capabilities to begin to appear.

Specific activities: Learning colors and shapes, sorting and folding laundry and looking at pictures are main elements of visual child development.

Emotional capacity

Helping your child become a social and appropriately emotional individual is something he will carry the rest of his life. In Erikson’s Eight Stages of Development, from The Child Development Institute, there is much to be acquired. Attributes such as hope, will, competence and others make up the list, among others.

Specific activities: Learning appropriate responses like “thank you” and “please,” playing with other children and helping your child make friends at play-dates and other events.


Doing sign language with your baby or child may help them develop better motor skills, a PBS report states. Another technique, fingerspelling, is also being used. “Fingerspelling is the use of hand positions to represent letters of the alphabet,” the report said.

Learning such a thing could lead to early reading skills.

“Sign language and fingerspelling deliver additional clues for learning to read. Reading is an acquired skill that requires a planned sequence of skill development. The use of sign language and fingerspelling is a strategy that can be integrated into almost any existing reading program,” PBS said.

Specific activities: Singing songs and rhymes, reading books and encouraging storytelling exercises, no matter how simple.

More on Early Child Development

Renowned Swiss biologist and psychologist Jean Piaget developed a theory based on the idea that the developing child builds cognitive structures, or mental “maps” or schemes for understanding and responding to physical experiences within his or her environment. These schemes increase in sophistication as a child develops. Piaget’s theory identifies four developmental stages which you can read more about here on Funderstanding.