Views of a Foetus in the Womb detail. Early childhood is a stage in human development. It generally includes creative development of children of early age and some time afterwards.
Play age is an unspecific designation approximately within the scope of early childhood. In psychology the term early childhood is usually defined as the time period birth until the age of nine to twelve years, therefore covering infancy, kindergarten and the early school years up to grades 3,4,5 or 6. In this phase there is significant synaptic growth and myelination of neural fibers in the brain, especially within the frontal lobes. The growth of the brain is followed by a surge in cognitive abilities. Around the age of five, children start speaking properly and master their hand to eye coordination.
It is optimal that an environment is provided that encourages physical development and allows the children to explore and try out new things. The physical development in children follows a pattern. The large muscles develop before the small muscles. The large muscles are used for walking, running and other physical activities. These are known as gross motor skills. Small muscles are used for fine motor skills such as picking up objects, writing, drawing, throwing and catching.
Called the preoperational stage by Jean Piaget, this is the stage during which the child repeatedly asks “Why? The child can’t yet perform the abstract thinking operations. This includes children understanding a sense of ‘self’, relationships with others and sociability. The emotional development includes expressions, attachment and personality. Children manifest fear of dark and monsters and around the age of three notice whether they are a boy or a girl and start acting that way.
Boys are usually more aggressive, whilst girls are more caring. Between ages 2 and 3 years, young children stop using the awkward, wide-legged robot-like stance that is the hallmark of new walkers. As they develop a smoother gait, they also develop the ability to run, jump, and hop. Children of this age can participate in throwing and catching games with larger balls. They can also push themselves around with their feet while sitting on a riding toy. There are several developmental expectations for children to reach by the time they reach the age of 2.
Children are expected to be able to draw simple shapes such as circles, squares and triangles. The development of holding the pencil starts with a supinated grip and finishes with a “dynamic tripod” grip which involves three fingers stabilizing the utensil near the tip. They should also be able to cut out such shapes as these. Infants and toddlers experience life more holistically than any other age group Social, emotional, cognitive, language, and physical lessons are not learned separately by very young children. Adults who are most helpful to young children interact in ways that understand that the child is learning from the whole experience, not just that part of the experience to which the adult gives attention. The most information learned occurs between birth and the age of three, during this time humans develop more quickly and rapidly than they would at any other point in their life. Love, affection, encouragement and mental stimulation from the parents or guardians of these young children aid in development.
According to National Association for the Education of Young Children, early childhood spans the human life from birth to age 8. Child Development And Parenting: Early Childhood Available: “Archived copy”. Early Childhood Education: Issues and Developments. New York: Nova Sciences Publishers, Inc.
Archived from the original on 2010-11-07. This page was last edited on 4 April 2018, at 10:33. I’m an advocate for play in early childhood settings. Play isn’t a child’s only way of learning. Play isn’t the only practice that our Early Years Learning Framework encourages educators to draw on to promote children’s learning.
Educators need to have a rich repertoire of practices up their sleeves, and learning through play is only one of them. Play is, however, a powerful way of learning and a child’s right, and it’s the one I see declining in early childhood settings. I can, however, report from the trenches that the time and space for play in early childhood settings has declined. A context for learning through which children organise and make sense of their social worlds, as they engage actively with people, objects and representations. Maggie Dent, in “Stop Stealing Childhood”, includes the voices of parents and educators and professionals in related fields expressing similar concerns with the current state of play in Australia.