Expected patterns of development in children aged 0-19 years Age Group | Cognitive | Communication | Physical | Social, Emotional & Behavioural | Moral | 0-3 months | Recognition of the smell of her mother. Baby stops crying when she hears her mother’s voice. Recognition of familiar voices. | Crying when hungry. Cooing from 5-6 weeks. Crying when distressed. | Swallowing reflex. Sucking reflex. Rooting reflex. | Smiles of contentment from 5-6 weeks. Close contact with parent/carer. Contentment with familiar persons. | Not applicable | 3-6 months | Awareness of objects.
Responds to own name. Follows moving objects. | Starts to imitate sounds. Smiles frequently. Laughs when happy. | Improved head control. Plays on play mat. Begins to eat solid food. | Enjoyment at bath time. Makes eye contact. Increased awareness of there environment. | Not applicable | 6-9 months | Better awareness of the world. Ability to realise that objects out of sight still exist. Verbalised sounds that have been processed. | Begins to babble. Clapping. Lifting up of arms to indicate desire to picked up. | Onset of teething. Begins to crawl. Ability to maintain seated posture with support. Stranger anxiety. Banging/dropping of objects to see what happens/sound it makes. Child is happy when playing with primary carer. | Not applicable | 9-12 months | Uses objects correctly i. e. : talks into a phone. Finds hidden objects. Bangs, shakes and throws objects. | Responds to ‘no’. May say ‘mama’ or ‘dada’. Babbles with inflection. | Pokes with index finger . Pulls herself to stand. Crawls forward on her stomach. | Shyness and anxiety towards strangers. Tests parental responses to her behaviour. Enjoys imitation. | Not applicable | 12-18 months | Recognition of daily routines.
Increased understanding of what is happening around them. Recognises reflection in a mirror. | Long strings of babble. Beginnings of first words. May put two words together. | Cruising. Finger feeding. Stand up with support. | Interest in anything new. Increased independence from primary carer. Enjoys playing with other people. | Not applicable | 18-24 months | Understands and responds properly to some words and simple commands. May match similar objects. Distinguishes between ‘you’ and ‘me’. | Vocabulary increases each month. Asks simple questions. Points to pictures in a book. | Can walk backwards.
Grasp, hold and throw a ball. May begin to run. | Identifies primary caregiver. Imitates movements and facial expressions. Develops a sense of security. | Not applicable | 24-30 months | Enjoys playing with puzzles and building blocks. Increased independence. Increased sense of individuality. | Vocabulary of 200+ words. May initiate games by talking and pointing. Less ‘baby talk’ and more cohesive and understandable sentences. | Runs forward. Attempts to dress and undress independently. Improved agility – i. e. : can hop on one leg on the spot. | Shows affection towards others Parallel play.
Imitates the behavioural models of others. | Not applicable | 30-36 months | Can respond to simple directions i. e. : forward or backwards. Observes and mimics actions of others. Egocentric | May use 2 or 3 word sentences. Speech is understood by primary carers and other familiar people. Understands the roles and authority that adults have e. g. : police officers and teachers. | Can kick a ball. Can bend over. Utilises a climbing frame. | Enjoys being helpful – tidying up, carrying the shopping basket. Inquisitive about the world. May show challenging behaviour. Comprehension of the word ‘no’. No understanding of right and wrong. | 36-48 months | Growing interest in books. Enjoys ‘mark’ painting – dots and lines – making a mark. Can follow a series of 2-4 simple directions. Has a generic sense of past and present. | Speech that is easily understood. Asks many questions and wants to be satisfied with an answer. Can construct sentences with 4+ works e. g. : Where has Daddy gone? ‘ | Can walk upstairs on alternate feet. Pushes, pulls and steers toys. Can build a tower of blocks. | Increased interaction with other children. Continues parallel play.
Develops friendships as opposed to play partners. | Comprehension of the word ‘no’. No understanding of the right and wrong but can follow simple rules some of the time. | 48-60 months | Increase in volume of questions – Why? How? Can recall name and age and simplified address. Increased attention span. | 90-100% intelligible conversation. Some articulation errors. More detailed sentences. | Can hold a pencil correctly. Can uses a safety scissors. Can cut on a line continuously and precisely. | Engages in pretend play. Compares themselves to others. Shares toys. | Can be thoughtful towards others.
Will often do things for adult approval. | 5-6 years | Can count and do simple mathematical calculations. Limited recognition of mathematical symbols. Awareness and understanding of the Green Cross Code and road safety. | Can draw detailed pictures representing life experiences and family members. Verbally more fluent in arguing a point of view. Greater understanding and utilisation of vocabulary. | Ability to kick and control a ball. Legible writing. Improvement in fine manipulative skills i. e. : tying laces, using hair bobbles. | Mimics behaviour models of others. Friendship preferences.
Wants to do the same as peers. | Keen to understand and establish the rules. Has a growing awareness of their conscience. | 6-8 years | Engages in silent reading. Interested in word searches, crosswords and word related games. Interest in music genres. | Verbal challenges. Likes to negotiate. Likes to tell jokes. | Growth of 2-5” per year. May not want to rest despite being tired. Neater handwriting and honed fine motor skills. | Seeks more independence from parents and family. Plans ahead and creates schedules. Develops feeling about appearance. | Keen to enforce the rules and to ‘tell tales’.
Greater understanding of right and wrong. | 8-11 years | Develops hobbies. Learns to evaluate self and tasks. Difficulty to accept rules that she did not help make – everything seems to be unfair. | More sophisticated use of language. Good reading and writing skills. Often shares her opinions. | 2+ years ahead of boys in physical development. Greater coordination and agility when executing fine and large movements. May start puberty. | Peer groups largely defined by sex. Desire to be in/form ‘secret’ clubs. Ability to better control anger and frustration. | Increased empathy. Awareness of consequences. 12-14 years | Stronger sense of right and wrong. Ability to think in the abstract. Reasoning and problem solving. | Negotiates and attempts to persuade adults and peers. Draws pictures to represent feelings. Good reading and writing skills and more elaborate use of language. | Rapid growth in height and weight. Onset of periods in girls. Growth of bodily hair in boys. | Concern and bodily image and clothes and susceptible to peer pressure. Strong attachment to friends. Anxiety about school and exams. | Understands the need for rules in society. Understanding of the ramifications of actions. 14-16 years | Ability to think in the abstract. Better expression of feelings through talking. Better able to differentiate between right and wrong. | Uses technology to contact friends. Desires frequent contact with friends. May be a breakdown in communication between child and parent due to a rejection of adult values and rules. | Poor spatial awareness prevalent in boys due to rapid body growth. Physical development complete for girls. Onset of puberty in boys lasting approximately 3 years. | Truancy/Bullying Desire to be a part of a group. Anxiety about the future. Has a good comprehension of right and wrong: dislikes injustice. Tries to arrive at decisions alone. | 16-19 years | Self regulates/self sufficient. Well defined work habits. | May use a journal or diary to record feelings. Explanations may become more figurative and less literal with an increase in the use of metaphors and idioms. | 95% of adult height reached. Completion of puberty in girls. | Developing capacity for a healthy, romantic relationship. Movement towards independence. | Development and understanding of ethics and morals. May develop an interest in sex as a response to physical and emotional needs and urges. |