What are the Different Stages of Child Development?

It is a very important period of a child’s life. It may be considered as the basis on which the future structure of a child’s life can be constructed. This structure too depends on careful guidance and supervision.

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According to Ruth Strang, “One can determine how a child stands in relation to life, a few months after his birth.” “During the first two years of his life the child lays the foundation for his future.”

According to F. Good enough, “One-half of an individual’s mental structure had been attained by the age of three years.”


(a) Physical Development

It is the period of rapid growth in size and weight. The new-born child is 18 inches in size and weights about seven pounds. Changes in the proportion of the body are visible.

The head which seems enormous of birth seems small now, as legs and trunk lengthens. The hands and the jaw develop. The muscles of the child also develop. He starts using his fingers by holding things, standing, walking and running.

(b) Emotional Development


He cannot show specific emotions like anger, fear, and joy as the adults do. It takes time to develop them. As the children grow up and reach the age of two, there is differentiation of emotions.

Anger is the most common emotion of this age and is aroused when adult force is used to restrict the freedom of the child. It is sometimes used as a device for gaining the attention of adults.

Children also show at this stage the emotion of joy. They express it on seeing familiar faces generally of adults and also show affection for parents and nurses.

(c) Social Development


The social development of the child essentially depends on the parents. If the parents are well inclined towards him, the child starts developing a healthy social personality; whereas an absence of such a relationship may injure his personality. He may develop anxiety, depression and feeling of insecurity.

Educational Significance of Infancy

1. The child at this stage should be provided wooden blocks and other play material which he may handle with ease and which do not require any special skill.

2. He should be given enough freedom in his movements. He should not be protected too much; otherwise he will not be able to develop his normal personality.

3. The child should feel secure in the family and the parents should treat him well.

Early Childhood-(from 2 to 6 Years)

(a) Physical Development

During this period the child attains height at the average rate of about three inches per year. At the age of six years he comes to have a height of 3 1/2 feet. The weight of the child also increases. The proportions of the body also change. The head grows very slowly. This is also the period of developing finer muscular co-ordinations.

(b) Emotional Development

At this age the child shows off his emotions. The young child will cry and throw himself on the ground, if his wishes are frustrated. He also fights with the children of his age. Another emotion of this stage is fear. The child is afraid of many things and situations as he develops his intelligence. He is also curious at this stage to know about the various things of the universe

(c) Social Development

He makes friends with other children and tries to get on well with them. Sometimes he also quarrels with his friends which is a normal form of behaviour Children also disobeys their parents which is also a healthy sign. “A child who never says no and always does as told is not growing satisfactorily.”

Children also sometimes compete with each other at this stage. They also sympathies with each other in case of distress

(d) Mental Development

He wants to know something about the universe. He is always asking questions. He also tries to handle the various objects of the universe and tries to understand them. It is after seeing and handling the objects that he builds up ‘Concepts’ about them. He is able to judge distances when he runs walks and climbs.

He follows conversation. He also develops his vocabulary and expresses himself in short sentences. Children who have superior intelligence are able to express themselves well in comparison to average children.

(e) Moral Development

(f) The child has no idea as to what is good or bad. He considers things good or bad as his parents explain to him.

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