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Early Childhood

Early Childhood occurs between the ages two through seven. Piaget notice that in this
period of development, children are in the preoperational period of development. Berks (2013)
say, Preschool children use symbols to represent their earlier sensorimotor discoveries.
Development of language and make-believe play takes place. However thinking lacks the logic
of the two remaining stages. They are more egocentric and see the world from only their
viewpoint (p. 20). In this age group children play, learn, and grow together mastering certain
skills in physical, language, cognitive, and social development. In child development a typical
child should reach certain milestones during the early childhood in their physical, language, and
cognitive development.

Physical Development
Physical development in early childhood allows children to engage in more complex
physical movement. Children in early childhood learn to run, jump, balance, and coordinate their
large mobility. They learn to sort objects, string beads, among many other activities to develop
strength, and tone their fine muscle abilities. According to the Center for Disease Control and
Prevention (2014), children in early childhood should be able to:

Run, jump, climb, ride a bike

Use a spoon, folk, and sometimes a table knife

Language Development
Locke and Bogin (2006) say, In childhood, brain growth tapers off, at least by weight,
with its mass perking at about age seven years, with a small increase occurring later at puberty
(p.2620. Children in early childhood have fun and learn language through articulation, receptive
language, and expressive language. Children learn articulation by producing sounds in everyday
communication with others. Receptive language allows children understand directions, answer
questions, and follow simple direction. Expressive language is how children learn different
words and their meaning and they learn basic grammar. Language in early childhood allows
children to have fun and express themselves with their peers. According to the Center for
Disease Control and Prevention (2014), children in early childhood should be able to: Know
some basic rules of grammar, such as correctly using he or she, sing a song from memory,
and tell a simple story using full sentences (CDC, 2014).

Cognitive Development
Cognitive development is essential in early childhood. It is most important, because it is
the mental processes that allow children to obtain knowledge. Cognition for early childhood
children causes them to analyze, predict, generalize, and evaluate different skills through their
thinking. Through exploration and examination children in this period of develop; cognitive
abilities increase to more logical and abstract thinking. According to Center for Disease Control

and Prevention (2014), children should be able to: Follow simple directions, count more than
ten objects, and draw a person with six or more body parts (CDC, 2014).

Social-emotional Development
A child in this stage of development emotional development is up and down. Berk (2013)
say, By age three and four, preschoolers verbalize a variety of emotional self-regulation
strategies: they know they can blunt emotions by restricting sensory input (covering their eyes or
ears to block out an unpleasant sight or sound), talking to themselves (Mommy said shell be
back soon), or changing their goals (deciding that they dont want to play anyway after being
excluded from a game) (pg. 410-411). Typical children in this stage of development according
to Berk (2013) should be able to: understand the causes, consequences, and a behavioral sign of
emotion improves in accuracy and complexity; begin to conform to emotional display rules; can
pose a positive emotion he or she does not feel, and self-conscious emotions are clearly linked to
self-evaluations (p. 419).

Moral Reasoning/Self-Regulation Development

Children within this age group should know the difference from right and wrong and they
can distinguish a lie from the truth. Typical children in early childhood development according

to Berk (2013): respond with empathy-based guilt to transgressions, begin to show sensitivity to
others intentions in moral judgment, and distinguishes moral imperatives, social conventions,
and matters of personal choice (p. 513).

Atypical Development

Children in early childhood continue to grow and develop in all the developmental
domains, but like any other age group something can go wrong. According to CDC, one sign that
a child is developing atypical if they: Do not respond to people, cannot give their first or last
name, or cannot draw a person with body part (CDC, 2014).

Social Factor

Self-concept is a great social factor that can influences children in this age group. Berks
(2013) make known, Self-concept is a set of attributes, abilities, and values that an individual
believes defines who he or she is (p. 456). When children have self-concept they feel good
about themselves and they can better interact with other children.

Cultural Factor

Some cultural encourage children to express themselves, and in other cultures children
are not allowed to express themselves. Berk (2013) explains, As with self-concept, cultural
forces profoundly affect self-esteem, also an especially strong emphasis on social comparison in
school may underlie the finding that despite their higher academic achievement, Chinese and
Japanese children score lower than U.S. children in self-esteem (p. 463).

Family Influence

Families can cultivate development in early childhood by encouraging children to use

their words through language. When children communicate with others they increase in their
vocabulary. Families should encourage children to run, jump, and play, so they can enjoy their
youthfulness. Families should find developmental appropriate activities that will promote
physical, cognitive, language, and social development. Berk (2013) say, Studies show that
having helpful or generous models increases young childrens prosocial responses, which include
warmth, and responsiveness competence and power, and consistency between assertions and
behavior (p. 491).
Play-based Strategies

Two play-based strategies that families can use to influence their childrens learning and
development during the early childhood stage of development is engage in make-believe play
with your child (pretend like you are having tea and cookies) and explore sensory development
in the sand with trucks, shovels, rakes, and sand molders (you can also use your finger to draw
letters in the sand).

Berk, L. E. (2013). Child development. (9th ed). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Developmental Milestones. (2014, March 27). Retrieved from Center for Disease Control and
Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/milestones/milestones-9mo.html
Locke, J. L., & Bogin, B. (2006). Language and life history: A new perspective on the
development and evolution of human language. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 29(3),
259-80; discussion 280-325. Retrieved from