Child Development: Areas of Development

What is child development?

Child development is a process that every child will go through. It is the process of physical, language, thought and emotional changes that happen to a child from birth to the beginning of adulthood.


The process involves learning and mastering skills such as sitting, talking, walking and skipping. Children master these skills, called developmental milestones, during a predictable time frame.


Five main aspects of child development:

Cognitive development 

A child’s ability to learn and solve problems. Examples of cognitive development would be a 12-month-old infant learning to discover and investigate things that intrigue them, or a six-year-old child learning how to answer simple math questions.


Social and emotional development 

A child’s ability to communicate with others, including helping themselves and self-control. For example, a two-month-old infant smiling and look directly at you, a 12-month-old waving “hello” or “goodbye”, or a three-year-old child starts to play with other kids and separate from parents more easily.

child development

Speech and language development 

A child’s ability to understand and use language. Examples of this type of development would include: a five-months-old baby reacts to loud sounds, a 17-month-old infant tries to imitate simple words, or a four-year-old child understands spatial concepts like “in front” and “next to”.


Fine motor skill development

A child’s ability to use small muscles, specifically their hands and fingers. For example, a 12-month-old infant transfers objects from one hand to another, a 3-year-old child able to eat without assistance, or five-year-old kid able to write numbers and copy letters.

Gross motor skill development 

A child’s ability to use large muscles. Examples of gross motor skill development would be a six-month-old infant able to sit with support, an 18-month-old baby able to crawl and walk, or a five-year-old child able to step up stairs while holding an object.  



It is important to monitor each child’s development and check if a child’s development is on track. If there are signs of developmental delay, early treatment can make a big difference in a child’s ability to develop new skills. To learn more about a child’s growth, visit now!