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Child development

Development Profile

Infant/Toddler (0-3 years)

As a toddler, Sarah’s physical development progressed from uncoordinated movements using arms and legs to climbing up the stairs. Her cognitive development was demonstrated by the curiosity she developed of physical surroundings. At the age of 2 years, she was able to understand sequence while playing with toys and uttering 2 word phrases. This means that Sarah’s cognitive development was aligned with the pre-operational stage of cognitive development. Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development provides that children start to learn how to talk during pre-operational stage. However, at this stage, children are unable to manipulate information or to understand concrete logic (Huitt and Hummel, 2003).

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Sarah’s social development was first revealed by her attachment to her mother. She progressed well by becoming socially interactive while playing with games. Her social attachment to the mother is aligned with Erik Erikson’s psychosocial development theory, which postulates that the mother is the most significant relationship of toddlers (Newman and Newman, 2014). It is during infant stage that Sarah developed the virtue of hope as provided by the theory of psychosocial development. She also learned to trust her mother at this age, which is aligned with normal milestones in emotional development for a toddler (Newman and Newman, 2014).

Early Childhood (3-5 years)

Sarah is 5 years old. Therefore she is in her early childhood stage of development. She is physically active as she cannot stay still for long. Her motor skills have been refined as she can climb, jump and hop. However she is a little clumsy while throwing balls. She has an accurate memory. Nonetheless, at times she misinterprets visual cues related to emotional expression. Her level of cognitive development reveals that she is within the symbolic function sub-stage, as provided by theory of cognitive development. Piaget suggested that during the symbolic function sub-stage, children face challenges transforming and manipulating information in a logical way (Huitt and Hummel, 2003). This explains why Sarah finds it challenging to understand that others may have different opinions.

Sarah is able to involve imaginary friends when playing alone. She is also able to take turns when playing with others. Furthermore, Sarah has an idea of what comprises good and bad behavior. For example, she incorporates parental prohibitions in her behavior and feels guilty whenever she becomes disobedient. According to the theory of psychosocial development, it is at this stage that a child develops free will (Newman and Newman, 2014). It is Sarah’s free will that causes guilt when she does not use the toilet as instructed by her mother. Notably, her emotional outbursts are less frequent. This means that she is beginning to control her emotions.

Middle Childhood (6-11 years)

In her middle childhood, Sarah will be able to integrate her gross and fine motor skills. According to Sigmund Freud’s theory of psychosexual development, children in middle childhood years are at the latency stage of sexual development (Berger, 2003). However, it is notable that Sarah’s puberty may begin at this stage of development. This is because some children begin puberty at 11 years. In middle childhood, Sarah will have improved her communication skills. She is expected to use language as the main communication tool. Her perception of events will also become more logical and rational.

In the social domain, Sarah will be able to develop friends in different situations. She will also rely on rules during play and in her social behavior. Sarah is also expected to understand that rules can be negotiated when she reaches middle childhood. More importantly, she will take some responsibilities at home. Her emotional development will be demonstrated by ability to apply alternative strategies in expressing emotions and dealing with frustrations.

Adolescent (12-21 years)

At adolescence, Sarah is expected to experience significant physical changes to her body due to puberty. Her growth will spurt at this stage. She will also be systematic in problem solving. However, her emotions are likely to influence her cognitive development domain. The theory of cognitive development provides that adolescents go through concrete operational stage, during which is able to apply logic in a more appropriate manner (Huitt and Hummel, 2003). Therefore, Sarah’s cognitive capabilities will advance during adolescence and she is expected to think hypothetically, logically and abstractly.

Sarah is also expected to seek independence from her parents during adolescence. The theory of psychosexual development postulates that sexual interests mature at adolescence. Therefore, Sarah is likely to exhibit exploratory sexual interests. She will also form friendships on the basis of trust, understanding and loyalty. Her psychosocial task at adolescence will be identity formation. She is likely to have a role model during this stage. However, peers will be her most significant relations, as postulated by the theory of psychosocial development (Berger, 2003).

Activity Design

The activity to be used in enhancing Sarah’s skills and thinking will is a shoe store dramatic play. She will join other students from my class in the play. The students participating in the dramatic play will learn six skills sets, which will define their learning objectives. They include role playing, make-believe, use of materials, attention span, communication and social interaction (Frost, Wortham and Reifel, 2008). The prop box for the dramatic play will be designed to contain different types of shoes, a ruler, shoe boxes, small chairs, a permanent marker, and pictures of shoes, shoe strings, a mirror, a cash register and play money. Sarah’s goals for participating in the dramatic play are as follows: to provide her with an opportunity of expanding her vocabulary, to enhance her fine motor skills, to explore various concepts in math and to practice social skills.

Various types of shoes will be traced and marked, including boots, soccer shoes, party shoes, swim shoes, ballet shoes and slippers. Price tags will be attached to each shoe. The pictures of the shoes will be kept in the shelves to keep the shoe store organized. Chairs will be arranged for customers and the cash register strategically placed for making calculations related to the prices of goods and change money for customers. Participating students from my class will then be asked to explore the store and the shoes and sell them to those playing the roles of customers. I will then observe Sarah’s application of skills in the physical, cognitive, social and emotional domains. I will specifically evaluate her progress in relation the achievement of her objectives for participating in the dramatic play.

Observation, Assessment, and Sharing Developmental Information

I will observe Sarah’s use of syntax, grammar and vocabulary during the dramatic play activities. I will specifically seek to determine whether she understands the sequence of events and activities in the shoe store as presented by her peers. In addition, I will assess Sarah’s ability to use vivid imaginations to actively participate in the dramatic play, especially in making simple math calculations pertaining to the prices of shoes. I understand that she may face some challenges interpreting some visual cues, which is aligned with her level of cognitive, social and emotional development. Furthermore, I will assess Sarah’s communication skills to determine whether her receptive and expressive language skills are improving as they should. More importantly, I will assess her use of fine motor skills, such as working with the cash register and labeling shoes. More importantly, I will observe her closely with a view of determining the extent to which she is able to control her emotions while working with peers in the shoe store dramatic play.

I plan to share the information I gather on Sarah’s development milestones with her parents. I will share this information in a constructive and professional manner with a goal of encouraging them to provide her with more opportunities for effective development in the four domains. I will first explain Sarah’s current stage of development to her parents in relation to the expected development milestones and challenges. For example, I will explain to the parents that at her stage of physical development, she is expected to be physically active. Therefore, in case I notice that she is not as active as she should be in the dramatic play, I will encourage her parents to provide her with more opportunities for physical activity, such as taking her to parks and providing toys that encourage physical activity. I also plan to encourage her parents to allow her to play more with other children. I will explain that the development of social skills is vital at her age.

List of References

Berger, K.S., 2003. The developing person through childhood and adolescence. Macmillan.

Frost, J.L., Wortham, S.C. and Reifel, R.S., 2008. Play and child development. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Merrill Prentice Hall.

Huitt, W. and Hummel, J., 2003. Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. Educational psychology interactive, 3(2), pp.1-5.

Newman, B.M. and Newman, P.R., 2014. Development through life: A psychosocial approach. Cengage Learning.

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