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Year by Year

Developmental Milestones by the End of 2 Years
 
Movement

  • Walks alone
  • Pulls toys behind her while walking
  • Carries large toy or several toys while walking
  • Begins to run
  • Stands on tiptoe
  • Kicks a ball
  • Climbs onto and down from furniture unassisted
  • Walks up and down stairs holding on to support
  • Hand and Finger Skills
  • Scribbles spontaneously
  • Turns over container to pour out contents
  • Builds tower of four blocks or more
  • Might use one hand more frequently than the other

Language

  • Points to object or picture when it's named for him
  • Recognizes names of familiar people, objects and body parts
  • Says several single words (by 15 to 18 months)
  • Uses simple phrases (by 18 to 24 months)
  • Uses two- to four-word sentences
  • Follows simple instructions
  • Repeats words overheard in conversation

Cognitive

  • Finds objects even when hidden under two or three covers
  • Begins to sort by shapes and colors
  • Begins make-believe play

Social

  • Imitates behavior of others, especially adults and older children
  • Increasingly aware of herself as separate from others
  • Increasingly enthusiastic about company of other children

Emotional

  • Demonstrates increasing independence
  • Begins to show defiant behavior
  • Episodes of separation anxiety increase toward midyear then fade

Developmental Health Watch

Because each child develops at his own particular pace, it's impossible to tell exactly when yours will perfect a given skill. The developmental milestones will give you a general idea of the changes you can expect as your child gets older, but don't be alarmed if he takes a slightly different course. Alert your pediatrician; however, if he displays any of the following signs of possible developmental delay for this age range.

  • Cannot walk by 18 months
  • Fails to develop a mature heel-toe walking pattern after several months of walking, or walks exclusively on his toes
  • Does not speak at least 15 words by 18 months
  • Does not use two-word sentences by age 2
  • By 15 months, does not seem to know the function of common household objects (brush, telephone, bell, fork, spoon)
  • Does not imitate actions or words by the end of this period
  • Does not follow simple instructions by age 2
  • Cannot push a wheeled toy by age 2

Developmental Milestones by the End of 3 Years
 
Movement

  • Climbs well
  • Walks up and down stairs, alternating feet
  • Kicks ball
  • Runs easily
  • Pedals tricycle
  • Bends over easily without falling
  • Hand and Finger Skills
  • Makes vertical, horizontal and circular strokes with pencil or crayon
  • Turns book pages one at a time
  • Builds a tower of more than six blocks
  • Holds a pencil in writing position
  • Screws and unscrews jar lids, nuts and bolts
  • Turns rotating handles

Language

  • Follows a two- or three-component command
  • Recognizes and identifies almost all common objects and pictures
  • Understands most sentences
  • Understands physical relationships ("on," "in," "under")
  • Uses four- and five-word sentences
  • Can say name, age and sex
  • Uses pronouns (I, you, me, we, they) and some plurals (cars, dogs, cats)
  • Strangers can understand most of her words

Cognitive

  • Makes mechanical toys work
  • Matches an object in her hand or room to a picture in a book
  • Plays make-believe with dolls, animals and people
  • Sorts objects by shape and color
  • Completes puzzles with three or four pieces
  • Understands concept of "two"

Social

  • Imitates adults and playmates
  • Spontaneously shows affection for familiar playmates
  • Can take turns in games
  • Understands concept of "mine" and "his/hers"

Emotional

  • Expresses affection openly
  • Expresses a wide range of emotions
  • By 3, separates easily from parents
  • Objects to major changes in routine

Developmental Health Watch

The developmental milestones give you a general idea of the changes you can expect as your child gets older, but don't be alarmed if her development takes a slightly different course. Each child develops at her own pace. Do consult your pediatrician, however, if your child displays any of the following signs of possible developmental delay for this age range.

  • Frequent falling and difficulty with stairs
  • Persistent drooling or very unclear speech
  • Inability to build a tower of more than four blocks
  • Difficulty manipulating small objects
  • Inability to copy a circle by age 3
  • Inability to communicate in short phrases
  • No involvement in "pretend" play
  • Failure to understand simple instructions
  • Little interest in other children
  • Extreme difficulty separating from mother

Developmental Milestones by the End of 4 Years
 
Movement

  • Hops and stands on one foot up to five seconds
  • Goes upstairs and downstairs without support
  • Kicks ball forward
  • Throws ball overhand
  • Catches bounced ball most of the time
  • Moves forward and backward with agility
  • Hand and Finger Skills
  • Copies square shapes
  • Draws a person with two to four body parts
  • Uses scissors
  • Draws circles and squares
  • Begins to copy some capital letters

Language

  • Understands the concepts of "same" and "different"
  • Has mastered some basic rules of grammar
  • Speaks in sentences of five to six words
  • Speaks clearly enough for strangers to understand
  • Tells stories

Cognitive

  • Correctly name some colors
  • Understands the concept of counting and may know a few numbers
  • Approaches problems from a single point of view
  • Begins to have a clearer sense of time
  • Follows three-part commands
  • Recalls parts of a story
  • Understands the concept of same/different
  • Engages in fantasy play

Social

  • Interested in new experiences
  • Cooperates with other children
  • Plays "Mom" or "Dad"
  • Increasingly inventive in fantasy play
  • Dresses and undresses
  • Negotiates solutions to conflicts
  • More independent

Emotional

  • Imagines that many unfamiliar images may be "monsters"
  • Views self as a whole person involving body, mind and feelings
  • Often cannot distinguish between fantasy and reality

Developmental Health Watch

Because each child develops in his own particular manner, it's impossible to tell exactly when or how he'll perfect a given skill. The developmental milestones will give you a general idea of the changes you can expect as your child gets older, but don't be alarmed if his development takes a slightly different course. Alert your pediatrician, however, if your child displays any of the following signs of possible developmental delay for this age range.

  • Cannot throw a ball overhand
  • Cannot jump in place
  • Cannot ride a tricycle
  • Cannot grasp a crayon between thumb and fingers
  • Has difficulty scribbling
  • Cannot stack four blocks
  • Still clings or cries whenever his parents leave him
  • Shows no interest in interactive games
  • Ignores other children
  • Doesn't respond to people outside the family
  • Doesn't engage in fantasy play
  • Resists dressing, sleeping, using the toilet
  • Lashes out without any self-control when angry or upset
  • Cannot copy a circle
  • Doesn't use sentences of more than three words
  • Doesn't use "me" and "you" appropriately

Developmental Milestones by the End of 5 Years
 
Movement

  • Stands on one foot for 10 seconds or longer
  • Hops, somersaults
  • Swings, climbs
  • May be able to skip
  • Hand and Finger Skills
  • Copies triangle and other geometric patterns
  • Draws person with body
  • Prints some letters
  • Dresses and undresses without assistance
  • Uses fork, spoon and (sometimes) a table knife
  • Usually cares for own toilet needs

Language

  • Recalls part of a story
  • Speaks sentences of more than five words
  • Uses future tense
  • Tells longer stories
  • Says name and address

Cognitive

  • Can count 10 or more objects
  • Correctly names at least four colors
  • Better understands the concept of time
  • Knows about things used every day in the home (money, food, appliances)

Social

  • Wants to please friends
  • Wants to be like her friends
  • More likely to agree to rules
  • Likes to sing, dance and act
  • Shows more independence and may even visit a next-door neighbor by herself

Emotional

  • Aware of sexuality
  • Able to distinguish fantasy from reality
  • Sometimes demanding, sometimes eagerly cooperative

Developmental Health Watch

Because each child develops in her own particular manner, it's impossible to predict exactly when or how your own preschooler will perfect a given skill. The developmental milestones will give you a general idea of the changes you can expect as your child gets older, but don't be alarmed if her development takes a slightly different course. Alert your pediatrician, however, if your child displays any of the following signs of possible developmental delay for this age range.

  • Exhibits extremely fearful or timid behavior
  • Exhibits extremely aggressive behavior
  • Is unable to separate from parents without major protest
  • Is easily distracted and unable to concentrate on any single activity for more than five minutes
  • Shows little interest in playing with other children
  • Refuses to respond to people in general, or responds only superficially
  • Rarely uses fantasy or imitation in play
  • Seems unhappy or sad much of the time
  • Doesn't engage in a variety of activities
  • Avoids or seems aloof with other children and adults
  • Doesn't express a wide range of emotions
  • Has trouble eating, sleeping or using the toilet
  • Can't differentiate between fantasy and reality
  • Seems unusually passive
  • Cannot understand two-part commands using prepositions ("Put the cup on the table"; "Get the ball under the couch.")
  • Can't correctly give her first and last name
  • Doesn't use plurals or past tense properly when speaking
  • Doesn't talk about her daily activities and experiences
  • Cannot build a tower of six to eight blocks
  • Seems uncomfortable holding a crayon
  • Has trouble taking off clothing
  • Cannot brush her teeth efficiently
  • Cannot wash and dry her hands

Excerpted from Caring for Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5, Bantam 1999

http://www.med.umich.edu/1Libr/yourchild/devmile.htm



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