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Early Childhood Fact Sheet: From 2 to 6 years

Children in the early childhood stage will show significant changes in their physical
development. These children will show much improvement on how they control their body. For
example, during this stage children should be able to pedal and steer a wheeled toy with
confidence. They should also be able to climb ladders, trees, and playground equipment.
(Marotz & Allen, 2013)
Children in the beginning of the early childhood stage should reach several milestones
regarding language. Perhaps one of the most important is the ability to answer simple questions
appropriately. (Marotz & Allen, 2013) This makes communication between children and
parents much more meaningful. There will be a significant improvement in language
development towards the end of the early childhood stage. Children nearing the end of this stage
will have a vocabulary of 1,500 or more words and will produce language that is almost entirely
intelligible. (Marotz & Allen, 2013) Again, communication will be improved significant
between parents and their children.
In terms of cognitive development, children in the early childhood stage should be able to
play simple games with rules. The following is stated regarding this, Finally, games with rules
begin early in life, particularly in the early childhood years, for Vygotsky (Frost, Wortham, &
Reifel, 2011, Pg. 140) In order to ensure children reach this milestone, games with rules should
be introduced early on in this stage. Encourage children to play games such as lotto or memory.
Another cognitive milestone that should be reached during the early childhood stage is the ability
to sort familiar objects into hierarchically organized categories. (Berk, 2013) Again, this can be
encouraged at home and school by providing blocks or other objects that can be sorted into
different categories.
It is always important to look for signs of atypical development. For example, the
following is an example of an atypical development during the early childhood stage, Check
with a health care provider or early childhood specialist if, by the sixth birthday, the child does
not follow simple three-step directions in stated order: Please go to the cupboard, get a cup, and
bring it to me (Marotz & Allen, 2013, Pg. 153). When giving children directions, always make
sure to pay close attention to make sure they follow said directions appropriately.
One strategy that parents can do at home in order to promote childrens development is
by playing make-believe. Our class text states the following regarding this, Make-believe is
another excellent example of the development of representation in early childhood. Piaget
believed that through pretending, children practice and strengthen newly acquired
representational schemes (Berk, 2013, Pg. 239). Through play children are able to learn a lot.
They are also able to practice and improve their language development. Parents can offer
materials to make the make-believe play more realistic and interesting. For example, having a
toy kitchen, utensils, pretend food, etc., would make playing house a lot more appealing.

References
Berk, L. E. (2013).Child development. (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Frost, J., Wortham, S., & Reifel, S. (2011) Play and child development. Upper Saddle River, NJ:
Merrill/Prentice-Hall.
Marotz, L. R. & Allen, K. E. (2013). Developmental profiles: Pre-birth through adolescence
(7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.