civics_culture&identity_644x362.jpgBrain Development:
  • knows the days of the week
  • is beginning to understand time
  • begins to recognize letters and words
  • knows the alphabet
  • can print some letters (maybe name) and spell some simple words
  • sustains activities over longer periods of time
  • identifies some letters of the alphabet and a few numbers
  • has developed an overall image of self
  • craves facts
  • able to memorize address and telephone number
  • knows basic colours like red, blue, yellow, green and orange
  • understands left and right on self
  • has a vocabulary of about 2,000 to 2,500 words
  • can help with easy household chores
  • can think some things through
  • counts to 10
  • begins to understand concept of opposites
  • knows stories have a beginning, a middle, an end
  • can speak in sentences of 6 to 8 words
  • identifies coins
  • engages in elaborate dramatic play
  • understands concepts of morning, afternoon, night, yesterday, today, tomorrow
  • is better able to distinguish make-believe from real life
Inside the Brain:
  • myelination of corpus callosum of the frontal lobe continues
  • dendritic complexity in the brain increases in order to facilitate the formation of memory
  • electrical activity of the brain gains coherence allowing the brain to better integrate the past with the present
  • memory strategies begin to develop, improving connections between temporal and parietal lobes of the brain leading to dramatic reading and vocabulary development
Emotional Development:
  • will laugh a lot and will still cry easily - sometimes one after the other
  • begins to express more feelings in words
  • embarrasses easily, and cannot yet laugh at self
  • may suddenly be embarrassed if seen nude
  • may ask for privacy in the bathroom and the bathtub
  • has basic understanding of right and wrong
  • feelings about death appear
  • shows guilt over misbehaviour
  • likes independence
  • is serious and dependable
  • from time to time may get tense, anxious or fearful
  • understands and enjoys both giving and receiving
  • sometimes needs to get away for some alone time
  • may use swear words to get your attention
Social Development:
  • makes friends easily and enjoys playing with others
  • can have long conversations with you and enjoys serious discussions (as well as silly ones)
  • likes structured games as well as imaginary ones
  • submits to more rules and regulations
  • invents games with simple rules
  • organizes toys and friends for pretend play
  • may brag or tell tall tales
  • can be very bossy at times
  • may tattle, name-call, hit, and shove at times
  • enjoys telling own stories
  • distinguishes between sex roles
  • cooperates in simple group tasks
  • likes to please adults
  • can be competitive
  • takes turns during playing and speaking
  • gets along comfortably with other children
  • is keenly interested in family activities
Physical Development:
  • weight: 14-26 kilograms (31-57 pounds)
  • height: 99-122 cm (39-48 inches)
  • sleeps 10-11 hours a night
  • bathes, eats, dresses, toilets independently
  • begins to lose primary (baby) teeth
  • tires easily
  • displays left or right handedness
  • builds elaborate structures
  • begins to participate in semi-structured games
  • enjoys active games and movement
  • learns to skip
  • throws a ball overhand
  • catches bounced balls
  • can jump over low objects
  • enjoys playing noisy rhythm instruments
  • likes helping parents cook, water the plants, do the laundry
  • is curious about reproduction and birth

As every child is unique and there is a wide range of what’s ‘normal’ at every age, it’s important to remember these lists are guidelines only. If you are concerned about your child’s development, see your doctor.

Sources: AboutKidsHealth, The Hospital for Sick Children, Health A-Z, Developmental Stages, Ontario Ministry of Child and Youth Services, Ontario Early Years Centres: A Place for Parents and Their Children,The Developing Brain: Birth to Age Eight, by Marilee Sprenger, Your Child’s Growing Mind: Brain Development and Learning from Birth to Adolescence, by Jane M. Healy, Ages and Stages, by Lesia Oesterreich, M.S.,extension human development specialist, Human Development and Family Studies, Iowa State University and “Learning from mistakes only happens after age 12, study suggests,” from Science Daily, Sept. 27, 2008.