Different Stages of Development; Different Educational Needs

By: Inas Essa

Age is not just a number! Each day of development means a new stage with specific needs on the intellectual, emotional, and physical scales. Besides a healthy environment and the necessary care for healthy growth, children need specific responses and treatment from caregivers and educators to help them learn and stimulate their brains in a good way.

Children Respond Differently; So Should Caregivers and Educators

Caregivers and educators should keep in mind how unique each child is in the different stages; there is no one size that fits all in raising a child. Still, there are some common needs that should be well met, and that is what we are highlighting in this article.

For me, from a very young age, getting to know others and speaking with them about different topics has been my cup of tea. Years later, I became a writer who enjoys speaking, writing, and weaving stories from scratch. My sibling was a movie fan who never missed a cartoon; she has become an animator.

Keeping in mind a child’s age and personality is key while looking for the program that meets their needs. Understanding what makes a child feel secure and knowing the activities they enjoy and will learn from will make a difference in the final child-care decision. In other words, caregivers and educators should be in tune with the child’s unique personality and treat them in a positive and caring manner that agrees with their different characters. This is crucial to nurture their healthy emotional and cognitive growth.

Different Developmental Stages; Different Needs

From zero to adulthood, children go through different stages that are all packed with exploration and trying to understand what is going on around them. In these early stages, from zero to three years, the child may be fascinated with the hands, feet, and mouth. Then, they may try to explore things around, followed by the independence stage.

During this early stage, some concepts and routines could be rooted in children's minds that would stick with them afterwards. Important tips to consider during these years include:

  • Encouraging safe play and exploration.
  • Reading and singing to children.
  • Establishing routines and rituals, and sticking to them.
  • Using discipline as an opportunity to teach.

Ages and Stages in Growing up and Learning

Children differ in the way they learn; some learn visually, others should write the information over and over to understand and memorize, etc. Yet, there is one sure thing children love; learning new things through exploration and discovery, as well as solving problems through play and daily activities.

The first five years are crucial for physical, intellectual, and social-emotional development. During the first eighteen months, the infants make miraculous progress; they see the world through their senses, and they gather information through touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound.

To help infants mature and learn, you should stimulate their abilities but not overwhelm them. The main goal is not to “teach” but to interact and explore the world with them.



One to Twelve Months

During this stage, the child's main aim is to feel secure and warm; learning in this stage may be through singing or reading out loud to them. At two months old, they start to pull things and touch them, and by five, they start to hold toys. It would be great to play reach the toy with them; they would also be happy to listen to your voice telling and describing the world around them.

After that, children start to react to others’ emotions, understand simple orders, and grasp objects, in addition to continuous exploring. At this point, they want to stay busy; providing them with educational toys would best suit them at this stage.

Reaching twelve months, kids refuse to learn through firm discipline; they prefer being messy and then putting things in order, dissembling and assembling objects. To help them learn during this stage, they need a safe place to move around. They would also want others to read to them again and again, and sing their favorite songs, besides giving them the freedom to do most things while staying near to them in case they need help.

Twelve to Eighteen Months

As children get on the move during this stage, safety during exploration becomes needed. They may also start experiencing temper tantrums because they have no other way of expressing feelings.

It is important to note that they would need praise for the little effort achievement they do, and understanding for their strong emotions. Starting from here, setting a routine for them becomes important.



Eighteen Months through Two Years

This is an important stage for children to start to define themselves; stimulating their imagination through activities and teaching them some vocabulary would be useful for them. In groups, make sure there are enough toys and activities so sharing will not be a problem. Provide them with plenty toys for building, which can be put together to help them embody the simple ideas in their minds into a solid structure. Different art toys are also helpful for different interests and tastes.

Growing up, the sense of being the center of the world grows in children. They become more affectionate and responsive to others and feel sorry or sad when others their age are upset. Children may not like being closely watched; however, they still need adults to be near as a source of protection. They would also need to continue exploring the world, searching everywhere, and needing praise for what they do. At this stage, they start making choices to feel in control; when they cannot, they ask close adults to do so.

Three through Five Years

This is a hectic period for children; cutting, pasting, painting, and singing are all daily activities. They start learning numbers, letters, and simple directions. They become active, obsessed with endless questions, and thirsty for new information to get ready for formal learning.

At this stage, children are like a sponge that absorbs everything they get exposed to. They are also keen to try new things out to learn more about them. What is most distinct about this stage is using words instead of grabbing, crying, or pushing to express what they want or feel.

The year after is characterized by trying to socialize and play with other kids, and unleashing their creativity with drawings to stand out with their output. Also, they would start to choose an idol and try to imitate them. As they feel “Big”, children try to test limits to know to what extent they could go and still feel protected. Starting to label objects and describe what is happening to them, children want to learn more words and things to set on their journey.

Reaching five years old, there is more active play, more choices to pick from, and feeling in control while learning new things. Children at this stage need unconditional love and assurance that they are important. As such, they need more time, patience, understanding, and genuine undivided attention. What is distinct here is that they begin to understand more about things and how they work, so they expect from others more detailed answers rather than short ones.



Six through Eight Years

Children at this age have busy days filled with homework, and they begin to think and plan ahead. Their wandering minds become loaded with tons of unanswered questions.

Rules and discipline are so important, which means random changes in them may confuse the child. It would be difficult for them to find a certain behavior accepted one day and rejected or corrected the other without explanation. They would also need the motivation to try and learn new things, which means demotivation would hurt them.

Additionally, the concept of the “self” and independency starts to evolve during this stage, and they would start to feed it through learning more and desiring more achievements. They need encouragement from others to do their best; problems in reading and writing should be addressed to avoid more trouble later.



Nine through Eleven Years

This stage could be a turning point for kids; some may stay “little” while others become quite mature. Maturity is embodied in puberty with the body, emotions, and attitude towards others changing.

As these children begin to think logically, they would prefer to work on real tasks, rather than just messing with objects. They have a lot of natural curiosity about living things and enjoy having and learning more about pets. Being a good listener opens the door for them to speak up and keep communication lines open by setting rules and giving reasons for them.

In a nutshell, being aware of children's development stages is crucial in setting or introducing any learning material to them, from a very young age, as every stage has its own requirements. If well met, better outcomes would be generated; otherwise, the effort could be set in the wrong direction.