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HomeHealthy Growth and Development

Healthy Growth and Development


Below is a chart of growth milestones for children along with ways adults can help them grow.

For a printable version (English or Spanish) of the Healthy Growth and Development chart click the link for our documents and printables.

 

 

 

 

 

Approximate  Age  Physical and Social Development  What Children Need
 

Birth to 3 Months

 Most babies
 
  • Begin to smile
  • Follows  people and objects with their eyes
  • Prefer bright colors
  • Stretches arms and kicks legs
  • Raise head and chest while on stomach
  • Responds to familiar people
 
  • Protection from physical danger
  • Proper nutrition
  • Regular health care
  • Motor and sensory stimulation
  • Language stimulation
  • Responsive parenting
 4 to 6 months
  Most babies
 
  • Smile often
  • Laugh, gurgle and imitate sounds
  • Listen intently, respond when spoken to
  • Explore hands and feet
  • Rolls both ways
  • Sits with and without support
  • Transfers objects hand to hand
 
  • Protection from physical danger
  • Proper nutrition
  • Regular health care
  • Motor and sensory stimulation
  • Language stimulation
  • Responsive parenting
 7 to 9 months
  Most babies
 
  • Crawls and pulls up to sitting position
  • Shy or anxious around strangers
  • Walk while holding furniture or walk alone
  • Feeds finger foods
  • Explores and finds hidden objects
 
  • Protection from physical danger
  • Proper nutrition
  • Regular health care
  • Motor and sensory stimulation
  • Language stimulation
  • Responsive parenting
 

10 to 12 months

Most babies
 
  • Waves bye-bye
  • Crawls, cruises with confidence
  • Picks up objects with thumb and finger
  • Says Mama and Dada to parents
  • plays peek-a-boo and patty cake
  • imitate adults
  • Walk while holding furniture or walk alone
 
  • Protection form physical danger
  • Proper nutrition
  • Regular health care
  • Motor and sensory stimulation
  • Language stimulation
  • Responsive parenting
 1 to 2 years  
  • Walk alone, begin to run
  • Pull toys
  • Imitate adult actions
  • Plays make believe
  • Sorts shapes and colors
  • Point to a picture that you name in a book
  • Play ball
  • Play with other children
  • Use words three to five in a sentence
  • To learn self-control
 

In addition to above listed:

  • Explore motor, language, and thinking skills
  • Chances to develop independence
  • Play and explore
  • Social development with other children
 2 to 3 ½ years  
  • Enjoy learning new skills
  • Learn language rapidly
  • Likes help with tasks
  • Gain control of hands and fingers (turn one page at a time)
  • Put on their shoes
  • Play with other children for a few minutes
  • Start to share
 

In addition to the above listed:

  • Make simple choices
  • Engage in dramatic play
  • Read with adults
  • Sing favorite songs
  • Work simple puzzles
  • Time to run, jump and play
 3 to 5 years  
  • Longer attention span
  • Climbs well, kicks a ball
  • Likes to play with friends
  • Understands mine, his/hers, shares and take turns sometimes
  • Asks questions and talks a lot
  • Does not like to lose when playing with friends
  • Acts silly, boisterous, may use language that is not nice
 

In additions to the above listed:

  • Develop fine motor skills
  • Continue expanding language skills by talking, reading and signing
  • Learn cooperation by helping and sharing
  • Experiment with pre-writing and pre-reading
 5 to 8 years  
  • Curious about people and how the world works
  • Show an increased interest in numbers, letters, writing and reading
  • Show more confidence in physical skills
  • Meet and play with more children; cooperatively
  • Likes grown-up activities
  • Uses words to express feelings
 

In additions to the above listed:

  • Develop skills for reading and math
  • Engage in problem solving
  • Practice teamwork
  • Develop sense of personal competency
  • Practice question and observing life skills
 9 to 12 years  
  • More graceful with movements and abilities
  • Jumps, skips and chases
  • Dresses and grooms self completely
  • Can use tools (i.e., hammer, screwdriver with supervision)
  • Remainder of adult teeth will develop
  • Likes hobbies and group activities
 

In addition to the above listed:

  • Become more interested in boy-girl relationships
  • Likes and respects parents
  • Friends are very important, may have a best friend
  • Likes competition and games