child development knowledge
Assignment Four: Developmental Knowledge
In this section you will be asked to write a brief summary of the various developmental traits and skills that typically characterized the various developmental ages and then to provide illustrations of the teaching/caregiving strategies and activities that you use to guide these respectful developmental traits and skills
Fine and Gross Motor Development
1. Briefly summarize the major fine and grow motor skills that characterize the following ages. Remember to show evolution of these skills (e.g., crawl before walking, etc.) Then describe some teaching/caregiving strategies that can be used to facilitate the developmental skills associated with the particular age.
One –Two Year Old
During this time of development a child between one and two years old will begin to develop and master many fine motor skills. Many of these include an evolutionary pattern in which one skill builds upon another. To begin an infant will swat at an item of interest, this swat will eventually evolve into a grasp with whole fist, then a palm grasps, soon the child will switch hands, grabbing and reaching for objects of interests with alternating hands. With these skills increasing a child will explore by holding objects, shaking them, dropping them, pulling at them, bringing them to their mouths and transfer them from one hand to the other. Other fine motor skills that emerge from this foundation is the tri-point grasps and pincher grasps, or holding small object between their index finger, middle finger and thumb- evolving into a pincher grasps means they drop the middle finger and hold onto small object with just two fingers. The development of these skills allows children to gain new skills; they begin to practice using utensils, turning the pages of books, banging materials together, string beads, stack blocks, empty containers, attempt to use scissors and other creative art material. Though these are all developmentally appropriate fine motor skills for a child to master into toddlerhood, each child is an individual and will master skills at their own individualized pace.
Teaching/Caregiving Strategies and Activities
In order to help foster growth of these skills, teachers and caregivers should implement activities into their curriculum or schedules that promote and encourage use of these skills. Such activities may include, allowing books, and puzzle to be available. Offering writing utensils such as crayons, markers and paint brushes for children to practice with, without expecting a finished art product. Providing sensory enriched environments with age appropriate materials like sticking blocks, nesting cups, stacking rings. The use of eating utensils can also encourage growth in the area of fine motor. Setting up an environment that is comfortable and safe, with many materials that are easily accessible to the children, is a good way to help promote the development of fine motor skills in infants and young toddlers.
Two-Three Year Old
A Two to three year olds fine motor skills are a continuation of that which is mastered in their infancy and younger toddler years. Skills in which are mastered during this stage of life include Stringing large beads onto shoe laces, being able to turn knobs and unscrew lids, put lids on post, unwrap candy and other seemingly complex fine motor tasks. Children will be able to accurately put three or four pieces into a puzzle board. They can use sensory exploration material such as shovels and kitchen utensils to dig and scoop sand or water or various other materials. Children will also be able to use scissors and create more intentional images for art work. Children’s marks on paper will evolve into more defined scribbles, with shape like markings and longer, more intentional lines. The continuation and strengthening of fine motor skills at this age paths the way for more complex development into the next stages of life.
Teaching/Caregiving Strategies /Activities
Similar to the infant and younger toddler years of life, a child needs a comfortable and safe yet challenging environment to foster the continuation and mastering of fine motor skills. Such environments should have a variety of materials available for the children to use freely and explore. Such material may consist of utensils for children to use during sensory explorations, like whisks, spoons, ladles, spatulas, shovels etc. Continuing to offer a variety of art materials will help master these fine motor skills as well. Perhaps an art easel with accessible child sized art materials will help foster the utilization of these fine motor skills. Other activities would include challenging children with age appropriate puzzles, books, blocks and other small material that require precise coordination.
Four-Five Year Old
During the preschool years fine motor development progresses slowly but offering ample opportunities and appropriate adult support allow for development to progress and become more complex. It is helpful and beneficial for children to receive positive feedback, so that they will be encouraged to continue practicing their fine motor skills. During these years preschoolers are working on skills that improve coordination, precise fine motor movements as well as encourage emerging writing skills. As small muscle control increases as well as strength and coordination preschoolers begin to start using these skills to perform various activities and tasks. They will be able to successfully fit together small manipulatives like Legos, they will start to use scissors to cut paper, work on puzzles with up to 10 smaller pieces, start to undo buttons, zippers and buckles and use other simple tools like a hole puncher or stapler. Their writing and drawing skills begin to grow. Preschoolers begin to imitate other drawings, and hold a pencil or writing utensil in a correct form. They begin to start writing figures that are similar to letters and numbers. The more practice with this material the more their skills will continue to develop, with adult support and guidance children can have more opportunities to refine their fine motor skills.
Teaching/Caregiving Strategies/ Activities
By offering opportunities for preschoolers interact with fine motor material will help children to make growths in this area. Aside from that though it is essential that teachers and caregivers remain positive and encouraging in their experiences with young children regarding fine motor skills especially when it comes to writing or the beginnings of writing. Often times children will become frustrated if those reviewing their work have expectations that are too high and unapproachable. Acknowledging what children can do and supporting them in all their efforts will help create a positive view in young learners as they practice their fine motor skills. Some fine motor activities that can be included in a curriculum include; promoting sing songs with finger plays, offering a variety of writing utensils like paint and brushes, pencils, crayons, markers and even chalk. Other activities include making small and safe manipulatives available for children to use and practice fitting small material together, like Legos, stacking rings connecting blocks and even an art project like tying ribbons to a tree or weaving. These activities and material should be within reach of the children often so that repeating experiences with the material can promote further mastery of the skills. As children begin to master the use of certain material, then it would be time to swap out material for more appropriately challenging materials. The use of self-help skills can also help with the growing fine motor skills. Encouraging a child to unbutton, unzip, attempt to Velcro their shoes, coats or other clothing can be a way to incorporate practice with fine motor. An activity that I have used in the past to encourage and promote fine motor development is providing bottles, with small holes at the top and straws to go through the holes. I’ve observed children enjoy this activity and practice it for some time attempting to accurately put the straws into the small opening at the top of the bottle. These and many other activities are ways in which fine motor skills can be practiced and strengthened.
Five-Eight Year Old
During the school aged years, children’s fine motor skills are refined and due to an increase in attention span children usually see an increase in the control over the hands and fingers. This leads to the children having more enjoyment and involvement in the fine motor activities- of course they will have some frustrations and impatience to work through but with practice comes better precision and coordination. Some of the major growth that is evident in school age children include a preference and use one hand consistently for fine motor tasks. At this age the children are learning how to print letters and numbers and then this progresses on to the emergence of writing words and eventually full sentences. From here, school age children are increasingly able to keep print within lines, as well as with coloring within the lines. Their experiences with other writing and art material become increasingly complex, enabling a child to be able to cut with scissors in straight lines. Their artwork becomes more recognizable, and organized. Their ability to complete self-help tasks like using fasteners is mastered and if not on its way to mastery. Though tying shoes may still be difficult, children may start to practice this action. The utilization of fine motor skills is becoming more and more defined and complex as school get children are on their way to mastery of fine motor skills.
Teaching/Caregiving Strategies /Activities
Like the ages before, in order to help promote school age children to master their fine motor skills, opportunities should be made available frequently so that children can practice these skills. As their skills become more complex and refined, children should be challenged appropriately. Teachers and caregivers can promote the use of writing by offering opportunities for children to write. Modeling appropriate use of writing will help children learn how to write and continue to strengthen their skills. Fine motor skills require more control and more precise movements of smaller muscles. As fine motor control is a very important skill to master for writing, it's important to make sure children are continually improving those skills. More challenging activities that can be used in the classroom to promote further develop may include. Have children practice transferring small items from one bowl to another using a clothespin. A variation is to use plastic tweezers to transfer grains of rice or Cheerios from one container to another; this may promote a further challenge for those who need it. An activity that I have seen as a favorite tool for developing all fine motor skills is the humble ball of homemade play dough. It can be used in so many ways by adding other combinations of materials to it, and automatically strengthens little hands as they roll, squeeze, twist and build with it. The idea is to place various different materials and encouraging the children to pinch out the materials placing them in different piles and then encouraging them to put them back in! Making slits in boxes and having various shapes made available for children to push through and fit into the box. Alphabet molding is a fun activity that incorporates both use of the alphabet and fine motor skills. Alphabet molding is where children practice creating letters with clay or another moldable material. These and many other activities can be used to help strengthen fine motor skills in school aged children.
One –Three-year Old
Gross motor skills that are typically mastered during infancy and younger toddler years include many important developmental milestones. Infants will begin their evolution of gross motor skills by holding their heads up on their own, rolling their bodies over, sitting up, scooting, beginning to crawl, pulling themselves into a standing position thus leading to their first steps. Once these first skills are mastered it opens the door for more gross motor skills to arise. Such skills include, running more steadily, jumping with their feet apart, they begin to climb on more complex surfaces like ramps and tables and outdoor or indoor structures. Soon a young toddler will develop skills to move wheeled riding toys, bounce on larger balls, walking upstairs, making fast and sharp turns while walking or running. These traveling skills proceed to increase as the young toddlers practice these skills in a safe environment. These toddlers will continue on to mastering other gross motor skills built off their previous experiences and continue to master more and more gross motor skills. By the age of three children are able to use their entire bodies they can start to throw and catch balls, they can begin to learn how to ride a bike with training wheels, or push their selves along on a wheeled riding toy successfully. They also can climb on outdoor climbing materials like rocks, and bridges, and tires.
In order to foster these gross motor skills children should be offered plenty of opportunity and space to strengthen these skills. Children can practice their motor skills in many different ways assuming that the environment is being monitored and is safe for the children to explore without restraint. There are many ways to encourage and challenge infants and toddlers in their developing of motor skills. A teacher or caregiver can set up several different activities like, offering ramps for children to climb, structures inside and outside for children to explore, obstacle courses can be set up and created more complex as a child develops more defined skills. Other gross motor materials can be offered both inside and outside to help promote the use of gross motor skills, such as balls, riding toys, wagons, bikes. Teachers and caregivers can use other opportunities to help encourage children to walk, run, dance, jump and move their bodies. Movement games and songs can be taught to help keep learning and mastering of motor skills fun and age appropriate. For infants, setting up an environment with child sized furniture will help in promoting gross motor development as it will make children more able to hold onto to objects for support in moving their bodies. Children learn a lot through modeling, so as a teacher or caregiver it is important that we model appropriately. Perhaps dancing, or spinning or moving around the room to an upbeat song, will help encourage a child to move along with us!
Four-Five Year Old
As the gross motor skills from toddlerhood brought about strengthened muscles and better coordination, preschoolers gross motor skills reflect these major and evolving motor skills. During the preschool age children are working on refining their previously learned gross motor skills but are also progressing on to developing increased gross motor functioning. Some of the major milestones of the preschool years include children being able to walk on a balance beam forwards & backwards. They are able to perform more advanced physical activities skill like rolling down hills and somersaults. They can start to balance and hop on 1 foot for longer periods of time. They also can skip with alternating feet and can jump rope. They can also pump and maintain momentum while on a swing. There are various new skills that have emerged in the preschool years and children find the use of motor skills fun and often are always running around and using their skills! Aside from this there are many more ways that preschooler’s gross motor skills can be encouraged and promoted by teachers and caregivers. (See below).
Five- Eight Year Old
Gross Motor development involves the larger, stronger muscle groups. School aged children are developing increasing coordination and motor ability. School aged children will enjoy participating in team games and start to Develop ball skills with smaller ball, with increased hand eye coordination. School aged children participate in gross motor activities their game skills increase and are enhanced, these games include games like hopscotch and jump rope. They practice and soon master how to ride a two wheeler bike and even run up and down the stairs. As school aged children practice and strengthen their gross motor skills they are learning the foundation to skills that will soon enable them to swim, roller skate, ice skate, scale fences, use a saw, hammer and garden tools
and play a variety of sports like kick ball, team relay races and dodge ball.
During school age, children are excited to use their motor skills. In fact during the school years children use a lot of energy and use their gross motor skills to participate in various activities that promote and further gross motor skills as well as many other areas of development. It’s good for children to learn to move in new ways and build muscles in various different ways. Providing a large space for movement to happen and adult supervision to help guide children during their physical play is important. Activties planed to help promote gross motor movement should be appropriately challenging yet cater to all maturational rates, as some children may develop complex motor skills before others do. Here are some activities and strategies that can be used to help promote and refine their gross motor skills. Continuously offering a safe environment for children to explore and use their gross motor skills will help promote children to venture out and strengthen their skills. Some activities that can be used to promote gross motor development can include; have children make art in a big way such as Shaking it, throwing it, and stomping on it . Create roads for the kids to drive along. Make a maze, or use bubble wrap, sidewalk chalk or anything else that makes for big movement! Get out balloons. Balloons move, a lot! Play balloon badminton, pop the balloons, just bounce them around and have a ball! Go on a hunt. Make it a learning hunt, and indoor string hunt, or a nature. Learn about balance with a homemade balance beam, or walk the line, or make it a balance relay! Explore a material. Especially ones that can be thrown around like tissue paper, newspapers or fabric. Play classic games like Red Light, Green Light or twister and other large movement games! Create a learning game that makes them run to an object or have them “Move like a….” and fill in the blank. Upcycle to get moving! Turn plastic shopping bags into ice skates and skate all year round or reuse bubble wrap to jump and dance on Climb structures, ride bikes, push wagons and much more! Make an activity course, an obstacle course Get out the sidewalk chalk and draw up some activities to run through, drive through, or hop through!
Thinking. Problem Solving and Talking
Infants and Toddlers (Birth-3)
1. Summarize the major cognitive and language milestones that occur during the first three years of life.
As early as infancy children begin to acquire many different cognitive skills. Such areas of cognitive development include logic and reasoning, memory, attention and inhibitory control, and cognitive flexibility. Children begin to draw upon past experiences in order to learn how to solve problems. During infancy children are using their senses in order to learn about the world around them, by mouthing, reaching for and exploring materials in different ways children are beginning to combine learning schemes in order to learn more about an object. Thus leading to the understanding of cause and effect relationships and understanding why things happen. These simple skills continue to grow and strengthen as a child has access and is able to explore various materials. Children by the age of 2 will be able to start making simple decisions, and observe the effect of their actions on others. They will also start to treat objects in a different way as they start to recognize similarities and differences amongst various materials. Children will begin to make intentional plans before attempting to solve simple problems by the age of 3. Infants start to develop memory by responding to their environment, changing their responses as they experience why is familiar and what is unfamiliar. They begin to learn object permanence, in that objects that are not currently visible still exists. These skills will soon evolve into a solid understanding of object permanence by age 2. They also will begin to purposefully put actions together, understanding their effect on various materials and the world around them. By 3, children are able to remember and communicate what has happened earlier in the day, they also can recall where things are kept in an environment that is family. Children will begin to understand and follow two step directions. Cognitive development also includes the ability for children to filter their impulses and sustain their attention on tasks for periods of time. During infancy a child will usually be able to stop with the help of an adult, and often times they demonstrate caution in new environments. These skills will lead to children being able to have a general idea of passing time by the age of 2.It will also pathe the way for children to comply with simple 2 step requests, evolving from “stop” to, “please get your cup and then sit down”. As these skills continue to grow and develop in a healthy and safe environment children will be able to increasingly control their impulses by the age of 3. At 3 a child will be able to follow adult directions with simple guidance, and focus on materials of interests despite obvious distractions. Infants and toddlers also develop cognitive flexibility in that they increase their skills to adjust to changes, prioritize and begin to understand perspectives. At 9 months of age a child can demonstrate the ability to self sooth, and they start to show anticipation of familiar routines. This leads to children begin to change their behavior in repose to changes in the environment, and they begin to use the tools around them in new ways. For example, At 2, a child may see that a toy is on a blanket, and instead of going over to the toy, they may pull the blanket in order to bring the object closer to them. They start to use objects in new ways in order to meet a goal or transition from different activities with an adults help. These cognitive skills start in infancy as a simple way of exploring their environment in a sensory motived way, and they proceed to change and develop to become more intentional, purposeful and result in a new bank of knowledge that the children can use to help foster more complex cognitive development later on.
From birth and forward children begin to acquire language skills. The first of these skills to develop is receptive language- children start to respond to spoken language, gestures, and other forms of communication as children reach late infancy they are able to understand approximately 200 words. These receptive language skills continue to develop as children are engaged in a literacy and language rich environments. Language development also includes the emergence of expression language. Children begin to understand and use expressive language by experimenting with making sounds which leads to the beginning of producing words and word like sounds. This proceeds on to children combining the use of gestures and expressions to communicating effectively with language. As langue continues to develop also comes the emergence of pragmatics in which children begin to follow language rules by responding to speech through body gestures and body language to soon being able to participate in simple back and forth conversations. By 2 years old children are able to communicate their basic needs and they begin to combine words with gestures to ensure that they are being understood. Their expressive language continues to progress by so that by the age of 3, children are able to expand their vocabulary by asking questions and making observations. 3 years old also begin to use other parts of speech like adverbs, adjectives, and are starting to understand some plural nouns. As children grow in their language development skills, they begin to directly interact with adults and demonstrate emotions through facial expressions and gestures, but also begin to name emotions. By 3, children ate able to demonstrate simple humor, use social conventions to initiate and sustain exchanges of communication. As infants and young toddlers are surrounded by a language rich environment they will continue to develop language skills in order to effectively communicate.
2. Describe some strategies and/or activities teachers/caregivers can use to facilitate cognitive and language skills in infants and toddlers.
In order to foster healthy cognitive and language development teachers and caregivers can use a variety of strategies and activities. An adult initiating a conversation with a toddler and gives the child plenty of time to respond, is a simple way to promote language growth. As caregivers label or name objects, describe events, and reflect feelings this helps for the children to learn new words. Caregivers and teachers simplify their language for toddlers who are just beginning to talk, as children learn new words and acquire new language skills a caregiver can expand on a child’s language offering the opportunity got further development. By offering plenty of materials for children to explore and manipulate caregivers and teachers can help guide children in their development. Caregivers should be understanding of a toddlers need for exploration and give them daily opportunities for exploratory activity at children’s development level. Offering materials for children to freely explore opens the door for further exploration and this leads to strengthen cognitive development and language skills. Having a routine for children to follow and is consistent is also necessary in promoting further cognitive and language skills. Repetition help for mastering of skills and steps involved in daily routines.
Preschoolers (Ages Three-Five)
3. Describe the following characteristics of preschool thinking. Then describe some teaching/caregiving strategies and/or activities that can be used to facilitate the developmental skills associated with the particular age.
Perception Based Thinking
Preschool aged children participate in perception based thinking. This being that they are fooled by what something looks or sounds like. They are unable to use logic to overcome mistaken perceptions. For example, a child may see two bowls that each hold 10 of the same item within them. In one bowl the items are spread out and in the other they are clumped together- the child will say that the bowl in which the objects are spread out has more because it looks like there is more.
One dimensional thinking otherwise coined as- unideimentisonal thinking refers to a characteristic of preoperational thinking- which is Piaget’s stage of development that preschoolers are in. It describes the way that preschoolers only focus on one characteristic of an object at a time and that preschoolers have difficulty focusing on or coordination more than one idea or activity at a time. An example of this type of thinking would be when giving instructions to a preschooler; “Please go to your cubbies, get your coat, find a book and go over to the door” This particular set of directions include multiple steps in which most preschoolers would only hear and follow the instruction “go to your cubby” missing the rest of the directions because they are only able to focus on one aspect of the instructions at a time.
Another characteristic of preoperational thought, irreversibility is the concept in which children are unable to reverse the direction or thinking of an action. They have a difficult time retracing their previous actions. Or example if a group of preschoolers were to go for a walk, stopping at 6 different spots along the way, and when they got to the end they are asked to return the same way they came- a preschooler would most likely be unable to return back to the starting point the same way as before. Perhaps they’d be able to return, but without stopping at the previously visited areas. The concept of irreversibly claims a preschooler does not yet have the cognitive functioning to reverse an action.
Transductive reasoning refers to a child believing that one action must be the cause for another. In other words, children put one immediate event into relationship with another immediate event and assume that one caused the other to happen. Though they are much more able to sort out cause and effect than an infant or toddler they are still limited in their thinking processes. Often times a preschooler may feel their own actions have caused immediate events to happen; for example a child throws a toy at the exact time a fire alarm goes off- this child most likely will think that their throwing a toy was the reason why the fire alarm went off.
As with toddlers, a preschoolers’ thinking tends to be egocentric. This term refers to a preschoolers’ lack of ability to take other perspectives into account. They tend to only see their own point of view and have a hard time realizing that other people think and do things separately from them. They assume that people experience and share the same feelings in the same way that they do. Over time children will begin to develop an awareness for others and their separate feelings and experiences. For example, a child who is exploring their new toy from their parent comes across another child playing with an identical toy- that child may become upset and tell the other child that the toy belongs to them and is “mine” even though the child has their toy in their hand.
A concept that preschoolers often have difficulty with is conservation. This is an understanding that properties and amounts stay the same even when their physical appearances are changed. Perhaps this is due to their perception based thinking in that what they see is what they believe. Conservation appears in many different forms and preschoolers lack conservation. For example, a child is shown two sets of objects that are equivalent in amount but arranged in different patterns. Often times a preschooler will report that one set has more than the other. The same is true with liquids. A child can be shown two differently shaped containers that have the same amount of water poured into them- even if a child sees the same amount of water poured from a tall, skinny cup into a shorter but wider cup- the preschooler will claim that the taller cup has more- because it looks that way. They have difficulty applying logic to their explanations and are instead fooled by what they see, similar to the concept of perception based thought. It also ties in with their undeminsional thought because a preschooler is able to consider that the height may change but they will not consider that the width had changed too- they are unable to consider these two aspect simultaneously.
Also similar to one-dimensional thinking, children at preschool age are able to categorize however only based on characteristics, they are unable to attend to categorizing when it involve two or more characteristics. For example if a preschooler was presented with items of different colors and shapes and then asked, “put the things that ate alike together” a preschooler would often sort by color, shape, or size. Rarely will preschooler rely on two or more dimensional at the same time. They often will rely on one property or another, but not more than one in problem solving.
4. Describe some strategies and/or activities teachers/caregivers that can use to facilitate cognitive/problems solving skills in young children ages 3-5.
During the preschool years children are developing many skills and are in need of support in order for these skills to stregghten and grow. As a teacher and a caregiver there are amny ways we can support children as the continue to devlop their mental representations, reasoning skills, classification abilities, attention, memory aand much more. Support can come in the form of asking questions, modeling/scaffolding and offering much time and oppurtunties for children to explore materials and engage in play that will support these growing skills. Sociodramatic play is a form of play that is extremely beneficial to the preschool aged child. As this type of play is also age appropriate and enjoyable for these young children it also helps the children practice using many of their cogntivie skills including memeory, imagintation, role playing,and much more. Teachers and caregivers can help further the developing skills through sociodramatic play by offering new scenes and roles for children to utilize in order to expand on previous expierences offering an appropriate challenge that wil encourage further development. Asking qustions and offering ample time for a child to answer these questions is another way further cognitive development can be fostered. Open ended question provokes further reflection or investatigtion and helps the child answer their own questions in a more hands on and appropriate approach. In my expierence it is just as important to be encoaurging and supportive of children when they are undergoing this process. What I mean b that is not by passing a child’s response or telling them that their answer is wrong or not correct- but rather challenging that child to rethink or try out their own answer. A child may feel discoaurged and not want to participate in challenging expierences if their being told that they are wrong. So instead, offering a wider scale for children to draw conclusions upon is a more approratie rout to take. For example- during an exploration of building blocks a teacher might ask a chid, “What will you do with these blocks?”
C: “I will bulid a tower”
T: “how might you do that?”
C: “Should I start with this one?” ( Child holds up a long skinny cylinder piece)
T: “What do you think?”
C: (Attempts to use it as a foundation, adding another block on top it topples over. Child repeats actions several times then looks to his teacher) “it doesn’t work”
T; “Hmmm, how could you solve your problem?”
C: ( child works to bulid a tower)
In the scence above, instead oftelling a child what to do, or telling them they were wrong in their orginal hypotheisis a teacher is allowing the child to work through the problem and supporting the child by asking through provoking questions. If the child asks for help, modeling and scaffolding may be used in order to help support a child in their efforts to solve their problem. As a teacher I prefer to ask more questions than do something for a child- that way it leaves the problem solving up to the child with my verbal support and encouragement present. Learning enviroments should be set up in order for children to come across situtations in which thinking and problem solving need to happen. Challeging this as children become more able to do things on their own is essteinal to enhancing their development. I’ve listed a few examples below of preschool activities that will help promote cognitive development:
-Asking questions when exploring materials, reading books, or talking about previous expierences
-place small manipulatives at a table of various colors, and have labels on corresponding colorful paper encourage children to match colors. (shapes, size and other similar properties can be used in place of colors)
- print out images of structures for children to try to mimic with their own material or blocks
Sing songs with your child and encourage him to sing along with you. Play his favorite songs and music in the house and car regularly and he may eventually start singing along by himself. This activity helps promote memory and word identification.
Have your child identify noises that he hears throughout the day (i.e. a bird singing, a car horn, running water or the dishwasher). He will begin to understand how sounds relate to objects in his everyday environment.
-Practice the Alphabet
Help your child identify letters by singing along to the “Alphabet Song,” reading books about the alphabet and playing with alphabet puzzles
Identify opportunities throughout the day to practice counting. Count the number of shoes in your child’s closet when he gets dressed or the number of slides on the playground when you go to the park. You may soon find that you’re counting everything!
-Practice Shapes and Colors
Identify shapes and colors when interacting with your child. You can say, “That is a round, blue ball,” when playing in the yard or “That sign is a red octagon” when pulling up to a stop sign. As he gets older, you can ask him to describe objects to you.
- Offer Choices
When you can, offer your child choices: “Would you like to wear the brown shorts or the blue shorts?” or “Would you like string cheese or yogurt with your lunch?” This will help him to feel more independent and learn to make confident decisions that affect his day.
Another way to help your child learn to think for himself is to ask him questions: “Which toy should we pick up first when we clean up the living room? Or “Why is it important to walk down the stairs slowly?” Asking him questions helps him learn how to problem solve and better understand how his environment works.
-Visit Interesting Places
Take trips to your local children’s museum, library or farmer’s market to stimulate his curiosity and provide him with “hand on” experiences. Ask him questions while you explore and listen to his responses and reactions. These adventures can provide a learning experience for both of you.
.-Play with Everyday Items
Playing with everyday household items is educational, fun and cost effective. Encourage your child to match various-sized lids to their accompanying pots or have him look in a mirror and point to his nose, mouth, eyes, etc.
5. Provide a summary of the language and early literacy skills that emerge between the ages of 3-5.
During the preschool years children’s language and communication skills are growing at a phenomenal rate. The role of language development in children’s emotional development is large. As children develop further in their communication skills, they are better able to identify and respond to their own and others’ emotions enabling them to have more positive relationships. Being able to communicate and talk about emotions they are able to better understand and manage their emotions and express them. Not only are preschoolers developing in their way to communicate feelings and emotions but they are also developing in their ability to interact socially. As their language improves and they make gains in their abilities to communicate children start to become better listeners which benefits them in their ability to respond appropriately. Language is linked to cognition as it provides tools for mental representations – which is the the ability to attach labels to objects and other forms of thought. With their growing launguge comes an increase in their ability to solve problems by being able to communicate their ideas and thought processes. They are increasing their skills by using laanuge to solve their problems rather than only reying on trial and error. Provte speech is used in the preschool years in order to help children think. Private speech is the use of languge aloud in order to guide oneself through an activity. As time goes on, private speech becomes internal as children learn to think, plan and reflect in their heads. During the preschool years there is a significant increase in vocabulary, sentence length, conversation, nonverbal behaviors, and organizing thought. Experiences with their environment will help path the way for children to participate in using more complex language.
6. Describe some strategies and/or activities teachers/caregivers can use to facilitate the above skills.
Supportive adults play an important role in the lives of children developing languge and literacy skills. Attentive listening, participating and intittiang conversation with children, promoting the use of print materials, enourgaing children to participate in conversations, encouraging children to handel books and act them out, reading aloud to children or providing many literacy materiala are some ways that literacy and languguge skills can be enriched in the lives of preschoolers. Having conversations with children that re child led and enriching are extremely helpful in the developing skills. Such conversations help to drw out languge for children and often times refine children’s languge skills. Offering expasnisons during reading or simple conversations enhances the meaning and adds additional languge and vocabulary that assists the child as they learn. Intentionally introducing new words in daily activities with children will help build vocabulary and further lthe development of conversation and langugue skills. Preschooler will often make errors in their speech especially when it comes to tenses or overgeneralization. It is important that teachers not jump to correcting every mistake achild makes, as it may be discouraging but just convtinue to use correct speech when having conversations with children. An example, A child said, “Mrs. Hayes I goed to the zoo the other day” And a teacher may respond, “What happened when you went to the zoo?” Similar to cognitive development children will benefit gains in their languge skills with exposure to play- like dramatic play. This type of play naturally encouraged children to participate in conversations with other children, make plans, and use languge as they oerform spefific roles. From these interactions more complex languge skills will areise. Dramatic play isn’t the ony form of play that can encoaurge and foster the use of languge and literacy skills. Ensuring that the classroom or home is a print rich environment and having books available of variety at all times will help children have natural interactions with literacy materials.Singing songs, doing finger plays, and asking questions as children explore various materials are many ways languge skills can be fostered in daily acitvites. For introducing written languge to preschoolers teachers can use print in many areas of the classroom environment for exposure to such will open the door for more expierneces in using print with purpose. Introducing the alphabet in various ways is essteinal as well and providing oppurtunties for children to have access to writing materials will help set a foundation for writing and further literacy and language skills to occur. During pretend plsy, for example allowe preschoolers access to a writing pad and pen so they can take an order, or write a message, perhaps write their own rules. Knowing that a preschooler may not write more than scribbles to start, teachers should be focused on the exposure rather than the result of their attempts to write. Teachers should make many connections between the spoken and written languge allowing preschoolers to see that written words function for s purpose and are used to describe spoken languge.
7. Describe how the above cognitive, language and early literacy skills change during the ages 5 to 8. Make a brief statement of how thinking for 5 to 8 years olds changes. Then describe some teaching/caregiving strategies that can be used to facilitate the developmental skills associated with the particular age
Compared to a preschool aged child, kindergarten and early elemtary school aged children show more flexibility in their thinking. They are able to conceptualize categories, they show signgicant advancments in reasoning and problem solving, attention span is increased, and their use of memory refined. They are graudlly thinking in a way that is more systemactic, accurate and complex. They are continuously influenced by their expierences enabling them to become more flexible in thought and have a greater understanding of how things work. Both biological brain development and their expierences are leading them into more complex cogntivie capacities children are now able to have a better idea of what other children are feeling and they can focus on moer than just their on feeings and thoughts. Their memory is improve and htye are better able to recall meaningful information. Staying focused on a task is much easier as self regulation improves and manifests. Though sometimes an early kindergartener may revert back to their previous ways of thinking, through exposure and appropriate expierenes they begin to show advancments in cognitive skills such as focusing on multiple properties of materials, and susuataining attention for longer periods of time.
Looking back at the previously learned languge and literacy skills it can be seen that young children learn how to use alnguge to communicate what they want or need and they learn how to participate in conversation. In kindergarten and into later stages of early childhood children have learned to listen to conversations and even respond appropriately. They show increasing curiousties about languge both written and spoken and are eager to learn what a spefific word is in a book or what it sounds like or even what letters make up the word. They have learned sentence structure and are able to speak in grammatically correct sentences. They show an increasing abilty to change their languge and stlye when faced with different situations or circumstances. For example a kindergardener can shift their languge when speaking to a toddler or baby they may speak in a more pleasant, upbeat way. Or, when they go outside they are able to recognize that they can speak louder or speak quitly at naptime. Kindergartners and older children show an incresse in responded to languge as well as asking questions. They show an increase in their vocabulary and with contious exposure to languge rich enviroments and their willingness to ask questions and respond to an adults question, these vocabulary skills increase even more. Children become more advanced in their knowledfe and use of literary skills like phonical awareness and phonics. They understand that print serves a purpose and illustrates a variety of functions, thye will understand words as separate units and have knowledge that reading occurs from left to right and these skills all arise from the exposure of written and verbal languge used in the classroom from infancy on. They show anticipation and eagnerness in reading expierences as some children begin to participate in partner reading and hearing repetitive books read by teachers. Reading comprehension, story stuture, and the emergence of early wirriting skills are all developing rapidly during this stage of development.they are eager to write and spl correctly as they ask teachers and older peers how to write and even spell. Kindergardten shows leaps and bounds in ther area of languge and literacy skills as children understand how print and books work, which progess onto how languge outght to be used then, what words sound like, tto the development of comprehension, letter recognition, decoding and finally further development into spelling and writing.
Teaching/Caregiving Strategies and/or Activities
Promoting cognive development in kindergarten and middle childhood children can stem from a secure foundation and well orginzed classrooms. As trusting relationships between child and teacher are developed teachers will become sensitive to what children already know and think and thus can add to their knowledge. Like in the preschool years, a effective way to promote cognitive development is by asking the children thought provoking and open ended questions. These questions can promote a child to think even further ot better yet- practice metacogntition which is thinking about thinking. This directs a children into problem solving and discovering their own answers as well as make sense of the world around them. Tacehrs should understand the value of peer interctions and make oppurtunties available for children to think with and tneract with each other. These interactions and collborations with one another help children to understand and respnd to each other – furthering cognitive development. Children at this age need to be able to make choices as choices are empowering and encourage children to be active thinkers and challenge themselves. Doing this allows children to be active particpants in the expierences and learning processes that they are expierencing. While plenty of child made choices, play and social interactions with other children is essteinal teachers and caregives should be available at all time in order to guide children through acitvties that are engaging and appropriately challenging for children. Offering ample space, time and open eded materials will allow children to problem solve, plan and be active in their thinking and mental processe. Offering similar but more challenging activites like those listed above in the preschool section, will help promote thinking and cogntition in older children
Supporting kindergarten and older early childhood children in their developing languge and literacy skills can be obtained in many ways including adding onto previous methods and strategies used in ealier ages. As languge and literacy skills become more refine, teachers should encourage children to continue their learning in these areas. Asking more complex questions, and pulling more details out of children in conversation may benefit children as they increase their skills in communcaiton. Children should continusouly be exposed to hearing books and should be offered opputtunies to be active partiipants in redaing books by being asked to reinact, retell or even just being asked questions about what was read. Teachers can foster languge skills by listening and speaking, using vocabulary to bulid upon comprehension and cultivating the awareness of the various sound of languges as well as offering pleanty of time and oppurtunines for children to [artiicpate in conversations with each other and adults. Teachers can read aloud and offer time for the children to respond to what they have heard by asking questions and asking the children to ecpand upon the reading by relating to their lives or expierences. Explain new vocabulary terms introduced in books is a nice way to incorporate comprehension and an increasing vocabulary bank. Materials should be made available for children to participate in independent reading, wirtig, dramatic play and even audio books. As children expierence new things and gain a better understanding of reading, writing and languge they should be challenged and encoaurged to further their development by moving from the easy to the difficult ensuring that children will make gains in their skills.
1. Using Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development, name and describe the developmental challenge that characterizes infant, toddler, preschool and latency age children. After each stage describe what teachers/caregivers can do to facilitate the developmental goals of the respective stage.
Erikson’s stage of development that arises in infancy is trust vs. mistrust.
The challenge during this stage of life is to ensure that an infant has all of their needs met and develops in a loving, safe and comfortable surrounding so that they can grow to trust their parental figure and caregivers. If an infant has a secure, consistent relationship with responsive and attentive adults then they will master this psychosocial challenge and feel trusting of their caregivers. When a trusted relationship has been established the infant is able to feel comfortable in exploring the world around them and venturing out from the adult while frequently checking in, ensuring that the adult is attentive and ready to step in when the child is in need of him or her. If a child does not establish a sense of trust for their caregivers, they develop mistrust then the child will be hindered in successfully moving on to the next psychosocial challenge and their development will be affected.
Teaching/Caregiving Strategies and/or Activities
Teaching and caregiving strategies that should be implemented to the children within care consists of an adult being highly responsive and attentive to an infant’s needs and establish a way to understand the desires of an infant and be able to successful provide for them what they need. An infant is dependent on the adult to provide all its need included feedings, diaper changing, stimulation, and being comforted when upset or hurt. Being responsive and setting up a safe and comfortable environment for the infant to explore in is important in helping infants believe that they are safe and can trust their caregivers. Learning each child’s individual eating and sleeping rhythm will be helpful in determining what a child needs at the time. Also paying close attention to and understanding how an infant reacts to his/her world around them, how he/she approaches new objects, how they prefer tasks to be done to them (diapering, singing while hand washing etc.) When an infant teacher or caregiver understands and begins to know what to expect with each infant under her care, she is able to show that infant that he/she can now know what to expect from her. This establishes feelings of safety, respect, security and a new found confidence to help further development.
The socioemotional stage of development that a toddler faces is autonomy vs. shame and doubt. During this stage of development children need to develop a sense of personal control over physicals skills and a sense of independence. As they develop further in all areas, their skills are strengthening and with these new found skills and a sense of trust in the world around them a toddler is ready to fend for themselves. If plenty of opportunities arise for a child to exert independence, the toddler will continue to grow and develop onto the next stages of life.
Teaching/Caregiving Strategies and/or Activities
As a toddler grows, they realize that they are a separate person from you and are now not completely dependent. They want to do things on their own but at the same time they require reassurance to go through with their ideas. For example a child may insist on climbing up on chairs and tables on their own but then they may be scared to get down on their own. As a caregiver and teacher it is important that we allow children enough space and comfort to explore the world around them on their own, but also ensure them that they can trust that an attentive adult is readily available for support and encouragement. Children can develop their independence --safe in the security of a familiar environment and caring hands to help if it is needed. The environment should be set up so that children can explore without having to worry about running in to unsafe obstacles, and as always the environment should be age appropriate with materials that foster healthy development and are easily accessible by the children.
A toddler may now want more control over their choices. While it is important to set limits based on safety and competence, it is important to allow a toddler to make some decisions even if they are not the choices adults would make. Allowing a toddler to participate in routine tasks like diapering and cooking these small tasks will give a toddler the confidence to do other things on their own.
Toddlers have a tremendous capacity to learn and absorb skills; they just need a little bit of encouragement and help. With the appropriate bit of instruction and help a child can accomplish tasks and take part in establishing and completing their daily routines. These small successes help for a toddler to feel proud of managing it on their own. Children who are encouraged to do things on their own often learn to brush their teeth and wear their shoes much earlier than children whose efforts are cut short by impatient adults. It might take some more time and sometimes it may leave you with a bit of cleaning up but the sense of accomplishment a toddler gets on completing a task on their own is worth the wait.
Preschoolers (ages 3-5)
Erikson’s stage of development for preschool aged children is initiative verses gulit.
Emotionally healthy preschoolers will want to take action and assert themselves. They will wat to create, invent, pretend, take rsks, and engage in lively acitvites with peers. When adults encourage these acitvities and avoid critisim children’s sense of intuitive will grow. However if an adult shows execessitive restriction in these areas and enables a child to feel that their efforts are continusouly wrong, they will develop a snese of gulit. An overwhemlng sense of gulit will inhibit emotional growth and leave a child feeling and perceieving themselves as a bad person.
Teaching/Caregiving Strategies and/or Activities
To promote healthy emotional development in the preschool years, teachers and caregivers are to help encourage a child in their pursuit of initiative. Creating a noncrirtical environment in which children are allowed to eak risks, explore, manipulate, invent, discover, and create without felling restricted or condemned is nesscary. Encouragment of creative processes with less emphasis on the finished product will help facialitite intittive. Teachers should be sure to promore child in their positive feelings towards oneself, others and the world bynuturing, encouraging and accepting children for who they are and allowing them to be an active explorer. Allowing oppurtunties for children to take intuitive in their expierences is esstenail for supporting healthy emotional growth during this stage of development. Receiving psotive feedback and responses from adults is crucial as children develop a positive self-concept through their desire to take initiative.
During the primary years the social emotional challenge presented by Eriskon is industry vs inferiority.
Preschoolers who have acheieved inititive will make creative attempts, take risks and rech out to peers for interaction and friendship. At this ae children feel pride and at aimply making a good effort or being creative. This changes drastically in the primiary years. Children who are 6-8 wish to master real skills the skills that are possesed by older children and adults. They desire to read and writr like gron ups, excel in their actitvites and games, become strong and smart- they want to succeed. Children who believe they are suucessful at mastering real skills are said to have a sense of industry- more commonly called competence. Children who have genunine success in their eaeryl years and whose accomplishments are accepted and appreciated y aduts and other peers will develop this sense of competence. The opposite side, is called inferiority which results when children have signigicant expierences with failure.
Teaching/Caregiving Strategies and/or Activities
Fostering a sense of competence in the primary aged child
2. Describe the evolution of social skills that occurs over the early childhood (birth to 8 years).
During infancy a child can participate in social conversations with others. A simple facial expression or body movement can be expressed in order for a child to communicate. With an infant’s new physical, cognitive, social and emotional abilities come new discoveries and ways to communicate. They begin to initiate and participate in games like peek a boo, they start to wave goodbye and hello. Infants can express their strong emotional ties to adults they love. Using language helps infants stay connected with their infant care teachers and givers. As infants build their vocabularies they listen to the sing-song rhythms, elevated pitch, and exaggerated emphasis on important words and sounds that most adults naturally use when talking with them. Reciprocal conversations take place with adults as infants use babbles, squeaks, and grunts. They start to put together the familiar sounds and soon are able to recognize the names of objects and people. They start to use gestures such as pointing, reaching up, shaking, jumping and moving their bodies in some way to signal their desires. Caregivers help promote this development by naming objects and people that an infant shows interest in, making the sound of animals in pictures and other books. Caregivers can introduce word games and sing songs to continue to strengthen social interactions.
As an infant enters the next stage of development in life and becomes a toddler their social interactions develop further and toddler are able to communicate in a way that is understood by most adults. An infant’s social awareness expands, and soon they begin to pick up on cultural messages about who they are and how they should behave. They work hard to understand social rules and begin to participate more actively in conversations. Toddlers will often repeat words they hear, increasing their verbal skills. Toddlers and adults often participate in play together, as it helps foster further social development when an adult can respond to a child’s lead by adding missing words, or making suggestions. Conversations will begin to arise as attentive adults ask toddlers open ended questions, and offering time for a child to respond. Toddlers begin to actively seek out their friends or caregivers and show more interest in imitating the behavior of others and engaging in group activities like singing songs and participating in hand games. Social experiences for a toddler may include children working together to explore the same objects. They start off by participating independent play, which rolls into on-looker play and soon they start to participate in parallel play, playing side by side where they will might comment to one another or even share toys. As their vocabulary skills increase they begin to participate in pretend play. They choose friends to interact with and share interests with- over time attachments may form. Toddlers venturing out in the exploration of their social worlds often time’s conflict arises which centers around toddlers impulsive reactions. During these conflicts children are beginning to understand that other people have thoughts and feelings too, and that their feelings may often differ from their own. Through these interactions toddlers begin to build a sense of themselves as social beings.
Part Four: Play
1. Describe the major type of play that differentiates two year old, four year old and 5-8 year old play.
Type of Play
Independent / Solitary Play
Toddlers explore the world in their own independent ways, exploring their surroundings independently and manipulating objects, reading books and participating in other forms of play independently. They start to try out associative play which often consists of children having fun, playing side by side in their own little world. It doesn't mean that they don't like one another, they are just engaging in parallel play. Despite having little social contact with h each playmate, children who parallel play actually learn quite a bit from one another like taking turns and other social niceties, because even though it appears they aren't paying attention to each other, they truly are and often mimic the other one's behavior. As such, this type of play is viewed as an important bridge to the later stages of play.
Type of Play
5-8 year old Year Old Play
Type of Play
2. Describe the following statement: “Play is the medium through which young children learn.”
3. What are some things teachers and caregivers can do to encourage children’s play?
Literacy and Writing Skills
1. Describe four stages of early-shared book reading
Offering books to children is the first stage of early shared book reading.
The next stage is to read books with and to the children.
Next, having the children answer questions about what they just read.
Soon children will be able to reenact the book and start to read the book to them, if even only just repeating from memory.
3. Describe the biopsychosocial skills that emerge over the early grade school years (ages 5-8) that allow the young child to read, write and perform mathematical operations.
Bio (Fine Motor)
Psycho (emotional, cognitive, language and problem solving skills)
Social (relating to the social world
4. What are some strategies and/or activities that teachers/caregivers can use to facilitate literacy skills in young children?
Infants / Toddlers
During the younger stages of life it is important that a literacy environment is provided for children so that they can become increasingly able to develop and learn literacy skills. In cooperating literacy by offering books, labels, pictures and other materials with letters and recognizable images on them. This helps open the door for children to ask questions and widens their literacy knowledge. Allowing books to accessible always, as well as reading to and with children will help foster appropriate literacy and language development.
Assignment Five: Application of Child Development Theory to Teaching and Caregiving
There are a number of theorists who have presented ideas on how children grow and develop. Early philosophers such as John Locke and Jean Rousseau and more contemporary thinkers such as Jean Piaget and Erik Erikson provide early childhood educators with a wealth of ideas on to care for and guide the development of young children.
Think about how you apply the following theorists to teaching/caregiving. Name the theory and then discuss the application to teaching/caregiving. Whenever possible use examples to illustrate your statements.
Arnold Gesell formulated The maturationist theory- Maturationists believe that development is a biological process that occurs automatically in predictable, sequential stages over time, meaning that all children should undergo the same life milestones around the same age in their development. This perspective leads many educators and families to assume that young children will acquire knowledge naturally and automatically as they grow physically and become older, provided that they are healthy and in a healthy environment. To promote growth and development under this theory, ensure that a child is in a safe environment under the care of responsive adults. Teachers and caregivers can continue to model and teach children understanding that each milestone will build off the other, and should occur sequentially in time.
Jean Piaget’s cognitive development theory suggests that children think in ways that are different from adults and that they acquire new knowledge based on experiences Piaget concluded that children play an active role in gaining knowledge of the world. According to his theory, children can be thought of as "little scientists" who actively construct their knowledge and understanding of the world. He illustrated this in several different categories depending on the age of development.
The first of these stages is the sensorimotor stage. This suggests that children are exploring using their senses and their growing motor skills in order to help them explore their world. During the early stages, infants are only aware of what is immediately in front of them. They focus on what they see, what they are doing, and physical interactions with their environment. Because they don't yet know how things react, they're constantly experimenting with activities such as shaking or throwing things, putting things in their mouths, and learning about the world through trial and error, beginning to understand their effect on their surroundings. At about age 7 to 9 months, infants begin to realize that an object exists even if it can no longer be seen. This important milestone -- known as object permanence -- is a sign that memory is developing. After infants start crawling, standing, and walking their increased physical mobility leads to increased cognitive development. Near the end of the sensorimotor stage, infants reach another important milestone -- early language development, a sign that they are developing some symbolic abilities.
Next is the preoperational stage. During this stage, young children are able to think about things symbolically. Their language use becomes more mature. They also develop memory and imagination. But their thinking is based on intuition and still not completely logical. They cannot yet grasp more complex concepts such as cause and effect, time, and comparison, though they are experimenting and exploring their world in order to grasps a larger understanding of how things work and why they work that way.
The next stage is the concrete operational stage of development. At this time, elementary-age and preadolescent children demonstrate logical, concrete reasoning. Children's thinking becomes less egocentric and they are increasingly aware of external events. They begin to realize that one's own thoughts and feelings are unique and may not be shared by others or may not even be part of reality. Children also develop operational thinking which is better known as the ability to perform reversible mental actions. During this stage, however, most children still can't tackle a problem with several variables in a systematic way that is not until they reach the formal operational stage of development in their adolescent years.
Teachers can help encourage cognitive growth by implementing a curriculum that is full of opportunities for children to explore in ways that are developmentally appropriate. Offering children a variety of materials and objects to explore and manipulate will help each child gain new experiences in which they will use as knowledge and begin to learn and understand how objects work. For instance, a teacher may offer sensory materials and have the exploration be very open ended, without any expectations of what a child should do with the material. But instead allow a child to explore this material, and continue to offer it over time. As a child experiences the same material over and over they will be able to better acquire knowledge about this material, until their goal or interactions with the material becomes more intentional.
The theme of Vygotsky's theory is that social interaction plays a fundamental role in the development of cognition. Vygotsky states: "Every function in the child's cultural development appears twice: first, on the social level, and later, on the individual level; first, between people (interpsychological) and then inside the child (intrapsychological). This applies equally to voluntary attention, to logical memory, and to the formation of concepts. All the higher functions originate as actual relationships between individuals." Vygotsky's theory illustrates the idea that the potential for cognitive development depends upon the "zone of proximal development": a level of development attained when children engage in social behavior. Full development depends upon full social interaction. The range of skill that can be developed with adult guidance or peer collaboration exceeds what can be attained alone, for example an adult can scaffold for a child, helping them when they are uncertain or cannot do something on their own. Vygotsky believes that social interactions between children and adults are primarily what are responsible for cognitive development. The focus is on social interactions and suggest that such interactions have the power to shape and mold cognitive skills. Vygotsky's theory was an attempt to explain cognitive development as the end product of socialization. For example, in the learning of language, our first utterances with peers or adults are for the purpose of communication. Vygotsky provides the example of pointing a finger. Initially, this behavior begins as a meaningless grasping motion; however, as people react to the gesture, it becomes a movement that has meaning. In particular, the pointing gesture represents an interpersonal connection between individuals. This illustrates how Vygotsky believe socialization has an impact on cognitive and overall development. In order to implement this theory into practice it is important that parents and caregivers allow children to interact with each other in a safe, and supportive environment. It is important to offer many materials like books, and puppets and baby dolls that promote further language and interactions. Encourage children to help one another with a problem if they can’t seem to solve it right away, and be sure to step in when necessary. It is important to offer children the time and space to have such interactions with each other and with other adults, filling in the gaps when necessary. If an environment encourages the use of language and social interactions can happen within a trusted and safe environment then children will begin to interact and further their social skills, thus, according to Vygosky, furthering their cognitive and overall development.