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Year-by-Year Development

Development Timeline Overview

On each of the following pages of Start SMART's helpful year-by-year development guide, you will see each of the above areas listed along with descriptions of actions in which children are likely to engage for their age.

Choose your child's age:

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YbY-Dev-button Age2
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Between the ages of 0 and 5, children develop rapidly. In the short span of five years, newborns grow to become well-developed children with unique personalities, ideas, and character traits. During those five years (and beyond), children develop in four major areas:

Motor Skills

Motor skills involve learned sequences of events that result in fluid motions or actions, such as crawling, standing, walking, or properly playing with toys. In older children, examples of motor skills can include drawing, kicking/catching a ball, and swinging.

Cognitive Skills

Cognitive skills involove the ability to process thoughts, understand language, and commit things to memory. Examples of cognitive skill can include a six-month old putting his/her foot out for a parent to place a shoe on the foot or a five year old being able to count 10 objects..

Language Skills

Language skills involve a child's ability to not only understand certain commands, but also the way that younger children communicate with their caregivers, including waving and gesturing for attention. Examples of language skills in older children include asking questions, telling stories, and properly using pronouns.

Social Emotional Development

Social and emotional development encompasses the way that children act in social situations as well as how they process and display emotion. For example, a young child who is properly developing may be shy around strangers and get the attention of his/her caregivers through sounds or gestures. Examples of proper social and emotional development for older children include playing with friends and adhering to rules set by parents.


Are you an expectant mother? Sign up for our free program "Text4Baby". You will receive weekly text messages about your baby's development. Just click the link below to start the sign up process!


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