How is your child developing?

Here are five areas of development every parent should know, according to the website

Area 1: Cognitive

Thinking skills: including learning, understanding, problem-solving, reasoning and remembering. Your child should:

• Respond to his name when called by age 1

• Identify hair, eyes, ears, nose and mouth by pointing to them by age 2

• Understand simple stories told or read by age 3

• Give reasonable answers to simple questions such as, “What do you do when you are sleepy?” or “What do you do when you are hungry?” by age 4

• Understand the meaning of the words “today,” “tomorrow” and “yesterday” by age 5

Area 2: Sensory

Interaction with the environment; reaction to and recognition of sights, sounds, textures and smells. Your child should:

• Respond to music with body motion by age 1

• Explore surroundings by age 2

• Recognize sounds in the environment by age 3

• Recognize red, yellow and blue by age 4

Ÿ Know spatial relations (like “on top” and “far”) by age 5

Area 3: Language

Speaking; using body language and gestures, communicating and understanding what others say. Your child should:

• Say “mama” and/or “dada” by age 1

• Say eight to 10 words you can understand, including names by age 2

• Talk in short sentences by age 3

• Know last name, name of street, several nursery rhymes by age 4

• Have a vocabulary of about 1,500 words by age 5

Area 4: Social/emotional

Interacting with others; having relationships with family, friends and teachers; cooperating and responding to the feelings of others. Your child should:

• Play games such as peek-a-boo, patty cake and wave goodbye by age 1

• Imitate behavior of others, especially adults and older children by age 2

• Views self as a whole person involving body, mind and feelings by age 3

• Play group games such as hide-and-seek or tag with other children by age 4

• Share and take turns by age 5

Area 5: Movement

Using large groups of muscles to sit, stand, walk, run, etc., keeping balance and changing positions (gross motor skills); or, using hands to be able to eat, draw, dress, play, write and do many other things (fine motor skills). Your child should:

• Crawl on hands and knees by age 1

• Turn pages in a book by age 2

• Walk down steps by age 3

• Balance on one foot for a short time by age 4

• Throw and catch a large ball bounced to him by age 5

If you suspect your child may have a problem, don't delay. Contact your family doctor, public health nurse or visit for information. Locally, Easter Seals DuPage and Fox Valley Area may be contacted at (630) 620-4433.

— Janice Youngwith

Early years crucial to a child's development