Physical Changes in Childhood Development
There are a variety of physical changes in childhood development. Each stage of development is differentiated by age. Within each age group specific physical changes tend to occur under normal circumstances. The following profiles reflect the normal physical development from infancy to late adolescence.
Infancy (birth to 2 years) — Infants undergo a variety of physical changes where they become strong enough to reach, crawl, and climb. In this stage, children learn to manipulate and release objects as well as simple feeding activities (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2004).
Early childhood (2–6 years) — This stage of development is marked by increased motor skills such as rolling, tumbling, running, and skipping. There is an increase in abilities to use objects that require more precision such as using scissors. This increase in agility is reflected in all activities (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2004).
Middle childhood (6–10 years) — During this stage of development, basic motor skills begin to stabilize and children are now capable of more proficient athletic skills and activities. Complex activities such as riding a bike or rope climbing are now possible (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2004).
Early adolescence (10–14 years) — This stage is characterized by physical changes brought on by puberty. Typically, most children experience puberty between the 10–14 ages. However, girls may sometimes experience puberty before 10. In the same respect, boys sometimes experience puberty at the end of the age range. During this period, children will experience growth spurts and the physical maturity caused by puberty (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2004).
Late adolescence (14–18 years) — The final stage of childhood development is characterized by maturity into adulthood. Children become more even in appearance as changes such as height and muscle growth become permanently altered (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2004).
McDevitt, T. M., & Ormrod, J. E. (2004). Child Development: Educating and Working with Children and Adolescents Second Edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall Pearson Education, Inc.