What are examples of cognitive, behavioral, physical, and chronological development in the developmental stages between infant and preschooler?

Quick answer:

Examples of cognitive development in young children include object permanence in infants and learning to sort objects by color and shape in preschoolers. An example of behavioral development is an infant learning to mirror facial expressions. An example of physical development might be a baby learning to crawl.

Expert Answers

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From infant to preschooler is a time of incredibly rapid development. This development takes place in various areas:

  • Gross motor skills
    • This is an area of physical development and refers to the use of large muscle groups.
    • Examples of this type of development include a baby learning to sit, then learning to crawl, then learning to stand, then walk, then run, then jump.
  • Fine motor skills
    • This is another area of physical development. This refers to the use of small muscle groups—such as the muscles in the hands and fingers—and hand-eye coordination.
    • Examples of this type of development would be a baby learning to bat at hanging toys, or a toddler learning how to feed themselves with a spoon, or eventually, a four-year-old learning how to use scissors.
  • Social skills
    • This would fall under your category of behavioral skills. Social skills demonstrate how a child learns to read and react to the emotions of others, cooperate with others, and build relationships with others.
    • Examples of this type of development would include a very young infant learning to smile and reflect facial expressions, toddlers playing alongside each other, and preschoolers learning how to work together in imaginative play.
  • Language skills
    • Language skills are strongly connected to social skills. These skills refer to a child’s ability to communicate—through speech and gestures—and to understand what is being communicated to them.
    • Examples of this type of development would include learning simple first words such as “mama” or “da-da,” learning to put two or more words together, being able to follow multi-step commands, and being able to form full sentences and questions.
  • Cognitive skills
    • Cognitive skills are “thinking” skills. These refer to a child’s ability to reason, remember, understand abstract concepts, and solve problems.
    • Examples of this type of development include an infant realizing that objects continue to exist, even when they can’t see them; an infant exploring cause and effect; a toddler learning to fit shapes into a basic puzzle; and a preschooler who is able to count and sort items by shape and color.

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