Childhood development activities help children to develop the skills that are appropriate for each age level. Often these take the form of games, engaging the children in play so that they maintain a high interest level in the activity. Activities for very young children teach basic coordination, colors, and numbers, while games for older children are intended to help them with fine motor skills as well as cognition. Group activities and role playing may also be chosen as appropriate childhood development activities.
Often, early childhood development activities focus on teaching the child about the world and how to interact with it. Many of these are games that a mother and child play together, such as peek-a-boo, which teaches a child that things don’t necessarily go away just because they can’t be seen. Motor skill games include such things as stacking cups and building with blocks. Time spent with parents is very important, and young children develop speech and comprehension skills from being read to and from engaging in conversation with adults. Sorting objects is something that many three and four year olds never seem to tire of, and it gives their cognitive skills a boost to sort objects by various criteria such as color, type, or size.
Children in the early grades of school are ready to build on what they know, and play becomes one of the most common childhood development activities for many children. They develop socially, and usually also improve motor skills through activities such as skipping and running, plus their imaginations improve as they pretend to be different animals or characters during games with their friends. Fine motor skills benefit from writing activities and from crafts that require coloring and the use of scissors.
Later, when children get older, they enjoy increased interaction with their peers. Group activities that include a combination of physical and mental activities become important to many children at around nine years of age, both in school and outside of the classroom. Groups that provide childhood development activities are typically organizations such as the Scouts, that involve children in many different kinds of tasks and help them to succeed. Children develop feelings of competence through such activities as well as from participation in sports, music, and art.
As children approach puberty, childhood development activities tend to focus on the growing need for the child to be able to identify himself or herself as a unique individual as well as developing the ability to cope with the outside world. Role-playing is a good way to help kids prepare for various scenarios they may encounter as peer pressure increases. Parents should be sure to allow the child to try out both roles, victim and tormentor, which can provide insight into why a bully or a manipulative person might be acting that way. Children need to develop the ability to ignore taunts and to cope with situations where they must deal with drugs or sexuality.