The aim of cultivating the theories of childhood development in learning institutions for children of age 0-8 is to help them understand themselves, their surroundings, and learn social interactions. The best way of teaching them these valuable lessons is by engaging them in hands-on projects, which help them find answers to their many questions.
Educators are capable of utilizing various activities, games, or tasks to facilitate the growth and development of the children in the 5 domains; language, physical, adaptive, social, and cognitive. The activities that I would employ to help in language development in children include the use of repetitive expressions, reading lessons, storytelling, and singing (Charlesworth, 2017). Repetitive talking to the children helps them to master words that they hear. As a result, they begin to mimic them in their own speech at home and in their interactions with friends at school. Reading helps the children to pick the word pronunciations and develop reading techniques. Storytelling is important for children as they not only help with opening up their imagination but also helps them to have fun. I would incorporate specific words in songs to help the children to master them. It is also important that as the children keep learning new words and making strides in sentence reading, their efforts should be acknowledged and praised.
Regarding the development of physical skills such as motor skills, I would plan for activities that make the children walk, run, and perform activities using their hands. Examples of these tasks include the skipping with one leg game, climbing games, hide and seek games, and exercises involving cutting out shapes (Charlesworth, 2017). The first three games are fun activities. However, as the children engage in them, they train their body parts such as feet, hands, eyes, and ears to coordinate together to boost their motor skills.
The third domain, which is the adaptive domain, teaches children self-help skills necessary for independence. A parent or guardian will not always do everything for the child. Thus, as a teacher, I get excited when I start seeing my students begin to do things by themselves. In learning this, children mostly imitate their parents, guardians, and teachers. One of the practices that I would plan to cultivate in the children is using their spoons during meal time. Besides, rather than button their shirts and dresses for them, I would want to train them on how to do it by themselves. I would also be teaching students in my class how to place items in their school bags including their lunch boxes.
The social and emotional (affective) domain is concerned with the ability of the children to relate with their teachers, parents, and peers in school. The first exercise that I would use would be cooperative playing (Charlesworth, 2017). I would take the children to the playing field and give them balls, balloons, and kites to play with. Through these games, they can learn to give each other a chance to play. The second exercise would involve making the children share materials such as building a house using building blocks. During these games, children will most likely get into fights with one another as some do not want to share the materials. My presence in the class will help me seize the opportunity to teach the children how to express their anger without engaging in physical fights. Stern warnings against fighting will also help them to relate better with one another. We may also organize to visit a sick child to cultivate empathy and sympathy in the children.
Lastly, the cognitive domain helps in the development of memory and imagination of the children (LearningRx, 2019). The first activity in this area would be drawing and coloring exercises. Pictures leave a lasting impression in children’s brains. As such, they begin to develop their imagination and express their thoughts in form of drawings. The exercise also helps them to identify the various colors that exist. Another exercise for cognitive development is counting exercises (Charlesworth, 2017). I would buy a big chart with numbers on it and help the students in reciting them. Afterwards, we can engage in practically counting exercises. Construction activities such as building a house using building blocks also help in developing the children’s brains including their thought processes, analytical, and problem solving skills. Thus, I would give my children many building blocks and ask them to build a ramp, wall, or house. Fourthly, another exercise would involve sorting out objects by shape, color, and function (Charlesworth, 2017). This exercise helps in identifying similar and different objects, which is an important lesson in making sense of one’s environment. Besides, doing this helps the children to begin to develop their math and engineering skills.
Childhood development is as critical to a person’s life as adulthood. Every teacher and guardian should be keen on monitoring the development of the children to ensure they develop good cognitive, adaptive, social, language, and physical skills.
Charlesworth, R. (2017). Understanding Child Development. 10th Edition. Cengage Learning: Boston, USA
LearningRx (2019). 4 Cognitive stages for child development. LearningRx. Retrieved on October 1, 2019 from https://www.learningrx.com/4-cognitive-stages-for- child=development