Physical Development Stages

Stages of Development

Birth to Six Months

  • Becomes vocal
  • Learns to use senses
  • Grows rapidly (doubles in size)
  • Beginning to grasp objects
  • Learns to control eye movement
  • Learns to hold head up, roll over, and sit up
  • Unable to control bowel

Six Months to One Year

  • Learns to crawl (around 8 months)
  • Learns to walk (around 10 months)
  • Can grasp things
  • Begins to teeth
  • Unable to control bowels

One to Two Years

  • Begins to walk
  • Begins climbing (on furniture)
  • Push and pull things
  • Takes things apart and can use toys (such as building blocks)
  • Unable to control bowel

Two to Three Years

  • Learns to run, kick, climb, throw, push, and pull
  • Learns to spoon-feed and helps to dress themselves
  • Can scribble and control hands better
  • Starts to control bowel

Three to Four Years

  • Runs, jumps, climbs, rides tricycle
  • Scribbles and can put basic puzzles together
  • Can feed themselves with fork and spoon
  • Can almost dress themselves but cannot tie shoes
  • Better control of bladder, but most likely cannot make it through the night

Four to Five Years

  • Very active
  • Rapid muscle growth
  • Learning to control bladder
  • Learning to write

Five to Six Years

  • Can dress themselves
  • Can control bladder
  • Prefers plain food
  • Growing appetite

Six to Seven Years

  • Full of energy
  • Has growth spurts
  • Clumsy
  • Will occasionally wet oneself
  • Suffers from more colds and illnesses because of exposure at school

Seven to Eight Years

  • Pouty
  • Drives oneself until exhausted
  • Getting better at hand-eye coordination (may be interesting in drawing and painting)
  • Fewer illnesses, but for longer periods of time
  • Apetite is decreasing
  • Develops nervous habits

Eight to Nine Years

  • Busy and active, with frequent accidents
  • Clowns around
  • Has a good appetite
  • Shorter and fewer illnesses

Nine to Ten Years

  • Engages in rougher play (especially sports)
  • Enjoys work-related tasks and complicated crafts
  • Developing strength and has good control
  • Girls are starting to develop faster than boys

Ten to Eleven Years

  • Girls have weight increase
  • Boys are playing more rough
  • Well developed control over body

Eleven to Twelve Years

  • Increased awareness of the body
  • May develop sexual desires
  • Boys have more muscular development and endurance
  • May have self-consciousness about learning skills
  • Girls start showing secondary sex characteristics

Twelve to Fifteen Years

  • Rapid increase in height, weight, and strength
  • Girls are beginning to reach physical and sexual maturity
  • Boys are beginning to mature physically and sexually
  • May have acne
  • Concerned with appearance
  • Increased sexual desire

Sixteen to Nineteen Years

  • Has reached (or close to reaching) physical maturation
  • Likely to act on sexual desires


Arnold Gesell

Growth and development occur in orderly stages and sequence. The individual genetic timetable affects rate of maturation. He identified the role of nature or heredity in children's development. Gesell gathered data on a number of children to support his theory. He believed that heredity had the greatest impact on the development of children.


Works Cited

"Child Development: Using the Child Development Guide." Child Development: Using the Child Development Guide. Web. 30 Oct. 2014. <>.