~ early education care ~ where our play supports our learning

Self-Regulation (ability to control our responses) Developmental Markers

With the large variety of ages I provide care for I find myself in lots of different discussions with parents about what we are observing, what is expected and what are possible areas of concern. I thought it might be useful to note some of the developmental markers I am looking out for and use in working with the children here whether it is for toy selection, space usage, specific lesson ideas, or discipline. ~~~

Self-regulation is the ability to control our responses (good vs bad choices). SANY1742Healthy development of this ability contributes to children  becoming independent learners, as well as preventing aggressive and anti-social behaviors.

6 months –

  • child enjoys being touched
  • actively interested in their environment
  • self-consoles (cries have a reason)

9 months –

  • is playing with an object for multiple minutes
  • attends to an individual directly interacting with them

12 months –

  • interested in music and moves body to its rhythms
  • daily has a solid daytime nap and sleeps through the night

18 months –

  • enjoys messy play
  • shows a preference for certain toys

24 months –

  • plays with a purpose
  • entertains self for 5 minutes
  • free plays with coloring materials, play dough

3 years –

  • wants to do things independently
  • participates in group play and activities

5 years –

  • daily daytime naps are usually done now
  • attends to an activity without direct supervision for at least 10 minutes

Some resources for additional reading –

The Development of Self-Regulation in Young Children

Self-Regulation: The Second Core Strength

Setting Limits: Helping Children Learn Self-Regulation


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