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Once born, children develop strength from top to bottom (head, then body, then legs, then feet); from the inside to the outside (trunk, then arms and legs, then hands and feet, then fingers and toes); from large muscle (jumping, hopping, running, throwing, catching, carrying, climbing, and balancing) to small muscle (using muscles of the wrist and hand in activities such as cutting, drawing, stringing beads, building block towers, working with play dough) skills. THIS IS A SEQUENCE THAT ALL HUMANS FOLLOW. (The development may vary for children with disabilities). While children are young we need to do many activities to strengthen their large and small muscles. Muscle skill development and maintaining a healthy body are especially important for future reading, writing, and math success.

When a child is born, he/she comes with a brain ready and eager to learn.The brain is very much like a new computer. It has great potential for development, depending on what we put into it. Early experiences greatly influence the way a person develops. Everyone who works with children has an awesome responsibility for the future of those children. The activities you do with them from birth to age 10 will determine how their learning patterns develop. As children interact with their environment, they learn problem solving skills, Critical thinking skills, and language skills.

First children develop a sense of self and then a sense of belonging to a family. They begin to watch other children and to want to interact with them. Children's play develops through stages (playing alone, playing near others but not with them, playing with others but not sharing, playing and sharing, playing with a purpose, organized games). These stages develop over time and with practice. Later, children develop the ability to respect the rights of others and to feel empathy for them. They learn to work cooperatively with others and to resolve conflicts in peaceful ways. You can interact with your child in ways that encourage cooperative behavior and respect for the rights of others. INTERACTING WITH OTHERS IN POSITIVE WAYS IS CRITICAL TO SUCCESS IN LIFE.

As babies grow, they learn that they are not the center of the universe and that they can depend on others. They develop a trust or mistrust of others. As toddlers, they learn to be proud of their accomplishments and state their opinions and desires. As they become preschoolers, children learn to separate from their parents and adjust to the school environment. They begin to participate in classroom activities. They learn to take turns and to solve conflicts using words. They begin to learn to control their emotions. They learn that it is okay to make a mistake. They develop confidence in themselves and learn to love themselves. You can help your children by encouraging them and showing your faith in their abilities. HAVING CONFIDENCE IN YOURSELF AND LIKING YOURSELF ARE CRITICALLY IMPORTANT TO FUTURE SUCCESS IN SCHOOL AND IN LIFE.

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