Child development stages chart

Cognitive Development from Conception through Adolescence

  • Lian is Conceived

    Lian is Conceived
    In the first two weeks after conception, the one-celled zygote multiplies and forms a blastocyst. This blasocyst burrows into the uterine lining and the structures that protect tiny, developing Lian begin to form.
  • Lian at 3-4 Weeks

    Lian at 3-4 Weeks
    Lian is about 1/4 of an inch long now. A primitive brain and spinal cord have appeared. Her heart, muscles, ribs, backbone, and digestive tract are beginning to develop.
  • Lian at 5-8 Weeks

    Lian at 5-8 Weeks
    Lian is now about an inch long. Many of her external body structures such as her face, arms, legs, toes, and fingers as well as her internal organs are forming. Her sense of touch is beginning to develop and she is starting to be able to move.
  • Lian at 9-12 Weeks

    Lian at 9-12 Weeks
    Lian is about 3 inches long now. She is rapidly increasing in size and her nervous system, organs, and muscles are becoming more organized and connected. New behavioral abilities appear such as kicking, thumb sucking, mouth opening, and the rehearsal of breathing. Finally we can tell that Lian is a 'she!'
  • Lian at 24 Weeks

    Lian at 24 Weeks
    At about 12 inches long, most of Lian's brain neurons are now present. Her eyes are sensitive to light and she reacts to sound.
  • Lian at 30 Weeks

    Lian at 30 Weeks
    Lian's brain is now rapidly developing causing her sensory and behavioral capacities to expand. At this point she is about 20 inches long and has a good chance of survival outside of the womb.
  • Lian is Born

    Lian is Born
    Lian comes into the world with a well developed brain and quite a few reflexes which will aid in her cognitive development. She is ready to start learning!
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    Lian's Sensorimotor Stage of Development

    Piaget - Stage 1 The Sensorimotor Stage is Piaget's first stage of development spanning birth through the second year of life. This is the stage in which Piaget proposed that Lian "thinks" with her eyes, ears, hands, and other sensorimotor equipment but cannot yet carry out many activities inside her head.
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    Lian's Sensorimotor Substage 1 - Reflexive Schemes

    Reflexive SchemesIn her first month of life, Lian exhibits a number of reflexes:
    - Eye Blink
    - Rooting
    - Sucking
    - Swimming
    - Moro
    - Palmar Grasp
    - Tonic Neck
    - Stepping
    - Babinski
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    Lian's Sensorimotor Substage 2 - Primary Circular Reactions

    Lian is developing simple motor habits centered around her own body. She caught a glimpse of her hand on accident and was so enthralled that she is working hard to figure out how to manipulate them consciously.
  • Lian Starts to Coo

    Lian Starts to Coo
    Baby Cooing Lian is in the first stage of language development! She is cooing, making pleasant vowel sounds and experimenting with moving her mouth and her tongue.
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    Lian's Sensorimotor Substage 3 - Secondary Circular Reactions

    Secondary Circular Reactions Lian is learning how to act in a way that is aimed at repeating interesting things in the world around her! She is also starting to imitate familiar behaviors.
  • Lian Starts to Babble

    Lian Starts to Babble
    6 Month Old Babbling Lian is now adding consonants to her cooing sounds and repeating syllables! By 7 months old she'll start to include many of the sounds of spoken language. She can also comprehend quite a few commonly heard words.
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    Lian's Sensorimotor Substage 4 - Coordination of Secondary Circular Reactions

    Lian is now exhibiting intentional, goal-oriented, behavior. She understands object permanence and can find a hidden object. She has an improved anticipation of events and she's starting to change the way she imitates familiar behaviors.
  • Lian Turns 1 Year Old

    Lian Turns 1 Year Old
    1 Year Old Plays PeekabooShe is becoming better and better at establishing joing attention with her mom and is actively participating in turn-taking games like Peekaboo. She has started to use preverbal gestures like showing and pointing to influence people's behavior and convey information. Her babbling is starting to include the sound and intonation patterns of the child's language. She is getting faster at more accurately comprehending words and soon she will be saying her first recognizable word!
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    Lian's Tertiary Circular Reactions

    Lian is starting to really explore the properties of objects by acting on them in new and interesting ways. She is searching in more than one location for hidden items and can accurately find an object that is hidden, moved, and re-hidden in front of her, also known as "Accurate A-B Search."
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    Lian's Sensorimotor Substage 6 - Mental Representation

    Lian is almost 2 years old! She is demonstrating that she can internally depict objects and events by solving problems. She is able to find objects that have been moved while she wasn't looking and she's starting to play "make-believe." She is remembering and copying the behavior of her parents even when they're not around.
  • Lian Turns 2 Years Old

    Lian Turns 2 Years Old
    Two Word Utterances
    Since she was 18 months old Lian has been working hard on expanding her vocabulary from 50 to 200 words. She is about to start combining two words into telegraphic speech!
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    Lian's Preoperational Stage

    Preoperational Stage - Conservation
    This phase spans years 2 through 7 of Lian's childhood and the most obvious change she will go through is an extraordinary increase in representational activity.
  • Lian Turns 3 Years Old

    Lian Turns 3 Years Old
    Lian is now starting to show a dramatic increase in her language development, make-believe play, understanding of dual representation, and categorization. She is taking in the perspective of others in simple, familiar situations and everyday communication. Now she is also able to distinguish animate beings from inanimate objects.
  • Lian Turns 4 Years Old

    Lian Turns 4 Years Old
    Over the last year Lian has developed in leaps and bounds. She grasps conversations, reverses her thinking, and understands many cause-and-effect relationships. She categorizes objects on the basis of common function, behavior, and natural kind. She can sort familiar objects into heirarchically organized categories and distinguishes appearance from reality!
  • Lian Turns 5 Years Old

    Lian Turns 5 Years Old
    Lian is getting so big! She is becoming increasingly aware there are many thought processes, such as make-believe, that are representational activities.
  • Lian Turns 6 Years Old

    Lian Turns 6 Years Old
    Lian is starting to replace events that violate expecations and reality, such as magical beliefs, fairies, goblins, etc, with plausible explanations.
  • Lian Turns 7 Years Old

    Lian Turns 7 Years Old
    Lian is now solving verbal appearance-reality problems, signifying a more secure understanding.
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    Lian's Concrete Operational Stage

    Lian's thought is now more logical, flexible, and organized that it was during her previous stage of development. She can finally pass Piaget's Class Inclusion Problem, meaning she can focus on the relationship between a general category and two specific categories at the same time.
  • Lian Turns 9 Years Old

    Lian Turns 9 Years Old
    Lian's brain is developing in some pretty cool ways this year! Her cognitive mapping abilities are improving and she is better able to organize instructions for getting from one place to another. She is starting to work on cognitive self-regulation but she isn't quite good at it yet. Her attitude toward language is undergoing a fundamental shift towards metalinguistic awareness, or the ability ot think of language as a system.
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    Lian's Formal Operational Stage of Development

    In Lian's final stage of adolescent development she develops the capacity for abstract, systematic, scientific thinking.
  • Lian Turns 14 Years Old

    Lian Turns 14 Years Old
    Lian is starting to use her brain in brand new ways. She is using Hypothetico-deductive Reasoning when faced with problems and propositional thought to evalutae the logic of verbal statements without referring to real-world circumstances.
  • Lian Turns 15 Years Old

    Lian Turns 15 Years Old
    Lian is a teenager and she is learning how to reflect on her own thoughts as well as her physcial and psychological changes. She is starting to have trouble distinguishing her own perspectives from others'. The Imaginary Audience belief is making her feel self conscious and the Personal Fable distortion leads her to develop an inflated opinion of herself.