Growth and Development, Ages 2 to 5 Years - Promoting Healthy Growth and Development
You can help your child grow by showing love and affection, by talking with and
reading to your child, and by letting your child play. It's also important to set boundaries and
Offer plenty of opportunities for
exercise. Going to the playground, joining a
gymnastics or dance class, or simply running races in your backyard allows your
child to release excess energy and encourages new physical skills. For more information, see the topic Physical Activity for Children and Teens.
Encourage safe exploration. Children who explore learn to
master new skills and solve problems. Offer a variety of things to play with,
read, create, and build. Take basic measures to minimize risks. For more information about preventing
accidents and injuries, see the topic
Health and Safety, Ages 2 to 5 Years.
Encourage a sense of security. This sense of trust
lays the foundation for learning, social skills, adaptability, and emotional
development. Your child is more
likely to feel safe and secure if you are dependable, consistent, respectful,
and responsive. Secure children also keep and strengthen their attachment to their
Emotional and social development
Provide peer contact. Playing with other children
even 1 day a week gives children opportunities to practice and develop
important social, emotional, and language skills.
Promote self-control. Children need guidance, clear
limits, and patient parents during this time of behavioral and emotional
struggles. Help your child by modeling and teaching proper behavior. Time-outs can help, when they are used properly
and sparingly. Encourage your child to think about the feelings of other people to develop
Help your child build self-esteem. Parents have the greatest influence
on a child's belief about himself or herself. Let your child know that he
or she belongs, is doing well, and is contributing.
Provide a variety of experiences and play environments. Schedule time each day for either indoor or outdoor
physical activity, such as dancing or going to a playground. These activities improve coordination and other large muscle skills. Fine motor
skills develop through things such as art projects (like painting or using scissors) and playing musical instruments.