Welcome to the My First Five Years Articles page. Here you will find more in depth information about our 6 streams of development.
Have you ever noticed a baby concentrating on picking up a small toy? The small but skilled movements required aren't present at birth but babies quickly develop these fine motor skills. Fine motor skills is one of our six key streams of development in the My First Five Years app. Fine motor skills develop following on from the progression of gross motor movements. This is because fine motor skills require the strength and coordination of the gross motor muscles to operate smaller muscles in the body, such as hands, fingers and wrists.
Fine motor skill is something that begins developing as soon as your child is born, and children make numerous fine motor milestones throughout their early childhood. As they begin to experiment and master their new skills, there is a wide range of methods and activities that can support their fine motor development. Many ideas can be found for every stage of fine motor development on the My First Five Years app, as well as detailed breakdowns on each small stage of development along the way.
A relationship-based approach to childcare is one that is founded on a strong relationship between the child, childcare provider, and their family in order to support the best possible development outcome for the child.
It is common for children to develop skills at varying rates. Even siblings can hit milestones at different stages of development from one another.
Fine Motor Skills are the skills that develop following on from the progression of gross motor movements. Fine motor skills involve intricate, more defined actions that require manual dexterity such as picking things up between a finger and thumb, wriggling toes and even the manipulation of lips and tongue.
Sensory development is the way in which children learn to use their senses to explore the world around them and the way that they use information from their senses to help them to move, balance and respond to their needs. As children grow, they will use their senses of vision, touch, taste, smell, hearing, proprioception (sense of their body), vestibular sense (balance) and interoception (awareness of sensations inside their body) to explore and learn about themselves and the world around them.
When we think about creativity, we often think about creative arts such as dance, sculpture, painting and drawing, but it is also possible to be creative in scientific ways. Creative-scientific explorations can involve problem-solving, testing an idea to see if it works or is true, investigating, discovering and inventing. Creativity was traditionally thought to be limited to a special set of ‘creative’ people, but we can all be creative given the opportunity.
As your precious child starts to grow, so to their motor skills begin to develop. When a baby is born, their muscle development starts in their head and neck. As they develop the ability to move and control these, they will then progress onto the large muscles in the body such as their core, legs, and arms. It is likely that when your child reaches the age of two, they will be able to walk and run, and their gross motor muscles will continue to improve and refine throughout their childhood.
Here at My First Five Years, we know how important it is to empower parents with knowledge about speech development. We consider speech to be one of the most important parts of a child’s development journey. It’s a process that begins before birth as your baby listens to the sounds around them in the womb! As your baby is born and grows, this development continues supports them to communicate as they use words to represent objects and experiences. Let’s not forget also that your baby’s language development is a source of great excitement for you, the parent; as they move from making sounds to the amazing moment when they utter their first word!
When you think of grammar, your first thought might be punctuating sentences in an English lesson or some discussion about why children at primary school need to know about fronted adverbials. (Whatever that means!) However, our understanding of grammar begins a long time before we start school, with even babies noticing and learning about the grammar used in the languages spoken around them.
The term ‘messy play’ often conjures up images of primary-coloured paints splattered on the walls and children with jelly in their hair. It can just sound a lot like a way of handing over the contents of the kitchen cupboard and its surroundings to your child and leaving them to it. However, there is much more to it than the perceived chaos at the kitchen table!
A lot of the time when we hear the term ‘problem-solving’, our brain jumps back to the tricky maths teasers from our school days, and we immediately recoil a little. However, problem-solving is much more than number conundrums.
There is no one simple answer to this question. It can be explained as a child's growing ability to control their emotions, ideas, and behaviour in order to act positively. It is also the ability to adjust behaviour to meet the situation they are in or have been presented with. When children are young, they do not know how to regulate their feelings and they cannot make sense of their feelings or how to express them.
Children make connections and learn a lot about the world through their eyes and they will rely on their visual skills to recognise familiar people, make discoveries about their environment, and keep themselves safe.
In this article, we are going to focus on sensory stimuli and tantrums, how thinking about sensory stimulation might help you to support your child during a tantrum and what you might do if your child seems particularly sensitive to sensory stimulus.
Join us as we tell you everything you need to know about social referencing, and why it could be important for your child’s development.
As parents, much of what we feel when we think of our children’s behaviour is based on what we ourselves experienced as children, combined with the huge amount of information, advice and opinion at our fingertips. This, along with the examples of parenting we see day-to-day, has been magnified through social media over recent years. Understanding how to support children’s behaviour is one of the hardest parts of parenting, and in this article we are going to review some of the theories about behaviour which have formed the basis of child development.
As a parent, it can feel like ‘Fine Motor Skills’ is one of those terms that gets thrown around a lot by experts, but never really gets explained all too well. You might know it to be an essential part of your child’s physical learning (which is most certainly is!), but what even is it anyway? Let’s break it down.
Cognitive learning is so important in early childhood, as scientists believe that the first five years are a particularly important period for acquiring information because the brain is more malleable for absorbing new information. The experiences children receive help neural connections to grow, and they are then strengthened through repetitions.
Creating a language-rich environment may sound complicated. Thankfully, it’s not. It simply means ‘a place to talk’. It's the way you use your space to talk to your child, as well as the toys, books and activities you choose, to create a ‘language-rich environment’. Every response that is given to your child, whether that be a comment, a repetition of what they have said, or a new conversation with lovely words your child may not have heard before, can be defined as language rich.
At My First Five Years, we know it can be hard to sift through all the information available online and find what you want to know to help you to support your child. That’s why we provide information you can trust, backed by years of experience, science and research.
At My First Five Years, we believe in being realistic about parenting. We know what parents do is important for their children’s development, and we know parenting is amazing at times but hard work too.
When we think about child language acquisition, we are thinking about how language is gained and how it is developed. As soon as babies are born, they interact with the people around them, and their journey towards learning and using language begins.
How do you feel about handwriting? Is it a traditional art or something that is still relevant today? Our own handwriting often feels very personal, tailored to our own unique style, which makes it a part of our self-image and even an expression of our personality. I remember spending a longtime perfecting my signature! Handwriting is an important way of communicating and expressing language, just like speech, it also leaves a lasting record. It is a physical way of expressing thoughts and ideas and communicating with others. When your child masters writing their name or their first sentence, they may feel extremely proud to have made (and left) their mark and this may feel like a really important rite of passage.