Development of children takes place on the basis of development principles. Through various stages of development, every stage has its important developmental tasks.

The level of development in a child is measured by observing the various tasks he accomplishes. To know the development of the child we can study them broadly under six different categories:

(i) Physical development

(ii) Motor development


(iii) Social development

(iv) Emotional development

(v) Cognitive development

(vi) Language development


I. Physical Development

Growing of various organs of body like bones, muscles, internal organs and their gaining of strength is called physical development.

The working capacity and capability of different organs increases during the development. It includes increase in height, weight, body, bones, teeth, sense organs and nervous system’s capacity.

Development is a continuous process. It is progressive in nature. The rate of develop­ment varies from time to time. Sometimes rapid developmental changes take place and sometimes they are comparatively slower.


We can study the physical development under the following headings:

(i) Weight development

(ii) Height development

(iii) Body proportions


(i) Weight development

At the time of birth the weight of the baby is around 2.5 kg to 3 kg. At 1 year of age the weight of the baby is around 9 kg to 10 kg. Weight increases rapidly during the first five months after birth. After four months the weight of the body doubles than the weight at birth.

During second year, the rate of weight increase becomes slow as the baby spends energy on various other activities. During 3rd year the child gains weight and becomes 12 to 14 kg. Nutrition, heredity, and racial characteristics affect the weight of the child.

(ii) Height development


At the time of birth, length of the baby is 18″ to 20″. Boys are taller than girls. The baby increases in height by 3″ during first 4 months. Till 8 month it becomes 25 to 27″. Till one year the baby is of 27″ to 29″ in height. By the end of 2nd year the baby becomes 32″ tall. Till the age of 3 years the child turns around 35″ to 37″. Social, economic, nutritional status of the child affects the growth of height.

(iii) Body proportions

Body proportion is also important factor in the physical development. Various organs of the body develop in different proportions and have different rates of development.

(а) Head


Head of the newly born baby is one fourth of the total length of the body. As the body grows, the rate of development of head becomes slower and rest of the body develops at a faster rate. Head of an adult is one tenth of his total length.

(b) Face

Development of human body takes place from top to bottom. First the head of a baby develops and then the face starts to develop. In the beginning the face is very small in comparison to the head but afterwards it also develops and becomes proportionate to head.

(c) Hands and feet

Development of hands and feet of a baby takes place at a fast speed. In the beginning, the fingers are soft and small as the bones are not fully developed. At the time of birth legs of the baby are shorter than the arms. In first two years, the arms grow about 60 to 75% more.

The legs of newly born baby are short and curved. As they grow in length, they become straight. In first two years the legs grow 40% more in length.

(d) Bones

At the time of birth a baby has approximately 300 bones, which are soft and small. They are so flexible that the baby can suck his toe. During the process of development calcium deposition on bones takes place and they start becoming stronger with the help of mother’s milk and nutrition. An adult has only 206 bones as they join and become strong. After the development of bones the child is able to walk, run and do other activities.

(e) Internal organs

Internal organs like digestive tract, respiratory organs, urinary tract, nervous system etc. also develop. At the time of birth the lungs are very small. The chest cavity is also small. Pulse rate is 120- 140 per minute. But in adulthood it is 72 per minute.

(f) Teeth

Development of teeth starting gums during prenatal period, teeth start emerging from 6 months. All milk teeth emerge till the age of they are 20 in number. They are ten At the age of 5 to 6 years these teeth falling down and their place is permanent teeth. They are 32 in number order of their falling down is the same J of their emergence. There is quite a c in emergence of teeth in different child is due to individual differences. It is 8 processes.

(g) Development of sense organs

As the body grows sense organs also develop the time of birth, touch-sensation is developed. Three month-old child can head and use eyes to see an object that causes his muscles to become starts showing sensitivity towards cool also starts giving response to the noises starts making faces when anything given to him.

(h) Nervous system

After birth system also develops fast like other or becomes quite mature till the age of four but total maturation is achieved at the age of 16 years. At the time of birth weight of the baby’s brain is 1 ½ of the weight of the adult person. At 24 years it is ¾ of the adult brain’s weight.

brain is 1/4 of the weight of an adult person. At 24 years it is 3/4 of adult brain’s weight.

(i) Development of digestive system.

At the time of birth stomach of the baby is small and the digestive capacity is less. Afterwards digestive system develops very fast till the age of 3 years.

(J) Development of respiratory system. The lungs are very small at the time of birth. But slowly they grow and till the end of 2nd year, the size of head and lung is same. They grow till the age of 3rd year.

(k) Development of muscles and fat tissues. At the time of birth the muscles are soft and underdeveloped, so the activities of the baby are clumsy. Slowly they grow in size and become stronger. From birth to the age of 24 years amount of fat increases but in 3rd year it starts decreasing as the child becomes active and utilizes energy in other activities.