Age Appropriate Skills and Behaviors Drafted July 2007

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Age Appropriate Skills and Behaviors

Drafted July 2007

One of the essential pieces of knowledge for completing the COSF is to understand age-appropriate skills and behaviors. A variety of resources are available to providers/teachers including norm-referenced and curriculum-based assessment tools, Early Learning Guidelines and Standards, child development textbooks and courses, and online resources such as the American Academy of Pediatrics. The following resource is intended to support providers/teachers in understanding skills and behaviors expected at certain ages. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list of age-appropriate skills and behaviors for the given ages, nor is it intended to be used as a checklist.

The following resources were used to develop this document:
CDC website July 20, 2007, from CARING FOR YOUR BABY AND YOUNG CHILD: BIRTH THROUGH AGE 5 by Steven Shelov, Robert E. Hannermann, © 1991, 1993, 1998, 2004 by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Used by permission of Bantam Books, a division of Random House, Inc.
The Creative Curriculum Developmental Continuum for Ages 3-5
HELP Strands Curriculum-Based Developmental Assessment Birth to Three Years, Adapted from the Hawaii Early Learning Profile by: Stephanie Parks
University of Maryland web page
University of Michigan Health System; American Academy of Pediatrics and Zero to Three

Web site:

PBS web site:

Outcome 1: Social-Emotional Skills and Behaviors
One-year-olds are just learning to recognize and manage their feelings. They experience a wide range of emotions and have tantrums when they are tired or frustrated. They may also respond to conflict by hitting, biting, screaming, or crying. One-year-olds seek autonomy and may say, "No!" to adult suggestions or insist that they, "Do it byself!" Then, moments later, they might cling to an adult's leg or ask for help.6

  • Shows pleasure when familiar adults are nearby. Has developed close attachments with parents and other frequent caregivers; uses these relationships as a secure base to explore (e.g., digs in the sandbox but runs back to dad for a cuddle from time to time).6

  • Is keenly observant of others' emotional reactions. Checks parent's facial expressions (e.g., considers climbing up a ladder at the playground, but first looks back at mother's face for encouragement or warning)6

  • Experiences a wide range of emotions (e.g., affection, frustration, fear, anger, sadness). Tends to express and act on impulses; has tantrums when tired or frustrated. With adult help, begins to use strategies to control emotional expression (e.g., goes to get teddy bear or another comfort object when upset so he or she can calm down).6

  • Is aware of others. Enjoys exploring objects with adults as a basis for establishing relationships (e.g., plays "peek-a-boo" over and over again with grandfather).6

  • May make simple overtures to familiar children (e.g., looks for and smiles at children at the store, offers a toy or hug to another child whether or not the gesture is welcom

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