Developmental domains of childhood development are interdependent. Development in one domain influences & is influenced by the development in the other domains.
Development in children is tracked by their progress in each domain of childhood development; charted as developmental milestones.
The interaction between the process of maturation and learning brings about the changes of childhood development.
The mnemonic "SPICE" stands for Social, Physical, Intellectual, Creative & Emotional elements that contribute to overall childhood development; divided in to 4 main domains.
The domain of physical developmental refers to the development of physical skills, known as “motor skills”. Motor skills give children the ability to make purposeful movements and learn the physical characteristics of self and the environment.
It is through physical developmental domain that a child develops gross movements, fine controls, hand to eye co-ordination, balance and kinaesthetic sense.
Motor development depends in part on child's growth as assessed by weight, height and body proportions along with physical health. Poor nutrition and frequent illnesses can jeopardise the physical development of a child.
Perception capacities are essential for good motor control
Perception is an outcome of complex functions of the nervous system and therefore is dependent on normal brain growth and development of the sensory nervous system.
Ability to recognise and interpret the sensory stimuli serves as the basis for understanding, learning, and knowing a particular action or reaction, which plays a major role in social and cognitive development of a child.
Furthermore, this domain of development is strongly affected by child’s individual opportunities to practice, observe, and be instructed on
fine and gross motor skills.
Atypical motor development may be a sign of developmental delays or problems such as autism or cerebral palsy.
Cognitive developmental comprises “I” - intellectual development and “C” - creativity of SPICE.
Creativity is the outcome of intelligence acquired, events experienced and imagination applied constructively in academic and everyday knowledge.
Children’s creativity is not limited to the use of materials. It is seen in their games when they use fantasy to mold their identity and create wonderful opportunities for self-expression in different situations.
Usually language development is taken for granted as an inherent capacity of human child, but it has several essential components of development. Language development and effective communication capabilities are highly dependent on other developmental domains.
Social and emotional developmental domain deals with children’s ability to understand the expressions of emotions, form attachments, play with others, and handle peer pressures.
It gives children the capacity to understand the feelings of others and control their own feelings.
Social interaction demands that children are able to cooperate, follow directions, have moral reasoning and demonstrate self-control.
Read more on "Children’s Capacity To Self-Regulate" under
"Parenting Practices during Middle Childhood Development"
Self-knowledge, which includes high self-esteem, meta-cognition, sexual identity, and ethnic identity, goes a long way in children's
personality development and therefore in their healthy social relations.
However, children’s inherent temperament plays a major role in their ability to interact socially and handle emotional reactions.
Each child differs in the inherent potential and the environmental stimulation exposure. The expected age specific normal childhood development has broad limits. Yet it is important to know these limits to evaluate childhood development process.
Charting developmental milestones in the developmental domains helps follow the progress of child's development.
It is interesting to note that in spite of influences of the external environment and the inherent biology on childhood development, human children learn to walk/sit independently at similar ages all around the world. This has helped us to set lower age limits for the emergence of most abilities, and thus set the guidelines in evaluation of childhood developmental disorders.
Explore more on childhood developmental domains: Look for related pages in the right column of the page.
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Stages of Development in a Child
Domain of Language Development
Social and Emotional Domain
Infancy and toddler-hood
Motor skills development process
Gross motor skills
Fine motor skills
Nativism versus empiricism
Types of Intellectual structure
Stages of cognitive development
Milestones of cognitive development
What is language development
Building communicative abilities
Milestones of language development
Patterns of learning language
Causes of delay & deterioration
Components of Stuttering
Causes of Exacerbation