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Creative Checklist for Early Child Development

by Eliza Martinez, studioD

The early childhood years mean great gains in knowledge and strides in development. You might be amazed at the things your little one picks up from toddlerhood to early grade school. Creativity is one aspect of development, and understanding the checklist that goes with it helps you monitor your child's progress and watch for delays. If you're ever concerned about your child reaching her milestones, contact her doctor to talk about your worries.

Babies to Toddlers

Your baby or toddler probably doesn't appear to be much more creative than is required to scribble on paper, the walls or the furniture, but she is learning plenty of things that contribute to her development. According to Scholastic, children from birth to 2 years of age should be drawn to objects with bright colors, be able to discern between light and dark in pictures and drawings and notice color, shape and texture. At this age, your child is developing her creative thinking skills, which later contribute to creativity in other areas.

Ages 2 to 4

When children begin preschool, usually around age 3, they have plenty of opportunities to put their creativity to work. If your little one hasn't entered the classroom yet, you can promote her development at home. By age 3, your child should enjoy drawing and talking about her picture, engage in symbolic play, use art supplies such as paints and markers and make repetitive lines and shapes, notes Scholastic. By age 4, children should be able to trace or copy shapes and draw people with a few body parts, according to MayoClinic.com. She'll probably be able to produce more detailed pictures with more recognizable shapes and objects, adds Scholastic.

Ages 4 to 5

When your child nears kindergarten, she should be able to copy geometric shapes and use her imagination to create stories of her own, according to MayoClinic.com. This will serve her well as she begins to learn math and more advanced language concepts in school. In addition, she should be able to represent emotions on paper, including happiness, sadness and anger, take ownership of her creations and use her mistakes as part of her drawing or painting, notes Scholastic.

Ages 5 to 6

As your child makes gains in her fine motor development, her creative side is likely to shine through. She'll have more control over her hands, which makes creative pursuits easier. According to Scholastic, children between age 5 to 6 should start showing a personal style when it comes to art, draw more detailed pictures with many individual objects in them and create images that are realistic. She might still exaggerate the size of objects but is probably getting better at working with other mediums, such as foam or cardboard.

About the Author

Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.

Photo Credits

  • Michael Greenberg/Digital Vision/Getty Images