Development Milestones

Development Milestones are important and children who depart from them may be classified as persons with developmental disability. In Zambia,the bench marks were developed by the Ministry of Education, 2007), for Children between the ages 0 to 5 years.

These bench marks helps medical personnel, parents/guardians and any other people to observe the growth of children. Majority of children achieve these Development Milestones within the given period. Those who depart from the milestones may be classified as persons with developmental disability. Please note that there are some exceptions to this rule.

The period in months and development milestones are given below:

0-3 Months

Interpersonal development

• Looks at face

• Smiles responsively

• Responds appropriately to friendly & angry tones Motor Development

• Brings thumb &/ or fist to mouth Language Development

• Produces these sounds : oooo/aaah

. Responds to bell

4-6 Months

Motor Development

• Reaches for objects

• Grasps

• Puts objects in mouth

Language Development

• Squeals

• Laughs

• Turns to rattling sound

Self-help Development

• Can hold feeding cup or breast with hands drinking from it

7-9 Months

Motor Development

• Sits without support

• Can bear weight when put in a standing position

• Crawls

• Transfers objects from one hand to the other

Language Development

• Babbles Self-help Development

• Feeds self with snacks

10 – 12 Months

Interpersonal development

• Pays attention to own name

• Responds differently to strangers than to familiar people

Motor Development

• Drops & picks up toys

• Stands on to a supporting object

• Picks up objects with thumb and finger tip

Language Development

• Uses dada/mama specifically

Self-help Development

• Holds cup with both hands; drinks with assistance

13 – 18 Months

Motor Development

• Walks when held by one hand

• Picks up objects from floor without falling

Language Development

• Understands simple commands(e.g. no, stop)

• Imitates gestures

Self-help Development

• Removes clothes

19 -24 months

Interpersonal development

• Finds hidden objects easily

Motor Development

• Walks alone

• Scribble

• Brings objects from another place when asked

Language Development

• Uses the word more to make wants known

• Has a vocabulary of 5 to 20 words (mostly names of common objects)

Self-help Development

• Uses spoon, just spilling a little

• Drinks from cup with one hand, unassisted

. Indicates toilet needs

25-36 Months

Interpersonal development

• Watches other children, joins briefly in the play

Motor Development

• Walks on tiptoe

• Runs forward

• Jumps in place with 2 feet together

• Imitates circular, vertical, horizontal strokes

• Holds crayon with thumb and forefinger (not fist)

Language Development

• Points to body parts accurately

• Names a large number of objects common to his/her surroundings

• Indicates wants using short sentences (e.g. me want water)

Self-help Development

. Puts on clothing with assistance

36 – 48 Months

Interpersonal development

• Joins in play with other children

• Shares objects when asked to

Motor Development

• Walks on line

• Balances on one foot for more than 5 seconds

• Hops on one foot

• Copies circles, cross and square properly

Language Development

• Understands such concepts as longer, bigger when contrast is presented

• Follows simple requests even when the stimulus objects are not in sight (e.g. get a book, shoe, cup)

• Most of what he/she says is intelligent

• Reasons out such questions as “what must you do when you are sleepy, hungry, cold thirsty)

• Gives his/her gender, name, age

Self-help Development

• Button and unbuttons large buttons

. Uses toilet independently

49 – 60 Months

Interpersonal development

• Plays with other children

• Shares with other children

• Role play activities portraying life, with more attention to detail language

Motor Development

• Walks forward 10 times using both feet without falling

• Draws and names pictures

Language Development

• Has simple time concepts (e.g. morning, afternoon, night, tomorrow, yesterday, today)

• Follows three requests given without interruptions

• Names common objects in pictures, books or magazines

• Uses past tense correctly

Self-help Development

• Takes care of own toilet needs

This is the short article on development milestones.

Check this page for developmental disability and development milestones.


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