The four childhood developmental ‘domains’

The way in which children grow, learn and develop is unique to each child, and it’s also really fascinating! Watching them change at every level is wonderful, as you witness them gaining new skills and learning new things. There are five stages of early years child development:

Newborn (0-3 months)

Infant (3 months to a year)

Toddler (aged 1-3 years)

Preschool (aged 3-4), and

School-age (4-5 years)

At each of these five stages, child development specialists are looking at their progress across five different ‘domains’ of development:

Communication & Speech

As a baby turns into an infant and progresses through the development stages, its speech and communication skills will be growing every day. Communication is an essential part of everyday life, and they will be watching you and others around them speak and imitating everything you do. As part of this development ‘domain’, children will be learning how to have a conversation: when to listen and when to speak, and they’ll also be building their vocabulary so that they are more able to express themselves and explain things.


As a child grows they will become more physically able – from being able to turn themselves over onto their tummy, to holding their own bottle, to learning to crawl and then walk, there are a constant set of new physical challenges to learn and overcome at every stage. They will also be developing their fine motor skills for tasks such as holding a pencil or opening a lid.

Social and Emotional

Children go through various social and emotional changes as they grow. This includes learning to ‘name’ their feelings and express how they feel. As they grow, they are able to contain their feelings a little better, meaning that they grow out of those ‘terrible twos’ tantrums sooner or later!


As a child moves through the developmental stages, they will increase their knowledge and understand of themselves and of the world. They’ll develop thinking and remembering skills and learn how to exercise their judgment. They will also be able to start refining their problem-solving skills.

The best way you can help your child move through these developmental stages and domains is to give them lots of support and encouragement, as well as lots of exposure to new things and places and ideas.

Making sure you give them plenty of opportunities for outdoor play is one of the very best things you can do to aid and support their development. That’s why we at Landscapes4Learning are so passionate about providing a wide range of outdoor play facilities to support every development domain of your child’s learning journey.