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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Characteristics of Children from Birth to Age Three (cont’d) Age Characteristics Older infant: Six to twelve months • Uses vocal sounds to express joy and displeasure • Repeats babbling sounds • Begins to respond to “no” • Rolls over easily • Sits with, and later without, support • Reaches with one hand and passes objects from hand to hand • Crawls and creeps on hands and knees • Pulls self to standing position with assistance • Finds partially hidden objects and explores them with hands and mouth • Enjoys smiling and laughing • Demonstrates playful engagement with caregivers by reaching for and seeking them out to play • Can show distress and wariness around strangers Young toddler: Twelve to twenty- four months • Tries to imitate words and responds to simple verbal commands • Responds to and shakes head to gesture “no” • Uses two- to four-word sentences and follows simple directions • Begins to walk and to push and pull toys • Kicks a large ball and climbs up and down furniture and stairs with assistance • Places two to three cubes or small blocks on top of each other • Turns the pages of books • Becomes aware of self as separate from others and demonstrates increased independence • Shows first signs of empathy, embarrassment, and pride Older toddler/ two-year-old: Twenty-four to thirty-six months • Uses four- to five-word sentences • Language more understandable and grammatically correct • Understands and recognizes common objects and pictures • Sorts objects by shape and size • Matches pictures to objects • Uses crayon to draw strokes on paper • Walks and runs with ease and can pedal a tricycle • Can say own name, age, and sex • Engages in pretend play and can take turns with peers • Understands concepts of me, mine, and his/hers • Imitates others and is aware of self as separate from others • Show signs of pride, embarrassment, and self-consciousness Final Thoughts Choosing to care for very young children is an important decision. As a responsive caregiver, you play a critical role in providing children with optimal learning oppor- tunities. Best practices recommend that care be provided by nurturing, caring, and knowledgeable professionals. The program you work in provides quality care by pro- moting children’s development in all domains. It focuses on best practices and strives to meet individual children’s needs. You and your program offer developmentally appropriate activities to support the growth and development of the whole child. Caregiving and the Early Childhood Professional COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL 15