image_pdfimage_print

< Back to Child Development Charts

Self Care skills are the everyday tasks undertaken to be ready to participate in life activities (including dressing, eating, cleaning teeth and more). They are often referred to as the activities of daily living (ADL’s). While these are typically supported by adults in young children, it is expected that children develop independence in these as they mature.

Organisation involves the ability to establish what tasks that you need to do, by when and how. Part of organisation is understanding the requirements of the task. Organisation is an important skill required to follow daily routines, complete self care activities as well as academic tasks.

Note: Each stage of development assumes that the preceding stages have been successfully achieved.

How to use this chart: Review the skills demonstrated by the child up to their current age. If you notice skills that have not been met below their current age contact Kid Sense Child Development on 1800 KIDSENSE (1800 543 736).

 

 Age Developmental milestones Possible implications if milestones not achieved
 0-6 months
  • Tracking objects with eyes
  • Coordinating suck, swallow, breath sequence, (tongue is cupped, forward rhythmical movements of the tongue, and jaw consistently moves up and down in a coordinated pattern)
  • Sleeping for 4-10 hour intervals.
  • Communicating hunger, fear or discomfort through crying
  • May have difficulty with breast feeding
  • May have difficulties settling to sleep
  • May cry often
6-12 months
  • Playing for 2-3 minutes with a single toy
  • Reaching for nearby objects
  • Tracking objects with eyes
  • Sleeping 10-12 hours with only 1 awakening
  • Tolerating a range of different textured foods
  • Drinking from a cup
  • Holding bottle or cup independently
  • Using tongue to move food around mouth
  • Feeding self small crackers or other small pieces of food

 

  • May have difficulties settling and may wake often during the night
  • May have difficulties socialising with parents and joint attention
  • May struggle to copy and learn from others due to poor understanding and attention
  • May have difficulties feeding self
  • May have difficulties holding onto and drinking from a cup or bottle
  • May have difficulty tolerating different textured foods
 1-2 years
  • Distinguishing between edible and inedible objects (18 months)
  • Looking in the right spot for hidden objects
  • Playing next to children
  • Imitating adult behaviour
  • Engaging in imaginative play
  • Has an awareness of a parent’s approval or disapproval of their actions
  • Understanding common dangers of hot objects, stairs, glass
  • Regularly checking in with adults/carers
  • Tolerating nappy changes
  • Settling themselves to sleep at night or during the day
  • Attempting to brush teeth
  • Knowing where familiar items are kept
  • Removing own shoes and socks
  • Cooperating with dressing by extending an arm or leg
  • May have difficulties socialising with parents and joint attention
  • May struggle to copy and learn from others due to poor understanding and attention
  • May have delayed play skills (e.g. show little interest in toys)
  • May have difficulty learning self care tasks such as brushing teeth and taking off shoes and socks
  • May have difficulty tolerating different textured foods
  • May have difficulties settling and may wake often during the night
 2-3 years
  • Using toilet with assistance and having daytime control
  • Having an awareness of a parent’s approval or disapproval of their actions
  • Understanding common dangers of hot objects, stairs, glass
  • Settling themselves to sleep at night or during the day
  • Sitting to look at a book independently
  • Unbuttoning large buttons
  • Expressing emotions
  • Tolerating a range of different textured foods
  • Engaging in imaginative play
  • Distinguishing between urination and bowel movements, and names them correctly
  • Using a napkin to wipe face and hands
  • Feeding self simple meals using a fork or spoon
  • Taking socks and shoes off
  • Enjoying/tolerating messy play
  • Knowing where familiar items are kept
  • Attempting to brush teeth
  • May struggle to copy and learn from others due to poor understanding and attention
  • May have difficulties following instructions at home/child care
  • May demonstrate delayed play skills
  • May demonstrate difficulties with toilet training
  • May have difficulty tolerating different textured foods (e.g. picky eater)
  • May demonstrate difficulties feeding self
  • May demonstrate difficulties learning to undress self.
  • May have difficulties getting to sleep or sleeping through the night
3-4 years
  • Having an awareness of a parent’s approval or disapproval of their actions
  • Understanding common dangers of hot objects, stairs, glass
  • Sitting to look at a book independently
  • Unbuttoning large buttons
  • Expressing emotions
  • Tolerating a range of different textured foods
  • Engaging in imaginative play
  • Distinguishing between urination and bowel movements, and names correctly
  • Using a napkin to wipe face and hands
  • Feeding self simple meals using a fork or spoon
  • Taking shoes and socks off
  • Enjoying/tolerating messy play
  • Knowing where familiar items are kept
  • Attempting to brush teeth
  • Feeding self without difficulty
  • Tolerating different clothing textures, seams, tags etc
  • Independently packing items away
  • Using a napkin to wipe face and hands
  • Toileting independently
  • Knowing where familiar items are kept
  • Dressing and undressing self (only requiring assistance with laces, buttons, and other fasteners in awkward places)
  • Playing with 2 or 3 children in a group
  • Brushing teeth independently
  • Taking turns
  • Settling themselves to sleep at night or during the day
  • May have difficulties socialising with peers
  • May have delayed play skills
  • May struggle to copy and learn from others due to poor understanding and attention
  • May have difficulties following instructions at home, childcare, or kindergarten
  • May have difficulty tolerating different textured foods (e.g. picky eater)
  • May have difficulties maintaining attention
  • May have difficulties with toilet training
  • May have difficulties with dressing and feeding
  • May have difficulties getting to sleep or sleeping through the night
 4-5 years
  • Using a napkin to wipe face and hands
  • Settling themselves to sleep at night
  • Independently packing items away
  • Developing friendships
  • Expressing emotions
  • Following rules
  • Knowing where familiar items are kept
  • Toileting independently
  • Choosing weather appropriate clothes
  • Dressing self independently
  • Feeding self without difficulty
  • Taking turns
  • Playing with 4 or 5 children in a group
  • Tolerating different clothing textures, seams, tags etc
  • May have difficulties socialising
  • May have delayed play skills
  • May struggle to copy and learn from others due to poor understanding and attention
  • May have difficulties following instructions at home, kindergarten
  • May have difficulties expressing wants, needs, thoughts and ideas
  • May have difficulties sitting still
  • May have difficulty tolerating different textured foods (e.g. picky eater)
  • May have difficulties with self care tasks such as dressing, feeding and toileting
 5-6 years
  • Dressing independently
  • Morning routine at school (putting bag away, swapping readers, putting drink bottle in correct spot)
  • Feeding self without difficulty
  • Expressing emotions
  • Opening lunch boxes, zip lock bags, food packaging
  • Sitting at a desk, following teacher instruction, and independently doing simple in-class assignments
  • Tolerating different clothing textures, seams, tags etc
  • Coping in busy/noisy environments
  • Settling independently for sleep
  • Packing a bag for school or other outings with assistance
  • May have difficulties socialising
  • May have delayed play skills
  • May have poor attention and concentration
  • May have difficulties following instructions at home, school
  • May have difficulties following routines
  • May have difficulties expressing thoughts and ideas verbally and in written form
  • May be easily distracted and have difficulty sitting still
  • May have difficulty tolerating different textured foods (e.g. picky eater)
  • May demonstrate poor organisational skills.
  • May demonstrate delayed fine motor skills
  • May demonstrate difficulties coping in busy environments
  • May have difficulties with self care tasks such as dressing, feeding and toileting
6-7 years
  • Opening lunch boxes, zip lock bags, food packaging
  • Independently getting self to sleep and sleeping through the night
  • Eating a range of food and tolerating different textures
  • Showering independently
  • Packing a bag for school or other outings with little assistance/prompting
  • Expressing emotions
  • Morning routine at school (putting bag away, swapping readers, putting drink bottle in correct spot)
  • Independently toileting during the day and at night
  • Coping in busy/noisy environments
  • Telling the time
  • Feeding self without difficulty
  • Knowing where their body is in time and space to coordinate body movements for ball skills
  • Playing with 4 or 5 children in a group
  • Inhibiting the need to talk/ask questions
  • Preparing simple meals (e.g. cereal)
  • May have difficulties socialising
  • May have poor attention and concentration
  • May have difficulties following instructions at home, school
  • May have difficulties expressing thoughts and ideas verbally and in written form
  • May have difficulty tolerating different textured foods (e.g. picky eater)
  • May be easily distracted and have difficulty sitting still
  • May demonstrate poor organisational skills.
  • May demonstrated delayed fine motor skills
  • May demonstrate difficulties coping in busy environments
  • May have difficulties with self care tasks such as dressing, feeding and toileting
 7-8 years
  • Opening lunch boxes, zip lock bags, food packaging
  • Packing a bag for school or other outings with little assistance/prompting
  • Recalling events and describing them
  • Expressing emotions
  • Remembering a sentence to write that was just thought about or told
  • Attending for longer periods of time
  • Sitting still (e.g. in class, at mealtimes)
  • Coping in busy/noisy environments
  • Showering independently
  • Taking on more responsibilities e.g. chores
  • Understanding money
  • Telling the time and displaying time management skills
  • Inhibiting the need to talk and ask questions
  • Preparing simple meals e.g. cereal, sandwich
  • May have difficulties socialising
  • May have poor attention and concentration
  • May have difficulties following instructions at home or school
  • May have difficulties expressing thoughts and ideas verbally and in written form
  • May have difficulty tolerating different textured foods (e.g. picky eater)
  • May be easily distracted and have difficulty sitting still
  • May demonstrate poor organisational skills
  • May demonstrated delayed fine motor skills
  • May demonstrate difficulties coping in busy environments
  • May have difficulties with self care tasks such as dressing, feeding and toileting

 

This chart  was designed to serve as a functional screening of developmental skills per age group.  It does not constitute an assessment nor reflect strictly standardised research.

The information in this chart was compiled over many years from a variety of sources. This information was then further shaped by years of clinical practice as well as therapeutic consultation with child care, pre-school and school teachers in South Australia about the developmental skills necessary for children to meet the demands of these educational environments. In more recent years, it has been further modified by the need for children and their teachers to meet the functional Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) requirements that are not always congruent with standardised research.