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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Workshop: Understanding Child and Youth Development

As a result of this workshop, participants will:


Toolbox Training highly recommends the Ages & Stages: Understanding Child Development book as a complement to this workshop. Click here for information on that and other books from Toolbox Training.


Check out this video of the Power Point presentation from this workshop for an idea of what you can expect:


To have this delivered as an on-site workshop contact Toolbox Training.

Check out the workshops tab for a full list of titles.


Monday, November 27, 2017

The 5 Domains of Child and Youth Development

When discussing child and youth development, there are five basic domains. Each is explained briefly below You can click on the domain to go to a page with more information, including links to activities to support that development.

Physicalhow we move

“The process of gaining control of our large and small muscles as well as the use of the senses.”


Cognitivehow we think

“It is not the same as intelligence. It is “the construction of thought processes, including remembering, problem solving, and decision-making, from childhood through adolescence to adulthood.” – Gale Encyclopedia of Children’s Health


Communication and Languagehow we interact

Communication is “the expression of ideas, thoughts, and feelings to others.”

Language is a system of words and the rules for their use in speaking, listening, reading and writing. – adapted from Caring for Children in School-Age Programs


Social and Emotionalhow we feel

“The capacity to recognize and manage emotions, solve problems effectively, and establish positive relationships with others.” – Joseph E. Zins and Maurice J. Elias, “Social and Emotional Learning”


Selfwho we are

“Understanding who you are [and] how you identify yourself in terms of culture, environment, physical attributes, preferences, skills, and experiences.” – from Caring for Children in School-Age Programs II


Above information from Francis Institute for Child and Youth Development (2014). Professionall Development for Afterschool/Youth Workers (a series of 24 modules). Metropolitan Community College; Kansas City, MO.

Related:


Self Development


Selfwho we are

“Understanding who you are [and] how you identify yourself in terms of culture, environment, physical attributes, preferences, skills, and experiences.” – from Caring for Children in School-Age Programs II

In Caring for Children in School-Age Programs Volume II, sense of self is defined as “understanding who you are [and] how you identify yourself in terms of culture, environment, physical attributes, preferences, skills, and experiences” (p. 119).

There are seven areas integral to how youth shape their identities:

Autonomy. Youth need control over their lives and need to know that their actions genuinely impact their lives and those around them.

Structure. Youth want consistency, knowing that they can depend on certain routines, expectations, events, and people to regularly be part of their lives.

Positivity. Youth need to see the world as interesting and enjoyable and see themselves as having a positive place in it. It is also important that youth feel like they will succeed in the future.

Esteem. Youth need to like and believe in themselves. They need to be recognized as good people with good ideas and qualities.

Community. Youth need to belong and be valued by their families, peers, cultural groups, and other entities within their social realms.

Talent. Youth need to be acknowledged for their special abilities and skills, those areas of their personalities which make them unique individuals.

Significance. Youth need to feel like they are needed and that their contributions are valued. This may tie into their spirituality, principles, values, and beliefs in higher deities.

Above content adapted from the Search Institute and the Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning’s Promoting the Social-Emotional Competence of Young Children: Facilitator’s Guide (2003). 


Activities to Promote Self Development:

Click on the name of the activity to go to the website for more detail. Bold letters in parentheses indicate the age group (I = Infant, T = Toddler, P = Preschooler, S = School-ager, A = Adolescent) for which the activity is targeted. Of course, with modifications the activity can be appropriate for other age groups as well.

  1. Acorn Perspective
  2. All About Me Collage
  3. Animal Care
  4. Art Exhibition
  5. Being Thankful Activities
  6. Computers (S,A)
  7. Conflict Resolution (S,A)
  8. Create (P,S)
  9. Diversity Appreciation
  10. Dressing Self (I,T,P)
  11. Empathy Cards
  12. Exercise (P,S) and (S,A)
  13. Feeding Self (I,T,P)
  14. Feel Good Notebook
  15. Gardening (P,S)
  16. Gratitude Gifts
  17. Grooming Self (I,T,P)
  18. Hobbies (S,A)
  19. Hygiene (I,T,P)
  20. Inspirational Cards
  21. Inspirational Quotes
  22. Interactive Play (P,S)
  23. Jobs/Chores (I,T,P) and (P,S)
  24. Kindness Corner
  25. Kindness Wreath
  26. Kind Vs. Unkind: Drawing Pictures
  27. Meditation
  28. Me Tree
  29. Money Management (S,A)
  30. Multiple Intelligences (S,A)
  31. Music (S,A)
  32. Nature Appreciation
  33. Painting (P,S)
  34. Placemats Highlighting Table Manners
  35. Positive Message Game
  36. Positive Notes Game
  37. Positive Writing Topics
  38. Praise Magnets (S,A)
  39. Puzzles (P,S)
  40. Random Acts of Kindness
  41. Reading (P,S)
  42. Recycling
  43. Responsibility Pledge
  44. Robots (S,A)
  45. Role-Playing Games (P,S)
  46. Socializing (P,S)
  47. Social Media Etiquette (S,A)
  48. Storytelling (P,S)
  49. Strengths and Weaknesses Chart (S,A)
  50. Thank You Cards
  51. Time Capsule (S,A)
  52. Toileting (I,T,P)
  53. Working Together Games
  54. Writing (P,S)

Resources:
Related:

Social and Emotional Development


Social and Emotionalhow we feel

“The capacity to recognize and manage emotions, solve problems effectively, and establish positive relationships with others.” – Joseph E. Zins and Maurice J. Elias, “Social and Emotional Learning”

Joseph E. Zins and Maurice J. Elias define social and emotional learning is “the capacity to recognize and manage emotions, solve problems effectively, and establish positive relationships with others.”

The California Department of Education notes that this development “includes the child’s experiences, expression, and management of emotions” and that it “encompasses both intra- and interpersonal processes.”

As youth move from early childhood through adolescence, they develop more capacity to regulate emotions and navigate social situations. They acquire greater capacity for independence, self-awareness, and their effect on others. Understand that this information is presented simply as guidelines. Youth will move through these stages at different paces.


Activities to Promote Social and Emotional Development:

Check out this Toolbox Training article for ideas: “100 Activities/Methods to Promote Social & Emotional Learning.”


Resources:
Related:

Communication and Language Development


Communication and Languagehow we interact

Communication is “the expression of ideas, thoughts, and feelings to others.”

Language is a system of words and the rules for their use in speaking, listening, reading and writing. – adapted from Caring for Children in School-Age Programs

To properly understand how to build youth’s communication and language abilities it is necessary to know what is meant by the terms. In Caring for Children in School-Age Programs, communication is defined as, “the expression of ideas, thoughts, and feelings to others.” To adapt another definition from that same source, we can consider language to be a system of words and the rules for their use in speaking, listening, reading, and writing.

It is important to recognize how technology effects how youth communicate. Emailing, texting, and social media are methods prevalent among youth which didn’t exist a generation ago.

In face-to-face interactions, we must also acknowledge the role of nonverbal communication. This includes facial expressions, gestures, body language, and tone of voice.

Youth programs offer unique opportunities for communication and language development. Successful youth workers actively communicate with youth and provide opportunities and support for youth in understanding, acquiring, and use of verbal and nonverbal means of communicating thoughts and feelings. By creating a warm and safe environment for youth, you give them opportunities to express themselves, develop friendships, and build self-esteem.

It is magical to understand how in the first few years of life, infants and toddlers transform crying, sounds, and gestures into recognizable words for expressing meaning. As young children expand their understanding of words and concepts, they develop a framework which will help them understand themselves and the world around them. As such, it becomes essential that staff understand the developmental stages of youth in regards to language and communication.

Learning language depends on a child’s ability to understand words and eventually to read and write them. Below are the general traits of ages 3 through 17. The youngest age group is included because your program may have younger children or youth who are developmentally behind.


Activities to Promote Communication and Language Development:

Click on the name of the activity to go to the website for more detail. Bold letters in parentheses indicate the age group (I = Infant, T = Toddler, P = Preschooler, S = School-ager, A = Adolescent) for which the activity is targeted. Of course, with modifications the activity can be appropriate for other age groups as well.

  1. Animal Sounds (I,T)
  2. Ask Questions (I,T)
  3. Categories (P)
  4. Clapping (I,T)
  5. Counting (I,T)
  6. Color Identification (I,T)
  7. Directions in 2-3 Steps (P)
  8. Changing the Leader (match leaders’ facial expressions) (S)
  9. Emotion Charades (S)
  10. Explain What You’re Doing (I,T)
  11. Facial Expressions (I,T)
  12. Finish the Story (S)
  13. Fish Bowl (put topics in bowl, draw one, discuss) (S)
  14. Grocery Shopping (P)
  15. Guess the Object I’m Describing (P)
  16. Identify the Object (S)
  17. New Words (P)
  18. Nursery Rhymes (I,T)
  19. Opposites (P)
  20. Peek-A-Boo (I,T)
  21. Pictures of Favorite/Familiar People, Places, Things (I,T)
  22. Play House (P)
  23. Poetry (S)
  24. Presentations (S)
  25. Reading to Children (I,T)
  26. Repeat Back What Child Says (I,T)
  27. Repeat Sounds (I,T)
  28. Sequencing (first, middle, last) (P)
  29. Shape Identification (I,T)
  30. Silly Pictures (talk to child about how to “fix”) (I,T)
  31. Simple Songs (I,T)
  32. Story Formation (S)
  33. Telephone Game (S)
  34. Twenty Questions (S)
  35. Watch Movies/TV Together and Discuss (P)
  36. What’s Going on in the Picture? (S)
  37. The Yes-No Game (I,T)

Resources:
Related:

Cognitive Development


Cognitivehow we think

“It is not the same as intelligence. It is “the construction of thought processes, including remembering, problem solving, and decision-making, from childhood through adolescence to adulthood.” – Gale Encyclopedia of Children’s Health

Cognitive development is the process of how youth acquire knowledge. This encompasses how they learn to think, reason, explore, and problem solve. Youth are naturally curious and have an inborn desire to understand and investigate the world around them. They will do so by using their senses, classifying and sequencing skills, and their understanding of cause and effect.

As youth grow, their capacity for thought increases as do their needs for more challenges. Healthy cognitive development is dependent on youth also growing in other areas such as their physical and emotional growth plus positive social interactions. It is also important for youth workers to understand youth’s thinking will begin to resemble that of adults during the school-age years.

To help youth grow cognitively youth workers must understand how youth think and learn – and what they already know. As with all discussions about development, it is important to remember that youth will not fit nicely into little boxes. Each youth is an individual who will develop at his or her own rate. As such, it is crucial that you recognize the information below as general guidelines about the cognitive abilities of that age group. There are no hard and fast rules.


Activities to Promote Cognitive Development:

Click on the name of the activity to go to the website for more detail. Bold letters in parentheses indicate the age group (I = Infant, T = Toddler, P = Preschooler, S = School-ager, A = Adolescent) for which the activity is targeted. Of course, with modifications the activity can be appropriate for other age groups as well.

  1. Alphabet Practice (I,T)
  2. Art (S)
  3. Author’s Chair (S)
  4. Bead Stringing (P)
  5. Blocks (I,T) and (S)
  6. Board Games (P)
  7. Book Groups/Literary Discussions (S)
  8. Card Games (P)
  9. Charades (P)
  10. Classifying/Categories (P)
  11. Color Practice (I,T)
  12. Cooking (S)
  13. Counting Games (P)
  14. Counting Practice (I,T)
  15. Creative Writing (S)
  16. Cultural Exploration (S)
  17. Detective (P)
  18. Dominoes (P)
  19. Face Identification in Mirror (I,T)
  20. Farmers’ Market (I,T)
  21. Finish the Sentence (P)
  22. Follow My Directions (P)
  23. Foreign Language (S)
  24. Graphs (S)
  25. Guessing Games (P)
  26. Hands-On Math (S)
  27. Hide and Seek (I,T)
  28. Hobbies (S)
  29. Inventory Questions (P)
  30. I Spy (P)
  31. Jobs/Chores (P)
  32. Legos (P) and (S)
  33. Library (I,T)
  34. Matching Games (P)
  35. Memory Games (P)
  36. Museum (I,T)
  37. Nature Walk (S)
  38. Noise Identification (I,T)
  39. Number Games (Adding, Subtracting) (P)
  40. Obstacle Course (P)
  41. Outdoor Exploration (S)
  42. Parks (S)
  43. Peek-A-Boo (I,T)
  44. Photography (S)
  45. Poll Taking (S)
  46. Popsicle Stick Crafts (P)
  47. Pots and Pans (I,T)
  48. Puzzles (P)
  49. Readers’ Theater (S)
  50. Reading (S)
  51. Reading Aloud (S)
  52. Sequencing Activities (P)
  53. Shell and Pea Game (P)
  54. Sensory Bag (identify objects in bag simply by touch) (P)
  55. Simon Says (P)
  56. Shape Practice (I,T)
  57. Sing-A-Longs (I,T)
  58. Sorting Games (P)
  59. Sports (S)
  60. Stop Watch Challenges (S)
  61. Tangrams (P)
  62. Technology (S)
  63. Tic Tac Toe (P)
  64. Toothpick and Marshmallow Building (S)
  65. Twenty Questions (P)
  66. Video Games (S)
  67. What Do You Do If… Questions (P)
  68. Which Doesn’t Belong? (P)
  69. Writing (S)
  70. Yes or No Questions (P)
  71. You’re Getting Hotter/Colder (P)

Resources:
Related:

Physical Development


Physicalhow we move

“The process of gaining control of our large and small muscles as well as the use of the senses.”

Along with general physical characteristics, it is important to understand youth’s development in relation to their increasing abilities to control large and small muscles, also known as gross motor and fine motor skills. Staff needs to understand how youth’s development is very different at different ages. In addition, children within the same age range will have very different abilities and interests.

Gross motor development refers to a youth’s capacity to manipulate and control large muscle groups. This includes the strengthening and coordination of large motions involving the arms, legs, torso, or whole body. Youth’s capabilities in this area vary greatly depending on their ages and developmental stages. As always, there are no absolute rules when discussing these stages, but the chart below offers some basic ideas for what you might see in each age group.

Fine motor development refers to a youth’s capacity to manipulate and control his or her small muscle groups. This includes the ability to coordinate specialized motions using hands, feet, eyes, and mouth. Like gross motor development, these abilities will vary greatly in youth dependent on their ages and developmental stages.


Activities to Promote Physical Development:

Click on the name of the activity to go to the website for more detail. Bold letters in parentheses indicate the age group (I = Infant, T = Toddler, P = Preschooler, S = School-ager, A = Adolescent) for which the activity is targeted. Of course, with modifications the activity can be appropriate for other age groups as well.

  1. Aerobics (S)
  2. Animal Pretend (T)
  3. Balancing (P) and (S)
  4. Balloons in the Air (T)
  5. Balls and Bean Bags (P,S)
  6. Bicycling (S,A)
  7. Boxes (P)
  8. Canoeing (A)
  9. Charades (S)
  10. Chase Games (T)
  11. Cheerleading (S)
  12. Climbing (T,P,S)
  13. Color Scavenger Hunt (T)
  14. Computers (S)
  15. Crafts (S)
  16. Cross Country Skiing (A)
  17. Dancing (T) and (S)
  18. Drawing (S)
  19. Duck, Duck Goose (P)
  20. Family Walks (T,P)
  21. Field Day (S)
  22. Fitness Tests (S)
  23. Flashlights on the Wall (T)
  24. Follow the Leader (T)
  25. Freeze Dancing (P)
  26. Gardening (P)
  27. Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes (P)
  28. Hide and Seek (T)
  29. Hiking (A)
  30. Hokey Pokey (P)
  31. Hula Hoops (S)
  32. Hopping (P)
  33. Hopscotch (S)
  34. If You’re Happy and You Know It (P)
  35. Inventing Games (S)
  36. Jump Rope (S)
  37. Jumping (T)
  38. London Bridge (P)
  39. Masking Tape Walk (T)
  40. Memory Recall Games (S)
  41. Movement Parade (P)
  42. Music Games (S)
  43. Musical Instruments (T,P) and (S)
  44. Nature Walk (P)
  45. Obstacle Course (T,P) and (S)
  46. Olympics (S)
  47. Outdoor Exploration (S)
  48. Painting (S)
  49. Parks (S)
  50. Patty Cake (I)
  51. Peek-A-Boo (I)
  52. Pillow Fort (T)
  53. Pillow Obstacles (T)
  54. Play Ball (T,P)
  55. Play Dough (S)
  56. Playground Equipment (S)
  57. Pretend Games (T,P)
  58. Puppet Show (T,P)
  59. Push and Pull Toys (T,P)
  60. Red Light, Green Light (T,P)
  61. Relay Races (S)
  62. Riding Toys (T,P)
  63. Ring Around the Rosy (T,P)
  64. Roller Blading (S)
  65. Sandbox TIme (T,P)
  66. Scavenger Hunt (S)
  67. Sensory Tests (Smell or Taste Tests) (S)
  68. Sidewalk Chalk (T,P)
  69. Simon Says (T) and (S)
  70. Slime (S)
  71. Sock Balls and Laundry Baskets (T)
  72. Songs with Basic Rhythms, Follow-Along (T)
  73. Songs with Movement (T,P)
  74. Sports (S,A)
  75. Stretching (T)
  76. Tag (T,P) and (S)
  77. TIghtrope (T,P)
  78. Toy Treasure Hunt (T)
  79. Trace Letters (T,P)
  80. Tug of War (S)
  81. Tummy Time (I)
  82. Twister (S)
  83. Wash Car, Bikes Dog (T,P)
  84. Water Play (T,P)
  85. Writing (P) and (S)
  86. Yoga (S)

Resources:
Related:

Saturday, November 11, 2017

The 5 Age Groups of Child and Youth Development

When discussing child and youth development, there are five different age groups to consider:

Infants – This covers ages 0 months to 12 months old.


Toddlers – This covers from 12 months to 3 years old.


Preschoolers – This covers from 3 years to 5 years old.


Schoolagers – This covers from 5 years to 12 years old.


Adolescents – This covers from 13 years old to 17 years old.


Related: