Children's Development Course

  • learn skills relevant to child development. 
  • useful training for working with children in a range of different situations.
  • learn skills and ideas that can be applied to interacting with children
  • develop an understanding of how children think and develop 
  • facilitate improved child development, particularly through play experiences.

Graduates will have improved career and job prospects to work in areas from child care to play leadership; or even in businesses, organisations and companies that develop or supply products or services to children (e.g. toy shops, toy libraries, leisure centres, playgrounds, playground equipment or toy manufacturers, etc).

Train to Understand Child Development - Affordable Study

  • work with children and understand their needs
  • develop skills needed to enhance your career
  • learn about nutrition for children
  • learn the psychology of play

This certificate is comprised of the following courses - Play Leadership, Introduction to Psychology, Child Psychology,  Children's Writing, Children's Nutrition, Park and Playground Design I. CT



Module Outlines


Play Leadership

There are ten lessons in this course, plus one special project, as follows:

  1. Understanding Play
    To explain the purpose of play in the cognitive, physical and social development of a child.
  2. Leadership Skills
    To determine the skills required to carry out a play leadership role in different situations.
  3. Planning Play Programs
    To develop a plan for a supervised children's play program.
  4. Child Development through Play
    To develop a basic understanding of the impact of play upon the psychological development of a child.
  5. Play Safety
    To determine appropriate measures to take to protect a child's safety when at play, while minimising any interference which might diminish the quality of the play experience.
  6. Physical Play
    To develop an understanding of options for physical play activities, including games and sports, in a supervised play program.
  7. Social Play
    To develop an understanding of options for social play activities, in a supervised play program.
  8. Adventure Play
    To develop a basic ability to plan, establish and manage a supervised adventure playground.
  9. Play Apparatus
    To develop an ability to evaluate a range of different play apparatus, including playground structures, toys, sports equipment, commenting on quality, safety features, appropriate applications and cost benefit.
  10. Activities
    To broaden your scope of opportunities that can be offered for children to play, appropriate to a wide range of different situations.
  11. Special Project


Introduction to Psychology

There are seven lessons in this course, as follows:

  1. The Nature & Scope of Psychology
  2. Neurological Basis of Behaviour
  3. Environmental Effects on Behaviour
  4. Consciousness And Perception
  5. Personality
  6. Psychological Development
  7. Needs, Drives And Motivation


    Child Psychology

    There are 12 lessons as follows:

    1. Introduction to Child Psychology
      • Levels of development
      • Nature or nurture
      • Isolating hereditary characteristics
      • Cause versus correlation
      • Continuity versus discontinuity
      • Cross sectional and longitudinal studies
      • Reliability of verbal reports
    2. The Newborn Infant
      • The Interactionist Approach
      • Rangeof Reaction
      • Niche Picking
      • Temperament
      • Stimulus seeking
      • Emotional disturbances during pregnancy
    3. States & Senses of the Infant
      • Sensory Discrimination
      • Infant States (sleep, Inactivity, Waking, Crying etc)
      • Why are Psychologists so concerned with defining and describing these infant states?
      • Habituation
      • Crying, Soothing a Distressed Baby
      • Sound Discrimination
      • Smell and Taste Discrimination
      • Visual Discrimination
      • Depth Perception
      • Oral Sensitivity
    4. Learning
      • Habituation
      • Vicarious Learning
      • Classical Conditioning
      • Operant Conditioning
      • Reinforcement
      • The Importance of Learning Control, etc
    5. Emotions and Socialisation
      • Producing and Recognising Emotional Expression
      • Smiling
      • Biological Explanation
      • Perceptual Recognition Explanation
      • The Mother-Child Attachment
      • Fraudian Approach
      • Bowlby's Approach
      • Social Learning Approach
      • HarlowsApproach
      • The Role of Cognition in Attachment Formation
      • Maternal Attachment
      • Fear
      • Social Learning
      • Perceptual Recognition
      • Woman's Duel Role as Mothers and Workers
      • Is Day Care a Developmental Hazard to Children
    6. Cognitive Development
      • Developing the ability to reason.
    7. Language Development
      • Is language learned, or are we genetically programmed with it
      • The Social Learning Approach
      • The Hypothesis testing Approach
      • Under extending
    8. Intelligence
      • Measuring Intelligence
      • Cultural Bias
      • IQ
      • Testing Intelligence as a tool.
    9. Socialisation - Part A
      • Social Cognition
        • Self awareness
        • Awareness of others as individuals in their own Right
        • The development of empathy
        • Taking turns
        • Having a point of view/perspective
        • Ability to see something from another persons perspective.
      • Friendships
      • Social Scripts
      • Scripts that Pretend Play
    10. Morality
      • Moral development
      • Aggression & Altruism
      • Freuds Approach
      • Piagets Approach
      • Kohlbergs Approach
    11. Sexuality
      • Freuds phases (oral phase, anal phase, phallic phase, latent phase, genital phase)
      • The Acquisition of Gender & Role Identity
      • Concept of psycho-social development
    12. Socialisation - Part B
      • The Family Influence
      • Discipline
      • Siblings
      • Family Structures
      • School Influence
      • Peer Influence
      • Acceptance & Rejection
      • Imitation & Reinforcement.


    Children’s Writing

    There are ten lessons as follows:

    1. Introduction: Understanding Children, their thoughts, needs, development.
    2. Overview of Children's Writing: Categories (fiction & non fiction), understanding the market place; analyse & understand what is needed for the different categories, etc.
    3. Conceptualisation: Conceiving a concept…where & how to find inspiration/influence. Developing a concept … how to plan.
    4. Children's Writing for Periodicals: Children's pages in magazines, newspapers, etc.
    5. Short Stories
    6. Non-Fiction: Texts (writing to satisfy curriculum. Other (eg. nature, history, biography, hobbies).
    7. Fiction: settings, characterisation, fantasy, science fiction, adventure.
    8. Picture Books and Story Books
    9. Editing your work: Grammar, spelling & punctuation. Improving clarity. Cleaning out clutter; expansions.
    10. Project - write a short story, picture book or kids page for a (hypothetical) periodical.


    Children's Nutrition

    There are 10 lessons in this module as follows:

    1. Introduction to Child Nutrition
    2. Nutrition for Pre-Pregnancy
    3. Nutrition in Pregnancy
    4. Nutrition in Infants
    5. Nutrition in Childhood
    6. Nutritional Concerns
    7. Healthy Eating Behaviours
    8. Issues in Child Nutrition
    9. Childhood Obesity
    10. Diet Plans

    Playground Design

    There are 8 lessons as follows:

    1. Overview of Parks & Playgrounds
    2. Playground Philosophy
    3. Preparing a Concept Plan
    4. Materials
    5. Park & Playground Structures and Materials
    6. Local and Neighbourhood Parks
    7. Community Participation In Park Development
    8. Special Assignment



    Nutrition Tips for Children


    Tips for nutritious children’s breakfasts:

    • Make sure cereals are whole wheat. Avoid sugary cereals which typically have little nutritional value and will leave a child hungry not long after the meal. Toast should also be wholegrain and not white. Good breakfast spreads include spreadable cheese and peanut butter. Honey is acceptable, but is high in simple sugars. If children like it, try offering it with peanut butter.
    • Avoid processed meats; they are typically high in salt, sugar and other preservatives and also in fat.
    • There is no reason why meat, warm vegetable or tofu dishes cant be served for breakfast if you have time. In western countries cereal has become the cultural norm for breakfast but in many countries other foods are eaten.
    • A smoothie of fruit blended with muesli and milk can make a great breakfast on the run.
    • Offer a fruit platter for children to choose items from.
    • Make interesting breakfasts, layered yogurt, fruit and muesli, for example, or whole wheat pancakes with fresh berries.
    • Prepare the night before if you are able.
    • Try to make breakfast a main daily meal, along with lunch. Treat it as equally important as dinner.
    • Nutritious left-overs, like homemade pizza, can make good breakfasts if you are in a hurry.


    Some ideas for children's lunch include:

    • Avoid white bread as it is sugary and low in fibre. Switch to wholemeal bread or wholegrain bread
    • Switch from bread to whole wheat wraps and flat breads, or pita pockets
    • Try to include some protein and vegetable in the lunch, to help get the recommended daily servings
    • Meat and salad sandwiches, left-over homemade vegetable pizzas with a little low fat cheese, stuff pizza items into a pita and warm briefly to melt cheese, yogurt with muesli and fruit puree, small filo pastries stuffed with lean meat and vegetables, sushi rolls, tubs of chicken salad with light dressing all make excellent and interesting lunch options
    • Consider what the child ate at breakfast and will eat at lunch. Yogurt, muesli and fruit makes a great meal, but if the child had yogurt, or fruit salad for breakfast it is more important they get some vegetables and protein for lunch, for example. You can pre-prepare healthy options for pies and pastries.
    • Make the food look interesting and be creative. Packaged foods have ingredients that alter the colour, aroma and taste. You can do this naturally by combining interesting foods, cutting items into interesting shapes and providing lunches that don’t deteriorate before lunch time. A fruit salad may look nice in the morning, but after half a day in a school bag much of the fruit will brown and squash making it look, and probably smell less than appetising.
    • Store food properly. Bacteria love warm temperatures and moisture. Seal containers and put an ice brick in the lunch box to stop bacterial growth and prevent food poisoning
    • Sweeter foods are not a bad option for school time meals and home lunches. Instead of a simple piece of fruit, why not try a rice cracker with low fat cream cheese, strawberries and a drizzle of honey? Cut up fruits or toasted flat bread and serve with a sweet yogurt dip, make fruit kebabs and so on to create healthy sweet options.
    • When your child is school aged they are old enough to have some general understanding of nutrition and food. Try to help them understand the benefit of healthy foods in building strong muscles, helping them learn and do well at school and giving them lots of energy for play with their friends.
    • When you are at home with children, consider spending the late morning with them preparing a lunch meal.


    Some ideas for children’s dinners include:

    • Buffets. This sounds like a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to serve several different dishes, instead just keep items separate and give the child some freedom in the composition of the meal. Offer a meat, a couple of sauces, a couple of different vegetables and perhaps a carbohydrate like rice or pasta. This also helps children learn about portion sizes.
    • Have children taste new dishes you prepare. If they dislike it, don’t force them to eat it, but do continue to offer new and varied items regularly to increase the variety in the diet.
    • Try to prepare disliked foods in different ways. Some children will have texture preferences; some will be put off by the way a dish appears or smells. Try baking, stir-frying, serving some items raw, combining different ingredients and so on.
    • As with all meals, if you can incorporate children in the preparation you will generally have more success with them eating the final product. You can dice vegetables and some cooked meat the night before and bring them out of the fridge for children to pick from to create their own pizzas. Keep control of the cheese and let them have fun with the vegetables and sauces and possibly herbs. Try pita bread, flat bread or even wholegrain bread as pizza bases, or make your own.
    • Presentation. Try serving unfamiliar or less preferred items in a familiar way. A child may not eat spinach on its own, but a little mixed with low fat ricotta, grated leek or onion, pine nuts and sprinkled with some low fat grated cheese and served in a filo pastry shell to resemble a little pie may convince them to try it. Lots of vegetable filled pita pockets for children to pick from and eat with their fingers can be a good way to introduce new vegetables. Adding items to rice or pasta dishes or served with some other dish like noodles that the child likes can be a good way to introduce new foods also.
    • Make dinner fun. If parents look and act bored, stressed or rush through the meal children will learn to associate dinner with boredom and stress and will race through it so they can do something else. Avoid complaining about the food served and eat with (exaggerated) enthusiasm, especially with small children. Take advantage of the fact that toddlers love to mimic parents and want to like what their mum or dad do. First impressions are important with children, if they try something once and dislike it, you can have a tremendous amount of difficulty getting them to try again. Likewise, if they overhear a parent or carer discussing how they hate vegetables, they will often pick up on it and decide they don’t either, and simply refuse to even taste even the most enjoyed items, like sweet corn, or potato mash.
    • Consider whether dinner needs to be the main meal of the day. After all, young children often head off to bed an hour or two after the meal. Enjoying heavier, bulkier foods for breakfast and lunch can be a good option for families. Children sleep better when not overfull, or upset over a frustrating dinner meal. A lighter meal will require less cooking and preparation time and you may be able to incorporate some preferred foods more readily, making the meal much more enjoyable.


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