Erik Erikson. Childhood and Society.  rev. ed. New York: W. W. Norton, 1993.


8 Stages of Man


Trust vs. Mistrust (birth - one year)

Growing sense of "normal"/predictable experience, trust outsiders for food and comfort, trust oneself to control one's body


Autonomy vs. Shame and Doubt (birth - three years)

Achieving muscular control, walking, climbing, and manipulating.  Developing powers of choosing and deciding.


Initiative vs. Guilt (three - six years)

Developing sense of ambition and social responsibility.  Imaginative play helps children gain sense of the roles and institutions of society.


Industry vs. Inferiority  (six years - puberty)

School age in which children develop a capacity for productive work, cooperative effort, and pride in achievements.  Feelings of competence and mastery.


Identity vs. Role Diffusion  (adolescence)

Boundary between childhood and adulthood.  Earlier tasks are combined to produce a lasting sense of identity, who one is and one's place in society.


Intimacy vs. Isolation  (young adulthood)

Establishing meaningful intimate relationships with others.  Feelings of connectedness.


Generativity vs. Stagnation  (middle adulthood)

The giving of oneself to the next generation: child rearing, productive work, caring for others. 


Ego Integrity vs. Despair  (old age)

Review of past life and consideration of its meaning and impact.  Life's worth.


Maslow, Abraham H.  Motivation and Personality.  rev. ed.  Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1987.


Physiological Needs

                Food, cleaning, comfort


                Security in presence of others, physical and emotional stability

Love and Affection

                Touch, caring, time spent with child


                Sense of self-worth, validity


                Consideration of who I am and who I want to become

Need to Know

                Why things are as they are.

Aesthetic Needs

                Religion, spirituality, beauty, honor, art, etc.




Inhelder, Barbel and Jean Piaget. The Growth of Logical Thinking.  New York: Basic Books, 1962.


Sensory Motor (birth - two years)

                Focus on coordination, touching, holding, manipulating.  Importance of rhythm.


Preoperational (two - seven years)

                Development of symbolic thinking (language, drawing, play). Egocentrism - cannot take another person's point of view.  Direct experience informs thinking.  Importance of repetition.  Assimilation of ideas into existing framework, then accommodation/change to new thinking patterns.


Concrete Operational (seven - eleven years)

                Developing skills at classifying objects and events leads to orderly thinking.  Concept of "conservation".  Flexible and reversible thought leads to love of mysteries and puzzles.  Can cope with multiple perspectives.  Perception that they are smarter than adults, known as “cognitive conceit.”


Formal Operational (eleven - adult)

Ability to understand and construct abstract theoretical thoughts and don't rely on concrete evidence.  Can see possibilities not based on prior experience.



Huck, Charlotte.  Children's Literature in the Elementary School.  7th ed.  New York:  McGraw-Hill, 2001.


Birth - Two

Rapid development of senses, learns through activity and participation, limited attention span, plays with sound, learning basic concepts and vocabulary, building basic trust, interests centered in self and the familiar, learning basic self-help skills.


Ages 3 - 5

Rapid language development, very active, short attention span, still egocentric, curious about immediate surroundings and people, beginning interest in how things work, reliance on firsthand experiences, rudimentary sense of time (before now, now, not yet), fantasy world is very real, seeks warmth and security, beginning to assert independence, absolute judgments of right and wrong.


Ages 6 and 7

Continued language development, increasing attention span, trying adult skills, continued reliance on firsthand experience, curious about a wider range of things, egocentric, beginning understanding of time, more able to separate fantasy and reality, beginning empathy, growing sense of justice, wants to follow "the rules", developing humor, curious about gender differences and reproduction, developing fine motor skills such as whistling, growing independence, importance of family relationships.


Ages 8 and 9

Wide variation in reading ability, some completely absorbed, peer group acceptance, begins to see others' viewpoints, questioning death, empathy for others, flexible and reversible thought, appreciates imaginary adventure,  enjoys slapstick humor, increasing ability for problem-solving and word play, proficient in sports and crafts and hobbies, interest in collecting, classifying and categorizing with new clarity, seeks specific information to answer questions.


Ages 10 and 11

Onset of puberty and increasing interest in sex, growing understanding of social roles, peer acceptance very important, exclusion of others and prejudice, challenging adult authority, interest in future vocation, sustained interest in specific activities, testing own skills, likes complex puzzles, seeing many dimensions to problems, understanding of chronology, developed sense of justice, searching for values, understands abstract relationships.


Ages 12 and 13

Developing sex drive, interest in older concerns, identity is important, peer pressure, egocentrism means one's problems are unique, ability to manipulate symbolic language and make hypothetical judgments, relative values, sensitive to complexity in human relationships and feelings.


Arbuthnot, May Hill.  Children and Books.  3rd ed. Chicago: Scott, Foresman and Co., 1964.


Basic Needs of Children


Competence - the need to achieve

Material Security - the need for physical well-being

Intellectual Security - the need to know

Emotional Security - the need to love and to be loved

Acceptance - the need to belong

Play - the need for change

Aesthetic Satisfaction - the need for beauty and order



Compilation of:

Desalvo, Nancy N.  Beginning with Books.  Library Professional Pubs., 1993.

Greene, Ellin.  Books, Babies, and Libraries.  Chicago: ALA, 1991.

Thomas, James L.  Play, Learn, and Grow.  Bowker, 1992.


Birth - Six months

Color sight develops about 4 months, needs oral and tactile stimulation, learning listening skills, concerned with trust and dependency.


Seven - Twelve months

Learning language - especially naming, beginning memory, recognizes caregivers, curiosity, repetition and familiarity are important, storyline not important.


One - Two 1/2 years

Beginning speech, imitating adults' actions, mobile, like to pretend and play with others, beginning independence.


Two 1/2 - 5 years

Advanced speech and movement, increased motor control, increasing independence.