The Power of Play

0817039001639007225.jpgPediatricians will typically use standardized tools to evaluate a child’s development. These most times consist of questionnaires that parents fill out either in person or prior to an appointment. At CHAMPS we want to SEE your child doing these activities while observing them. We use safe structures and equipment like the ones from Wiwiurka to evaluate communication, gross and fine motor skills as well as problem-solving and social skills.

Typically, children develop motor skills from the head down. First comes head control and then control over the upper body. The typical pattern for motor milestones is rolling over, then sitting, pulling up, standing, walking, and climbing. Small, fine motor skills, such as grasping objects, putting blocks in a cup, and scribbling are important milestones, too.

The development of foundational motor skills in childhood is essential to promoting an active lifestyle and the prevention of obesity

Allowing your little one to climb on low and safe structures can help nurture these areas of development. Children learn by trying, falling and getting up. Our goal as parents is not to keep them from falling, but to teach them how to prevent that on their own and how to get up again and try. 

To this point, the United Kingdom has modified its guidelines on play, arguing that the culture has gone too far by leaching healthy risks out of childhood: new guidelines on play by the national commission state, “The goal is not to eliminate risk.”



By age: 

9-11 months 

  • Moves between laying down and sitting upright without help  

  • Crawls on hands and knees  

  • Pulls to a standing position with one foot leading  

  • Cruises around furniture  

  • Walks with two hands held

11-12 months 

  • Walks with one hand held

  • Stands alone for a few seconds

13-14 months 

  • Crawls up stairs  

  • Stands up from the floor without support   

  • Walks alone well  

  • Squats and stands back up without holding onto support  

15-18 months  

  • Walks up stairs with hands or rails to help  

  • Crawls down the stairs (on belly, feet first)  

  • Can run, though falls easily  

  • Kicks a ball forward

2 years 

  • Walks and runs fairly well   

  • Jumps in place with both feet off the ground  

  • Walks up and down stairs alone  

  • Kicks a ball with either foot

3 years 

  • Balance on one foot for a few seconds   

  • Jump forward 10-24 inches   

  • Catches a large ball   

  • Rides a tricycle

By 4 years 

  • Can run, jump and climb well, is beginning to skip  

  • Hops proficiently on one foot  

  • Can do hopscotch  

  • Catches a ball reliably  

  • Begins somersaults

By 5 years 

  • Skips on alternate feet and jump rope  

  • Begins to skate and swim  

  • Rides bicycle with/without training wheels    

  • Climbs well



Recommendations for Parents as per the American Academy of Pediatrics:


Use play to help meet milestones. From birth, infants use play to explore the world around them as well as to learn and develop important life skills. 

0–6 mo 

 Show your infant interesting objects, such as a brightly colored mobile or toy. 

 Talk to your infant often to familiarize him or her with your voice, and respond when he or she coos and babbles. 

 Place your infant in different positions so he or she can see the world from different angles. 

 Let your infant bring safe objects to his or her mouth to explore and experience new textures. 

 Vary facial expressions and gestures so that your infant can imitate them. Imitate your infant’s sounds and engage in a back-and-forth conversation using your infant’s sounds as a prompt. 

7–12 mo 

 Use a mirror to show faces to your infant. Place a safety mirror at infant level. 

 Provide your infant with a safe environment to crawl and explore. 

 Place your infant in a variety of positions, such as on his or her tummy, side, etc. 

 Give your infant opportunities to learn that his or her actions have effects (for example, when he or she drops a toy and it falls to the ground). Put a few toys within the reach of your infant so he or she can take toys out and play with them. 

 Play peek-a-boo. 



1–3 y 

 Allow your child to spend time with objects and toys that he or she enjoys. 

 Give your child pens, markers, or crayons and paper to practice scribbling. 

 Encourage your child to interact with peers. 

 Help your child explore his or her body through different movements (for example, walking, jumping, and standing on 1 leg). 

 Provide opportunities to create make-believe situations with objects (for example, pretending to drink out of an empty cup or offering toys that enable pretend play). 

 Respond when your child speaks, answer questions, and provide verbal encouragement. 

 Provide blocks, plastic containers, wooden spoons, and puzzles. 

 Read regularly to and with your child. Encourage pretend play based on these stories. 

 Sing songs and play rhythms so that your child can learn and join in the fun. 

4–6 y 

 Provide opportunities for your child to sing and dance. 

 Tell stories to your child and ask questions about what he or she remembers. 

 Give your child time and space to act out imaginary scenes, roles, and activities. 

 Allow your child to move between make-believe games and reality (for example, playing house and helping you with chores). 

 Schedule time for your child to interact with friends to practice socializing and building friendships. 

 Encourage your child to try a variety of movements in a safe environment (for example, hopping, swinging, climbing, and doing somersaults). 



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Kahului office 8 AM - 12 PM

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Kahului office 8 AM - 12 PM

Kahului office 1 PM - 5 PM


9:00 am-12:00 pm

1:00 pm-5:00 pm


Kahului Office 9 am - 12 pm

Kahului Office 1 pm - 5 pm






Happy Parents

    "I was so impressed with Dr. Irene Papaconstadopolous. Everything is at her practice is streamlined and organized. Paperwork all sent beforehand in an easy to use digital format. Communication was clear and office easy to access. Went for our 18 month old’s check up and it was the most time I have ever been able to spend with a doctor! She even administered the vaccines. She was thorough, friendly, and creative in approach to making my toddler comfortable and engaged. So happy to have a competent, friendly, organized, and WONDERFUL pediatrician on Maui. Such a blessing. Mahalo!"

    Nicole B. Google reviews March, 2022

    Dr. Irene is the kind of doctor United States badly need more of. I took my child to see her for a hard to troubleshoot chronic issue, and I was very surprised that instead of typical in the US approach of prescribing a medicine to treat the symptom and get you out of the door, she took the time to understand medical history, went over each possibility what could have been causing the issue, and proposed a few possible follow-ups how to zero in to the root cause. Her advice was very helpful and produced positive results. I highly recommend Dr. Irene Papaconstadopoulos.

    S.D via google reviews

    "I can’t express how grateful I am, as a mother of two young children, to have found such a wonderful pediatrician. Dr. Irene is knowledgeable, accessible, and above all, great with kids! Even though my girls have had to be poked and prodded on occasion, they still love Dr. Irene so much that they get excited to see her again - and that’s saying a lot. If you are looking for a pediatrician who you can trust with your children’s health, who can answer your questions, who gets back to you quickly, and who herself is an amazing mother, then you’ve found her! I’m so glad we have. ❤️"

    K.F. 2020 via Google reviews

    We love Dr. Irene with CHAMPS Pediatrics! My two daughters have been seeing her since 2018 and we trust her completely. She's extremely warm, understanding and takes her time to explain and answer any questions that you may have as parents. She is extremely fast with the text replies through the online portal (klara) as well, which is great for those forgotten questions in between visits. Dr. Irene is super sweet and efficient and truly cares about your experience and the welfare of your children. HIGHLY recommended!

    J.P 2020 via Google reviews

    "Dr. Irene is the most caring, gentle, genuine Pediatrician. She is so kind and loving with my boys. She makes them feel so comfortable and they are even excited when we have an appt! She was so quick to respond on the Klara App to communicate with me even during a holiday weekend and answer my questions about my son. She takes time to go over everything and answer all my questions and concerns, every time we've met with her. I've never felt rushed. I highly recommend her! She's been so great caring for my family. I feel so blessed to have been referred to her!! Thank you Dr. Irene, for caring for my kids!"

    Tammy M. via Yelp

    "Dr. Irene is amazing! She really listens to you and your concerns, and takes the time to address them. She is so gentle and kind with my kids! She has definitely exceeded our expectations! I’m positive that my kids are having the best care on island. We love her and we are so happy that she joined our Maui community!"  via Google reviews

    Sueshine R.

    "Dr. Irene is amazing. She is caring, gentle, truly listens and graciously worked with us and our children to provide the best medical care. Highly recommend!!!"