skip to Main Content
Episode 074. Understanding Child Development: The 12 Senses with Hannah Freed

Episode 074

I find parenting to be easier in some ways when we as parents are working with some basic child development information. For example, it’s easier for me to understand why my baby wants to put everything in their mouth if I know they are teething and that biting down on anything provides some relief from the pain of teething. Or that my tween is unusually moody or distant because she is getting ready to get her first period.

There are lots of developmental milestones that come at various ages and the more we can learn about these milestones as parents—see them in our kids now AND have some info about what is to come—the more we can show up with compassion for what is happening (or going to happen) naturally.

We’ve all heard of the 5 senses (maybe you’ve even heard of a 6th sense), but in some education circles, there are 12 senses that develop in 7-year cycles over 21+ years.

Our guest today, Hannah Freed, is here to share her incredibly comprehensive knowledge about the 12 senses with us as a way to empower us as parents. The more we know, the better we can show up and support our kids where they are developmentally.

Hannah’s Bio: Hannah first experienced her passion for serving populations with special needs when she was 16 and an exchange student in Germany. She did an internship during her 11th grade year at a Camphill community. Camphill is an international movement of intentional communities designed to meet the needs of children, youth, and adults with developmental disabilities through a combination of community life, the arts, and work on the land. (She talks more about it in the show—it’s really interesting). Since then she has continued on a path of working with children to help make their learning experiences are positive and fun. Hannah has taught in both public and private schools for 20 years. For the past 13 years she has been the Educational Support Therapist in two different Waldorf schools, addressing foundational learning and behavioral issues. She is also a mama of two amazing boys. In her spare time, she paddles and races Hawaiian outrigger canoes and soaks up vitamin D and Sea.


  • BS Special Ed. from Appalachian State University in NC
  • MEd. Elementary Ed. with Waldorf Teacher Certification from Antioch University of New England in NH
  • Waldorf Remedial Teacher certification through Association of Healing Arts
  • Advanced Practitioner certification through Integrated Listening Systems
  • Safe and Sound Protocol Certification
  • Trained in HANDEL and Brain Gym Methods

You are going to learn a lot today. (I know I did!) And I am so excited for you, mama!

In this episode Hannah & I talk about:

  • What the 12 senses of child development are
  • The Lower Senses: (0-7yo) Touch, Life, Movement, & Balance
  • The Middle Senses: (7-14yo) Smell, Taste, Sight, & Warmth
  • The Higher Senses: (14-21yo) Hearing, Speech, Concept, & Ego
  • We dive into each of the senses—what they are, how to support them, healthy & unhealthy presentations of them, and more
  • The reality of children today
  • The importance of meaningful work (i.e. chores)
  • How we can have sensory issues as adults (and see ourselves in the 12 senses even years later)
  • Healthy diet and the role of food in development

Follow us on Instagram, @loribethauldridge and @elevatingmotherhood. Like, comment, and share that you’re listening to the podcast!

Be sure to SUBSCRIBE so you never miss an episode!

Love the podcast? Please let me & your mama friends know! Leave a review on iTunes to let me what’s serving you best. And share, share, share the show on social media, with friends & family, by word of mouth—whatever way you want to bring in your sisters to the conversation as we elevate modern motherhood together!


Branch Basics: Thanks to Branch Basics for supporting today’s episode of Elevating Motherhood! Branch Basics is an educational company that offers non-toxic, simple to use cleaning solutions for your home—using one powerful, plant & mineral based cleaning concentrate. You can literally use their one concentrate to clean everything…from bathrooms & windows to floors & laundry. Simply dilute their safe, effective cleaner into their refillable bottles. The instructions are right on the label. Branch Basics has been an amazing addition to our home. I’m always looking for ways to reduce my family’s toxic burden & Branch Basics fits the bill. Plus their goals align with mine…to make cleaning sustainable, affordable, and simple…all without the use of GMOs or animal testing. Head over to for my personal review of their products.

Beautiful & Simple: Today’s episode is sponsored by Beautiful & Simple. An online boutique I’ve created and filled with products that remind us to slow down, practice self-care, & focus on the meaningful parts of our day: the beautiful & simple moments. My favorite mug is the one that says “you cannot pour from an empty cup.” It’s my daily reminder to take care of myself so I can take care of my family. I’m also super stoked for the holiday collection coming soon—which will include kid friendly mugs! Go check out the collection of mugs, shirts & bags currently available at


Love the Show? Leave a review on iTunes!
Connect with Lori Beth on Instagram: @loribethauldridge and @elevatingmotherhood
Visit Today’s Sponsors: Branch Basics + Beautiful and Simple
More About Your Host: Lori Beth’s Blog