Until recently, basic and applied research agendas in the field of child development have followed separate paths. One reason the two have not merged is that the objectives of basic and applied research are often seen as incompatible. In this paper, we argue that researchers can simultaneously achieve the objectives of advancing basic knowledge and addressing applied problems within a single research program. We provide a framework for this perspective by first looking back at historical trends of basic and applied developmental research and then looking forward at potential new approaches for integrating basic and applied research. We use our own research on perception of affordances and unintentional childhood injuries to illustrate how researchers might implement these strategies for integrating basic and applied research. We conclude by discussing how we might extend this integration further to include nontraditional classes of application.