Watching your child go through the stages of physical early childhood development brings you incredible joy.
There are many significant stages that your child goes through. Discovering these allows you to add to them and be prepared for their steps forward.
We’ve highlighted the importance of physical play in childhood development. Continue reading to learn about these significant developments and what to look for.
Let’s get you started!
Physical Development in Early Childhood
1. Gross Motor Skills Development
Gross motor skills development is an integral part of physical development in early childhood. These skills include those involved in controlling body movements and coordination, such as:
- Hitting a ball
By age two, most children are walking, expanding to running and jumping by age three. The development of balance is a critical element of each of these skills.
By age five, a child can catch a ball, hop, dance, and perform basic movements acceptable in most sports and games. At age six, most children develop the ability to execute more complex gross motor skills, such as skipping and galloping.
2. Fine Motor Skills Development
Fine motor skill development is an essential aspect of physical early childhood development. Between 1 and 4 years of age, children learn to develop and refine their fine motor skills, which typically involves mastering tasks such as:
- Grasping small objects
- Tying their shoes
- Using buttons
During this period, several phases can be distinguished, such as:
- Pick-up and grasp
- Releasing objects
- Visual-perception-motor coordination
At first, children learn to pick up, match, explore, and move objects with their hands and fingers. At this point, you may want to start buying some toys.
Check out these age-appropriate toys at edresources.com.au.
3. Sensory Development
Sensory development plays a crucial role in physical development, as it is the foundation upon which motor skills are built. Beginning in infancy, we rely on our senses to explore the world. With each passing day, children learn to interpret more and more information from their environment.
As they practice and gain experience, their physical skills grow as well. The development of sensory skills should happen gradually and naturally as children explore and interact with their environment. This includes skills such as touch, sight, hearing, taste, and smell.
4. Cognitive Development
Children learn about their bodies and their interaction with the environment during this period. They learn to identify body parts and use them to move, manipulate objects and interact with the physical world. Further, they develop body coordination and muscle strength and become more aware of their physical capabilities.
5. Body Awareness and Spatial Skills
One critical phase is body awareness and spatial skills. These skills allow children to recognize how their body moves in relationship to the world around them.
Learning these skills early helps children learn activities like walking, running, jumping, and coordination movements. Body awareness and spatial skills also help children to understand concepts like up and down and over and under.
All of these skills lay a foundation for further physical development in the future.
Understanding the Physical Early Childhood Development
Physical early childhood development is an essential part of the overall development of a child. Through physical activity, movement, and reflex actions, children gain strength, coordination, and the ability to do more advanced physical activities.
Investing in physical development now will significantly impact your child’s future.
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