Promoting Physical Development in Children
The British government recognizes the importance of physical activity in children's overall development, which is essential for leading happy, healthy and active lives. Children's gross and fine motor skills develop gradually during early childhood through sensory explorations, strength development, co-ordination, and positional awareness, which can be achieved by activities such as tummy time, crawling and playing games with objects and adults. As a result, adults can encourage children to develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, co-ordination and agility by creating games and providing opportunities to play indoors and outdoors.
Gross motor skills lay the foundation for developing healthy bodies and social and emotional well-being. Fine motor control and precision help with hand-eye coordination, which is later linked to early literacy. Children can develop proficiency, control and confidence by repeatedly exploring and playing with small world activities, puzzles, arts and crafts, and practising using small tools with feedback and support from adults.
Encouraging children to engage in physical activity has numerous benefits beyond just physical health. It also helps in developing social skills and emotional well-being. When children engage in physical activities with other children, they learn to cooperate, take turns, and communicate with each other, which helps foster social skills. Physical activity also helps reduce stress, anxiety and depression in children, promoting emotional well-being. Therefore, it is crucial that parents and caregivers encourage children to engage in physical activities that they enjoy, as it not only promotes physical development but also contributes to their overall well-being.