Support Your Child’s Physical Development

Support Your Child’s Physical Development

Learn how to support your child’s physical development, including both moving and handling and health and self-care.

Two Parts to Supporting Your Physical Child’s Development

Welcome to the last in this series of four blog posts. I hope you’re having as much fun reading them as I’m having writing them! This post is specifically about physical development. Physical development is one of the three prime areas of learning in the Early Years and is split into two parts:

  • Moving and Handling
  • Health and Self-care

I think this is the area that parents probably feel the most pressure in, as it involves things such as, ‘My child walked first!’ and ‘My child was potty trained first!’ You know exactly what I mean, and like I’ve said in the previous blog posts, most of the time the parents that say these things are stretching the truth or overcompensating for something else. It really doesn’t matter who did what first, as long as your child is happy, healthy and developing at their own pace.

It’s Hard Not To Compare Your Child’s Physical Development With Another

I know it’s hard not to compare yourself to your neighbour, with the nanny, who works in some hoity toity job and somehow manages to fit Pilates in 5 times a week and their child, somehow, manages to hit every milestone first! But remember, things are not always as they seem!

First, I want to touch on the key milestones for physical development, so that you can see roughly what to expect and when to expect it.

Check out this link for a summary of these milestones: Milestones Summary.

But what I really want you to get out of this blog is ideas for things to do to encourage your child’s physical development. I’ve split this into the two different areas, to make this easier for you (handy right?!).

Health and Self-CareBirth to 11 Months: Stroke my cheeks or pat my back as you speak to me.8-20 Months: Let me use my fingers to eat. Let me try to use spoons (this can get messy, I know!)16-26 Months: Let me wash my hands and face. Allow me to try to put my own shoes on.22-36 Months: Let me help make lunch eg try cutting bananas.30-50 Months: Make sure I brush my teeth twice a day and tell me why I need to do this.40-60 Months: Dance with me!Parent’s GuideMoving and HandlingBirth to 11 Months: Put me on my belly and let me kick my legs. Try covering my legs with a light blanket and let me kick it off. Put some toys near me so that I can reach out and touch them.8-20 Months: Allow me to splash in the bath. Give me a pram or trundle bike to walk with. Put my toys further away so that I have to crawl to get to them. Use lift the flap books and let me lift them. Play dough! Sing finger rhymes with me.16-26 Months: Let me carry a little shopping bag. Give me a bucket to experiment putting things in when I’m digging. Play dough! Using rolling pins and cutters, this is possibly the best thing to help your child with their fine motor skills.22-36 Months: Play ball games. Let me use ribbons to wave around me. Let me try to dress dolls or teddies using clothing with different fastenings.30-50 Months: Let me use children’s scissors to cut different things (anything you can think of). Make obstacle courses.40-60 Months: More ball games, try increasing the difficulty by using smaller balls or making the rules more difficult. Do threading activities eg shoelaces through bobbins.

Letting Them Learn At Their Own Pace Is The Key

I know physical development can be a challenging thing and once your child starts crawling, you’ll feel like you won’t ever have a minute of peace again! But just keep up the good work. Encourage them to try different things but let them learn at their own pace. This is particularly important for things such as potty training, which would need a whole other blog post all of its own! Take your time and let your child explore the world around them! It can be great fun.

Thank you for reading this series of four blog posts. They have been based around the prime areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage, meaning that the topics talked about in this series often form the basis of your child learning and development. Concentrate on their social and emotional development, language develop and physical development and everything else will, more than likely, fall into place.

Read the other blogs in this series:

  • How Do I Help My Child Develop Social Skills? – Here.
  • Language-Rich Environments – Here.
  • How do I encourage my child? – Here.

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