1. Understand physical development of children.
AC 1.1 – Physical development
is the process that starts from birth and
continues into late adulthood. It involves developing control over the body,
particularly muscles and physical coordination with the use of both gross and
fine motor skills. (Thomas, 2017). Gross motor skills are ones involving
a child’s whole limb movement. Their fine motor skills are the use of their
hands in co-ordination with their eyes.
All development starts from the head and works down the body. It
happens in the same order but can occur at different rates. It is important to
note that all areas of development are linked together. There are many stages
of physical development of children from birth to seven years. From birth to
twelve months we see a rapid physical development period where babies learn to
walk. Babies are born with only their reflexes such as rooting and sucking.
These are then replaced by more controlled movements of their head, hands and
feet, allowing them to handle and manipulate objects. They start to roll from
back to front, sit up unsupported and pull to stand using furniture.
the stage of learning to use their hands, one to three-year-old children use
more of their gross and loco motor skills. They crawl, run and learn to throw a
ball. They also have better hand eye coordination. They gain balance and can by
now walk on a wall. By the stage of four to seven years children’s fine motor
skills will continue to develop. Their initial pincer grip at nine months will
develop into a dynamic tripod grasp. Children at this stage usually walk, climb
and run, and join in active play with other children.
AC 1.2 – Children’s physical
skills comes through the combination and coordination of their movements.
Children from birth to twelve months will develop gross motor skills such as
rolling over, crawling and standing alone for a few moments. Their fine motor
skill development can be seen when they start putting things in their mouth.
They will point with their index finger at objects, show a preference for one
hand over the other and drop and throw toys deliberately.
fifteen months children’s gross motor skills will develop into the ability to
crawl up and down the stairs. They will usually be able to walk alone. Their
fine motor skills will develop with the use of a pincer grasp to pick up
objects between thumb and tip of index finger. They will hold a crayon in
palmar grasp and be able to turn several pages of a book at once.
gross motor skills at eighteen months will range from them being able to move
from a squatting position to a standing one without any support. They will be
able to run and use the stairs two feet to a stair. Their fine motor skills at
eighteen months will be the ability to build a tower of three or more bricks,
use a spoon when feeding themselves and make marks on paper.
the age of two to three years children will very mobile and their gross motor
skills will be visible in their use of push and pull toys, kicking a large ball
by walking into it, jumping with both feet together and running safely avoiding
obstacles. In terms of their fine motor skills they will be able to draw
circles, lines and dots using preferred hand and in a digital pronate grasp.
This will then progress into the static tripod grip. they will have the ability
to wear shoes and hats by themselves and wash and dry their hands.
motor skills for children between four to seven years old will range from
riding a tricycle with skill to playing ball games involving throwing and
catching. They will have the ability to run and dodge, run lightly on their
toes, hop and skip. In terms of their fine motor skills children will be able
to thread small beads on a lace, draw detailed drawings with good control over
pencils and paintbrushes detailed using dynamic tripod grasp.
AC 1.3 – There are benefits
to children’s holistic learning and development when promoting physical
development. Development is interlinked and therefore when adults provide
opportunities for promoting physical development children benefit holistically.
It is important to note that this also involves being aware of those children
who are not showing typical development. If children are not developing
physically then other areas of their learning will undoubtedly be affected.
Without any physical development children’s learning opportunities are reduced.
physically development in children adults will also be developing a child
emotionally. This is because as children learn to do things for themselves
their confidence level goes up and their motivation increases. Children’s
cognitive development is also affected as children touch, move and explore
their surroundings they start to form memories and develop new ideas.
development also impacts upon a child’s social development. When children can
move, touch and hold things they can confidently join in with others during
play. Children’s communication and language develops further as they talk about
what they are doing what they are playing with what they see and touch.
2. Understand theory and current frameworks in relation to
children’s physical development.
AC 2.1 – There are two main
perspectives when it comes to physical development. These are nature and
nurture. The nature perspective states that physical development is
predetermined by nature. The evidence used to support this perspective is that
of babies being born with the same set of reflexes and follow the same sequence
Arnold Gesell is one on the
theorists who supports this perspective. Gesell developed the maturational theory, which suggests that
children’s development is due to their biological makeup and the environment
has only a small influence. He came up
with three principles of physical development. Firstly, he stated that all
development follows a definite sequence, for example, children cannot run
before they can walk. Secondly, development begins with control of the head
control and proceeds downwards. Babies once they have control over their head
they can control their arms. Lastly, he suggests that development begins with
controlled gross motor skills before becoming precise and refined.
AC 2.2 – This perspective has greatly informed current frameworks as
one of the prime areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is physical
development. Children are expected to physically develop at different stages
and meet an Early Learning Goal. Adults in early years setting must look out for
expected physical development, and note children that do not show typical
development. In addition to this there is a two-year-old progress check. This
is done to ensure children who need additional help with their learning can be
provided with help.
The environmental perspective suggests that “what happens to
children outweighs nature’s impact” (Tassoni, 2014). It stresses the importance
of children’s experiences and opportunities for stimulation. Children may be
sporty because their parents are sporty and encourage them to throw a ball or
This perspective is
also informed in current frameworks as adults need to provide children with
different opportunities to promote their development. These opportunities must
also cover developing children’s fine and gross motor skills.
Friedrich Froebel and Susan Isaacs are two similar
theorists who both stress the importance children’s experience through play in
their development and learning. Froebel recognised that the outdoor environment
is vital. Likewise, Isaacs advocated that children should have space and
freedom to play for the development of children’s learning. This theory is
reflected in the EYFS as requires settings to provide children with outdoor
Maria Montessori’s theory suggests children learn best through using their
hands, but adults should create an environment where they can do this thereby
providing opportunities for stimulation. Under the EYFS adults must ensure
children are provided with a range of different opportunities to use a variety
Another theoretical perspective of
physical development is provided by Rudolf Steiner. He believed that children learn through imitation and doing.
Like the environmentalists he believed the environment was central to a child’s
learning and development. This theory is reflected in the need under the EYFS
to have some adult-led activities. This gives children the opportunity to learn
Bronfenbrenner, is a theorist who formulated the Ecological Systems Theory to
explain how the inherent qualities of children and their environment interact
to influence how they will grow and develop. Thereby combining both
perspectives (HQ P.
What is Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory? Psychologynoteshqcom, 2018).
It is important to
note that many of these theories were developed when there was no brain imaging
facility. Now due to the advancement in science neuroscientists are now
learning a lot more about children’s brain in relation to physical development.
However, there is still a long way to go in fully understanding the works of
the brain and its responses.