1. Understand physical development of children. AC 1.1 – Physical developmentis the process that starts from birth andcontinues into late adulthood. It involves developing control over the body,particularly muscles and physical coordination with the use of both gross andfine motor skills.
(Thomas, 2017). Gross motor skills are ones involvinga child’s whole limb movement. Their fine motor skills are the use of theirhands in co-ordination with their eyes. All development starts from the head and works down the body. Ithappens in the same order but can occur at different rates. It is important tonote that all areas of development are linked together. There are many stagesof physical development of children from birth to seven years.
From birth totwelve months we see a rapid physical development period where babies learn towalk. Babies are born with only their reflexes such as rooting and sucking.These are then replaced by more controlled movements of their head, hands andfeet, allowing them to handle and manipulate objects. They start to roll fromback to front, sit up unsupported and pull to stand using furniture. Duringthe stage of learning to use their hands, one to three-year-old children usemore of their gross and loco motor skills. They crawl, run and learn to throw aball.
They also have better hand eye coordination. They gain balance and can bynow walk on a wall. By the stage of four to seven years children’s fine motorskills will continue to develop. Their initial pincer grip at nine months willdevelop into a dynamic tripod grasp. Children at this stage usually walk, climband run, and join in active play with other children.
AC 1.2 – Children’s physicalskills comes through the combination and coordination of their movements.Children from birth to twelve months will develop gross motor skills such asrolling over, crawling and standing alone for a few moments. Their fine motorskill 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 onehand over the other and drop and throw toys deliberately. Atfifteen months children’s gross motor skills will develop into the ability tocrawl up and down the stairs. They will usually be able to walk alone. Theirfine motor skills will develop with the use of a pincer grasp to pick upobjects between thumb and tip of index finger.
They will hold a crayon inpalmar grasp and be able to turn several pages of a book at once. Children’sgross motor skills at eighteen months will range from them being able to movefrom a squatting position to a standing one without any support. They will beable to run and use the stairs two feet to a stair. Their fine motor skills ateighteen 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. Atthe age of two to three years children will very mobile and their gross motorskills will be visible in their use of push and pull toys, kicking a large ballby walking into it, jumping with both feet together and running safely avoidingobstacles. In terms of their fine motor skills they will be able to drawcircles, 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 abilityto wear shoes and hats by themselves and wash and dry their hands.
Grossmotor skills for children between four to seven years old will range fromriding a tricycle with skill to playing ball games involving throwing andcatching. They will have the ability to run and dodge, run lightly on theirtoes, hop and skip. In terms of their fine motor skills children will be ableto thread small beads on a lace, draw detailed drawings with good control overpencils and paintbrushes detailed using dynamic tripod grasp. AC 1.3 – There are benefitsto children’s holistic learning and development when promoting physicaldevelopment. Development is interlinked and therefore when adults provideopportunities for promoting physical development children benefit holistically.It is important to note that this also involves being aware of those childrenwho are not showing typical development. If children are not developingphysically then other areas of their learning will undoubtedly be affected.
Without any physical development children’s learning opportunities are reduced. By promotingphysically development in children adults will also be developing a childemotionally. This is because as children learn to do things for themselvestheir confidence level goes up and their motivation increases.
Children’scognitive development is also affected as children touch, move and exploretheir surroundings they start to form memories and develop new ideas. Promoting physicaldevelopment also impacts upon a child’s social development. When children canmove, touch and hold things they can confidently join in with others duringplay. Children’s communication and language develops further as they talk aboutwhat they are doing what they are playing with what they see and touch.
2. Understand theory and current frameworks in relation tochildren’s physical development. AC 2.1 – There are two mainperspectives when it comes to physical development.
These are nature andnurture. The nature perspective states that physical development ispredetermined by nature. The evidence used to support this perspective is thatof babies being born with the same set of reflexes and follow the same sequenceof development.
Arnold Gesell is one on thetheorists who supports this perspective. Gesell developed the maturational theory, which suggests thatchildren’s development is due to their biological makeup and the environmenthas only a small influence. He came upwith three principles of physical development. Firstly, he stated that alldevelopment follows a definite sequence, for example, children cannot runbefore they can walk.
Secondly, development begins with control of the headcontrol and proceeds downwards. Babies once they have control over their headthey can control their arms. Lastly, he suggests that development begins withcontrolled gross motor skills before becoming precise and refined. AC 2.2 – This perspective has greatly informed current frameworks asone of the prime areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) is physicaldevelopment. Children are expected to physically develop at different stagesand meet an Early Learning Goal. Adults in early years setting must look out forexpected physical development, and note children that do not show typicaldevelopment. In addition to this there is a two-year-old progress check.
Thisis done to ensure children who need additional help with their learning can beprovided with help. The environmental perspective suggests that “what happens tochildren outweighs nature’s impact” (Tassoni, 2014). It stresses the importanceof children’s experiences and opportunities for stimulation. Children may besporty because their parents are sporty and encourage them to throw a ball orswim. This perspective isalso informed in current frameworks as adults need to provide children withdifferent opportunities to promote their development. These opportunities mustalso cover developing children’s fine and gross motor skills. Friedrich Froebel and Susan Isaacs are two similartheorists who both stress the importance children’s experience through play intheir development and learning. Froebel recognised that the outdoor environmentis vital.
Likewise, Isaacs advocated that children should have space andfreedom to play for the development of children’s learning. This theory isreflected in the EYFS as requires settings to provide children with outdoortime. Maria Montessori’s theory suggests children learn best through using theirhands, but adults should create an environment where they can do this therebyproviding opportunities for stimulation.
Under the EYFS adults must ensurechildren are provided with a range of different opportunities to use a varietyof tools. Another theoretical perspective ofphysical 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’slearning and development.
This theory is reflected in the need under the EYFSto have some adult-led activities. This gives children the opportunity to learnby imitating. UrieBronfenbrenner, is a theorist who formulated the Ecological Systems Theory toexplain how the inherent qualities of children and their environment interactto influence how they will grow and develop. Thereby combining bothperspectives (HQ P.What is Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory? Psychologynoteshqcom, 2018). It is important tonote that many of these theories were developed when there was no brain imagingfacility. Now due to the advancement in science neuroscientists are nowlearning 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 ofthe brain and its responses.