Physical development is the way the body increases in skill and becomes more complex in performance. Physical development is divided Into two main areas which are Gross Motor Skills and Fine Motor Skills. Gross motor skills involve co ordination and control of the large parts of the body. Some of the movements that are Included In gross motor skills are walking, running, Jumping and climbing. Fine Motor Skills relate to the control of the smaller muscles , controlling finer movements such as pointing, drawing, writing and using cutlery; When a child develops, patterns are followed and these are;
From simple to complex, where a child progresses from a simple action to a complex action for example a child has to stand before they can walk and walk before they can run. Each progression is becoming more complex as the child develops. From head to toe. Physical development starts at the head and works its way down the body. From inner to outer. A child will have to control the trunk of their body before they can hold object. They will have to use simple, gross motor skills to control their arms before they can master the complex, fine motor skills required to pick up a encircle and write.
From general to specific, a baby will express pleasure In a general way by widening their eyes, and their legs and arms move and shake In excitement showing their reaction with their whole body whereas an older child will show their pleasure in a more specific way by simply smiling. The table below illustrates the average stages of physical development from three to twelve years explaining both gross and fine motor skills. It is important to realist that milestones are only a guide and can vary.
Age Gross Motor Skill Fine Motor Skills Years A child can jump from a low step Walk backwards and sideways Stand and walk on tip toe Stand on one foot Ride a tricycle with pedals Climb stairs with one foot on each step and descend with two feet on each step Has good special awareness and can maneuver around objects successfully Can throw a ball over arm and catch a ball with their arms outstretched use their whole body to kick a ball with force Can copy building patterns of three or more cubes including making bridges Can control a pencil using their thumb and first two finger ( dynamic tripod grasp)
Can copy a circle and the letters V, ‘H’ and T enjoy painting with a large brush can draw a person with a head, sometimes legs and arms coming out from the head and squiggles inside the head representing the face can cut paper with scissors can thread large bead onto a lace can eat using a spoon and fork Four Years Have a good sense of balance and may be able to walk in along a line Can stand, walk and run on tip toe Can catch, kick, throw and bounce a ball Bend at the waist to pick up an object from the floor Enjoy climbing trees and frames Run up and down stairs using one foot per step
Can ride a tricycle with skill and make sharp turns easily ten or more cubes Can copy a building pattern using six bricks or more Can thread small beads on a lace Hold and use a pencil in an adult fashion Can build a tower of Can draw a figure that resembles a person showing head, legs and body Can copy the letter ‘X’, V, ‘H’, ‘T’ and ‘O’ Can spread their fingers and bring their thumbs into opposition with each finger in turn Five Years Have increased agility. They can run, dodge, climb and skip as well as run on their toes Have good balance.
They can stand on one foot for approximately 10 seconds and mom may be able to ride a bike without stabilizers Can bend at the waist and touch their toes without bending their knees Can hop 2-3 meters on each foot Use a variety of play equipment including slides, swings and climbing frames Can use a knife and fork competently but may still need assistance to cut meat up May be able to thread a large eyed needle and sew with large stitches Have good control of pencils and paint brushes Can draw a person with a head, body, legs, eyes, nose and mouth Can copy elaborate models, such as four step model using ten cubes
Can hold a pen or pencil in a way that is similar to an adult ( dynamic tripod grasp) Can write a number of letters of a similar size Can write both their first and surnames Can hop on either leg and walk on a thin line with their arms out Seven Years stretched for balance Maybe expert at riding a two wheeled bike or even roller skates Can climb and play on apparatus with skill and some may be able to climb ropes Have increased stamina shown in activities such as swimming, skating, gymnastics and martial arts Are able to control their speed whilst running and can swerve to avoid collisions
Are skilful in throwing and catching balls using only one hand Can build tall, straight towers with cubes Have competent writing skills.
Individual letters are more defined now and capital and small letters are in proportion Begin to use color in a natural way for example using a strip of green for grass and blue for the sky Draw people with heads, legs, bodies, hands hairs, finger and clothes Can use a large needle to sew Eight to Nine Years have increased body strength, coordination and quicker reaction times can ride a two wheeled bike easily can skip freely enjoy active and energetic games and sports Have more control over small muscles therefore are able to write and draw with greater skill and dexterity Can draw people in detail including clothing and facial features Show depth, dimension and movement within their drawings making them more natural and realistic Are beginning to Join letters in their handwriting. (Cursive script) Ten to Eleven Years Differ in physical maturity. Girls can experience puberty up to two years before boys tracks such as woodwork and needle craft Have an established writing style usually with Joined up letters