Fostering a child’s physical developments sets them up with lifelong skills for wellness and a love for physical activity. You might wonder how this is possible within the confines of your home given the current context – we’re here to help!
Before we get into what you can actually do for your child physical development, you must know that children who are active in the early years (0-6 years) are seen to develop healthier lifestyles as adults and have fewer behavioural problems. Physical development of the child is tied to other development areas and lots of active play along with balanced nutrition promotes better physical and cognitive health. Toddlers need a lot of physical play that would help develop their gross and fine motor skills. They are filled with lots of energy and they need an outlet to help them stay focused, gain muscle control, balance and hand-eye coordination.
Here are some easy-to-do physical development activities which can be easily added to a toddler’s daily routine
Pounding, hammering, opening lids and knobs, chopping boiled vegetables using toy/ plastic knife.
Pouring/scooping sand, water, pulses, etc. can keep them engaged for a long time.
The bigger muscle development requires a lot of physical movement like balancing and walking, running, jumping, climbing. These different kinds of movement help develop muscles and coordination. Allowing a child to participate in gross motor activities also help in developing additional skills such as problem-solving.
“Children learn as they play. Most importantly in play, children learn how to learn” O. Fred Donaldson
Outdoor play is good but in moderation. An hour of outdoor play twice a day is good for a toddler. It has been observed that active children who are always on the move find it difficult to be engaged in sitting activities, their muscles are unable to relax. Thus, it is important to add gross motor activities that involve sitting. Some examples are given below.
“Rough and Uneven surfaces, provide opportunities for the development of physical strength, balance and coordination.” Claire Warden 2010
With children out of school, physical distancing as the new norm, and children’s rights under threat, the new world order has “turned back the clock” on years of progress made on children’s well-being. However, it’s not all bad. As a human race, we’ve been built to adapt: we’ve seen a tipping point in technology-enabled education and the promise of a new education policy in our country.