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Monday, November 27, 2017

Physical Development

When discussing child and youth development, there are five basic domains. You can get a glimpse of each here: “The 5 Domains of Child and Youth Development” and then click on any of the individual domains for more detail.

Physicalhow we move

“The process of gaining control of our large and small muscles as well as the use of the senses.”

Along with general physical characteristics, it is important to understand youth’s development in relation to their increasing abilities to control large and small muscles, also known as gross motor and fine motor skills. Staff needs to understand how youth’s development is very different at different ages. In addition, children within the same age range will have very different abilities and interests.

Gross motor development refers to a youth’s capacity to manipulate and control large muscle groups. This includes the strengthening and coordination of large motions involving the arms, legs, torso, or whole body. Youth’s capabilities in this area vary greatly depending on their ages and developmental stages. As always, there are no absolute rules when discussing these stages, but the chart below offers some basic ideas for what you might see in each age group.

Fine motor development refers to a youth’s capacity to manipulate and control his or her small muscle groups. This includes the ability to coordinate specialized motions using hands, feet, eyes, and mouth. Like gross motor development, these abilities will vary greatly in youth dependent on their ages and developmental stages.

Activities to Promote Physical Development:

Click on the name of the activity to go to the website for more detail. Bold letters in parentheses indicate the age group (I = Infant, T = Toddler, P = Preschooler, S = School-ager, A = Adolescent) for which the activity is targeted. Of course, with modifications the activity can be appropriate for other age groups as well.

  1. Aerobics (S)
  2. Animal Pretend (T)
  3. Balancing (P) and (S)
  4. Balloons in the Air (T)
  5. Balls and Bean Bags (P,S)
  6. Bicycling (S,A)
  7. Boxes (P)
  8. Canoeing (A)
  9. Charades (S)
  10. Chase Games (T)
  11. Cheerleading (S)
  12. Climbing (T,P,S)
  13. Color Scavenger Hunt (T)
  14. Computers (S)
  15. Crafts (S)
  16. Cross Country Skiing (A)
  17. Dancing (T) and (S)
  18. Drawing (S)
  19. Duck, Duck Goose (P)
  20. Family Walks (T,P)
  21. Field Day (S)
  22. Fitness Tests (S)
  23. Flashlights on the Wall (T)
  24. Follow the Leader (T)
  25. Freeze Dancing (P)
  26. Gardening (P)
  27. Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes (P)
  28. Hide and Seek (T)
  29. Hiking (A)
  30. Hokey Pokey (P)
  31. Hula Hoops (S)
  32. Hopping (P)
  33. Hopscotch (S)
  34. If You’re Happy and You Know It (P)
  35. Inventing Games (S)
  36. Jump Rope (S)
  37. Jumping (T)
  38. London Bridge (P)
  39. Masking Tape Walk (T)
  40. Memory Recall Games (S)
  41. Movement Parade (P)
  42. Music Games (S)
  43. Musical Instruments (T,P) and (S)
  44. Nature Walk (P)
  45. Obstacle Course (T,P) and (S)
  46. Olympics (S)
  47. Outdoor Exploration (S)
  48. Painting (S)
  49. Parks (S)
  50. Patty Cake (I)
  51. Peek-A-Boo (I)
  52. Pillow Fort (T)
  53. Pillow Obstacles (T)
  54. Play Ball (T,P)
  55. Play Dough (S)
  56. Playground Equipment (S)
  57. Pretend Games (T,P)
  58. Puppet Show (T,P)
  59. Push and Pull Toys (T,P)
  60. Red Light, Green Light (T,P)
  61. Relay Races (S)
  62. Riding Toys (T,P)
  63. Ring Around the Rosy (T,P)
  64. Roller Blading (S)
  65. Sandbox TIme (T,P)
  66. Scavenger Hunt (S)
  67. Sensory Tests (Smell or Taste Tests) (S)
  68. Sidewalk Chalk (T,P)
  69. Simon Says (T) and (S)
  70. Slime (S)
  71. Sock Balls and Laundry Baskets (T)
  72. Songs with Basic Rhythms, Follow-Along (T)
  73. Songs with Movement (T,P)
  74. Sports (S,A)
  75. Stretching (T)
  76. Tag (T,P) and (S)
  77. TIghtrope (T,P)
  78. Toy Treasure Hunt (T)
  79. Trace Letters (T,P)
  80. Tug of War (S)
  81. Tummy Time (I)
  82. Twister (S)
  83. Wash Car, Bikes Dog (T,P)
  84. Water Play (T,P)
  85. Writing (P) and (S)
  86. Yoga (S)

Activity Resources:
Toolbox Training Resources:

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