Physical Development

Topics: Motor skill, Child development, Developmental psychology Pages: 5 (1690 words) Published: April 1, 2012
Assessment 1: Essay- Physical Development.

Within the grades kindergarten to grade 2 and the ages between 4-7, an extensive amount of growth physically and physiologically takes place in a child. This goes hand in hand with children beginning primary school and the time in which their extensive educational years begin. For this time of their lives to be successful in them gaining physical and physiological growth, Children need to be encouraged and supported in improving further their gross motor skills and fine motor skills. Along with encouraging learning environments that support physical development and health and well being awareness, so students can excel in their physical and physiological growth.

Gross motor skills refers to “large movements of the body that permits locomotion through and within the environment” (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2010, p. 159) this includes actions like running, hopping, and climbing. However smaller and more intricate movements made with particular parts of the body, mainly the hands, are classified as fine motor skills. Fine motor skills include activities such as manipulating small objects like drawing with a crayon or cutting with scissors. Students in grades kindergarten to grade 2 are between the early childhood and middle childhood developmental periods. Physical movement is a large component of early childhood and within gross motor skills and fine motor skills dramatic changes occur, where as in middle childhood, children work to improve on these skills supported by physiological maturation and cognitive advances.

The development of both gross and fine motor skills is influenced by culture-specific and environment factors of the student’s life. Especially in early childhood, children will pick up skills that are within the culture and environment they grow up in. This includes gross motor skills such as ball sports that include throwing, catching and kicking a ball or even skills in dance or gymnastics. These skills then become smoother and better coordinated the more the children use them. The growth and gain of motor skills often results in a strong sense of accomplishment and happiness within the children. Where early childhood age groups may run around for the pure joy of it, middle childhood age groups build on their physical capabilities and put these skills into organized games and sports. Often children will take up a weekend sport like soccer or netball and improve their skills with professional coaching and becoming proficient in athletic skills. This is rewarding for the children and offers them a sense of achievement within themselves. Children of the early childhood ages make major strides in fine motor skills, daily tasks skills such as undressing and dressing themselves and eating with utensils themselves are developed. Often individual differences in children are noticed in the early childhood period through fine motor skill developments, some children take interest in putting things together like puzzles, others may find an interest in creative work such as drawing, writing and cutting. It is evident in some cases that girls develop fine motor skills earlier and quicker then boys (Gabbard, 1999, p.132). It is also evident that there is a tendency for children born with certain chromosomal conditions and those exposed to alcohol during pregnancy to have delays in fine motor skill development (McDevitt & Ormrod, 2010, p.161). If a class had students with these learning difficulties, or if signs were showing of delayed fine motor skills development, extra time and attention would be needed when building on these children’s skills. Perhaps different tasks would need to be set for different skill levels within the one class. As students merge from early childhood to middle childhood periods there fine motor skills will improve further and create increasing individuality within a child. Drawings usually become more detailed and of certain interest to the child and...

References: • Campbell, D. W., Eaton, W. O., McKeen, N. A., & Mitsutake, G. (1999, April). The rise and the fall of motor activity: Evidence of age-related change from 7 to 14 years. Paper presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Albuquerque, NM.
• Gabbard, C. (1999). Lifelong Motor Development.
• Huang, I. W., Simons-Morton, B. G., Snider, S. A., & Taylor, W. C. (1993). The physical activity of fifth grade students during physical education classes. American Journal of Public Health.
• Lusk, L. (2004). Dynamic mapping of human cortical development during childhood through early adulthood.
• McDevitt, T. M., & Ormrod, J. E., (2010). Child Development and Education. (4th Edition). Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.
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