It refers to the growing control and strengthening of small and large muscles. Children develop in stages, gaining control in the larger muscles of the upper body first. Physical development takes place in two directions, from the head down and the trunk out. Developmental progress is measured using milestones based on typical sequential development.
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Physical development can be sensory development (relates to sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell). Or motor development (relates to the body). There are two sets of skills involved in motor development they are gross motor/ major motor skills (used in the control of large muscles e.g. walking, running anf kicking) and fine motor/ manipulative skills (control and use of hands and fingers e.g. pincer grasp and fastening buttons).
There are some factors that can effect physical development whether these are good (improve physical development) or bad (make the process slower), the following are examples of this:
More reason on how development can be effected
Both boys and girls should be given the same opportunities however; some adults assume that boys wish to play ‘rough’ and that girls want to play ‘gently’. In reality most boys and girls enjoy both. Restricting the types of play a child can do means that a child is missing out on activity’s, that they probably would have enjoyed and that would have helped them in developing and learning.
Healthy children will usually have all the energy they need to enjoy the range of opportunity’s open to them. A child with a health problem may lack energy, and need more rest. They may even miss opportunities through illness or time spent in hospital. This can lead to a slower tare of development affecting growth, development and learning.
Poor air quality and traffic pollution can effect health as the lack of space to play in is a cramped area also if home conditions have no outdoor space may lead to issues such as traffic fumes, pesticides from agriculture. Also living with adults who smoke, drink or take drugs can result in a generally less healthy living space. Which may result in not giving the child enough area to develop properly.
Stimulation, encouragement and opportunity
Children, who are encouraged to try new experiences and have plenty of stimulation opportunities aviable to try, will usually have greater enthusiasm for learning. This will give them a better chance of developing better than those children who lack opportunities whatever the reason.
Love, security and bonding
Children who know that they are loved and feel secure both at home and school or in there care setting will feel more confident, to new experiences. They are more likely to join in with others, benefitting fully from learning things from new opportunities aviable to them.
Discipline and apprioate boundaries
Children need to have boundaries. It is an important part of security. A child who is not disciplined will continually test the boundaries to see how far they can go. There energy will be used up in testing the boundaries, leading to them missing out on opportunities and not knowing how to behave properly.
If adults looking after the child do not expect much of a child, they are unlikely to get much out of them in return. It is important for a child to understand that adults are keen for them to learn and develop. Children are usually eager to do well and gain adult approval.
A child uses a variety of different ways to grasp things. These are:
Development of grasp – using the hands (book research).
New-born – A new-born baby keeps there hands tightly closed for most of the time, the baby also shows a grasp reflex – if anything is put in there hand, it is automatically grasped tightly. The automatic grasp reflex disappears after a few weeks and the baby will only be able to grasp again when she has learnt control of the muscles in her hands.
3 months – The child’s hands are held open for most of the time not that the grasp reflex has gone. If the baby is given a rattle, she holds it for a few moments only. If there hands accidently touch her clothes she pulls them. This is the time they will spend along time looking at there hands. In about another month the baby is able to clasp her hands together and play with her fingers. They learn what there fingers and hands look like and how they can move them to to do what they want.
6 months – The baby can now grasp an object without it having to be put in there hand. They use their whole hand to do this. At this age they can pick up everything in their reach with one or two hands. They can pass it from hand to hand, turn the objet over and take it to their mouth. When lying on there back, they like to play with there toes, they love to crumple things and to splash water.
9 months – The baby is able to use her fingers and thumb to grasp things. They can also open there hands when they want and deliberately drop things on the floor. By the tenth month they use their index finger and pokes objects, at this age they should be able to pick up small objects between the tip of the index finger and thumb.
1 year – The baby can now use her hand to throw things and can point with their index finger to the objects they want.
15 months – The child can now take a cup or spoon to their mouth – but there judgement is not very good yet. The cup is likely to tilt too far when they are about to drink and the spoon is likely to turn over before reaching the child’s mouth. When playing with toys such as building bricks they should be able to stack them on top of each other.
18 months – The child can now feed their self’s completely. They should be able to make a tower of three bricks.
2 years – The child can now put there own shoes on, begin to draw, turns door handles and unscrew jaws. She can build a tower with six bricks.
2 and ½ years – The child begins being able to undress, builds a tower with eight bricks and can thread large beads.
3 years – The child begins to dress herself but needs help with buttons.
4 years – The child can now eat skilfully with a spoon and fork.
5 years – The child dresses and undresses without any help, can use a knife and fork for eating.
What can Mia do?
After researching what ages a child should be doing what, so far Mia is doing very well. She points at objects when she can not say what they are called, she can undress her self and open door handles etc. When Mia eats she normally uses just a spoon and a fork she knows what to do and how to use them however she doesn’t always do this so far by looking at this research Mia’s is doing well.
Looking at my grasp research I can see Mia can do the grasp she should be able to she picks up a pencil correctly and smaller items.
Below is a checklist I made to see how well Mia was doing –
What should happen?
Does Mia do this?
Keeps there hands tightly closed for most of the time, the baby also shows a grasp reflex – if anything is put in there hand, it is automatically grasped tightly. The automatic grasp reflex disappears after a few weeks and the baby will only be able to grasp again when she has learnt control of the muscles in her hands.
Mia has done all of this as a baby anything she was given straight away she would show a grasp reflex keeping a tight hold on the object she did this when people gave her there finger to hold on to.
Hands are held open for most of the time not that the grasp reflex has gone. If the baby is given a rattle, she holds it for a few moments only. If there hands accidently touch her clothes she pulls them. This is the time they will spend along time looking at there hands.
This was the time mia started to learn about her hands, she use to pull at her top often and look at it in amazement.
Able to clasp her hands together and play with her fingers. They learn what there fingers and hands look like and how they can move them to do what they want.
Mia has done this at this age mia use to poke things as well.
Grasp an object without it having to be put in there hand. They use their whole hand to do this. At this age they can pick up everything in their reach with one or two hands. They can pass it from hand to hand, turn the objet over and take it to their mouth. When lying on there back, they like to play with there toes, they love to crumple things and to splash water.
Mia did this she use to touch and pick her small toys up, mia use to and still does splash in the bath. Mia went through a stage where she put objects to her mouth but she now knows she shouldn’t do this.
Use there fingers and thumbs to grasp things. They can also open their hands when they want and deliberately drop things on the floor.
Mia did this and realised it was funny to drop things onto the floor.
Use their index finger and pokes objects, at this age they should be able to pick up small objects between the tip of the index finger and thumb.
Mia already poked things before the age of ten months but did start to do this more.
Use their hand to throw things and can point with their index finger to the objects they want.
Another thing Mia realised was funny, she still does this. She points at things when she forget what there called, or you cant understand what she means.
Now can take a cup or spoon to their mouth – but there judgement is not very good yet. The cup is likely to tilt too far when they are about to drink and the spoon is likely to turn over before reaching the child’s mouth. When playing with toys such as building bricks they should be able to stack them on top of each other.
Mia has learnt this well.
Now feed there self’s completely. They should be able to make a tower of three bricks.
Mia learnt this and still does this now.
Now put there own shoes on, begin to draw, turns door handles and unscrew jaws. She can build a tower with six bricks.
Mia often puts her own shows on when she wants to go outside, she can open doors and loves to draw.
2 and ½ years
Begins being able to undress, builds a tower with eight bricks and can thread large beads.
Mia undresses when she knows its bath time, etc.
Begins to dress herself but needs help with buttons.
Mia can dress her self, but putting her trousers on and a top but can not do buttons, this means mia is able to do more than the average 2 year old.
Now can eat skilfully with a spoon and fork.
Mia can use both of these to eat, she prefers a spoon but still does sometimes use her hands.
Dresses and undresses without any help, can use a knife and fork for eating.
Mia is not yet at this stage.
What is a milestone?
A milestone is an action or event marking a significant change or stage in development.
There are a variety of milestones a child passes throughout while physically developing, these all happen at different ages. Below is a table showing what ages a child should be able to do something physically new. The end column is explaining whether Mia has done this yet
Between the ages of 0 and one –
Has Mia achieved this?
Reflexes, e.g. moro, walking; no head control’ sees vague shapes, light movement.
Mia showed this as a new born baby.
Held upright, legs bear a little bit of weight, more head control, needs help to sit, kicks vigorously – using alternative legs, raises head and chest using forearms, hands open- can hold objects.
Mia use to do this and use to always be kicking her feet and legs.
Head fully controlled and can turn, holds on to one or both feet when lying on back, legs can bear weight when held upright, on front supports head and chest with straight arms, rolls from on back to on there front, holds arms out to be picked up, reaches for objects using palmar grasp to pass from hand to hand, eyes work together.
Mia can do this.
Pulls into sitting and standing positions, sits unsupported, deliberately drops objects, crawls on hands and knees/ feet, shuffles on bum, bear walks, rolls, wriggles to move, walks when both hands are held, can use fingers and thumb to grasp an object (inferior pincer grasp).
Mia do this at the correct age and used the correct grasp.
Walks with one hand held with feet wide apart (cruises), uses primitive tripod grasp, helps with dressing, deliberately throws objects, focuses on distant objects.
She is very independent and did this well.
Below are physical development milestones a child will reach between the ages of one and five –
Has Mia achieved this yet?
Walks independently – using arms to balance, walks upstairs forward and downstairs backwards, kneels, builds a two block tower, uses a cup and spoon.
Walks confidently, walks upstairs putting both feet onto each step, controls wrist e.g. turns door knobs, remove shoes and socks, builds a two – three brick tower.
Runs – avoiding obstacles, walks on tip-toes, jumps, kicks ball, uses preferred hand, threads beads, builds a six – eight brick tower, starts potty training.
Walks upstairs with one foot on each step, downstairs with two feet on each step, balances on one leg, walks sideways, peddles and steers toys, throws ball overarm and catches it, dresses and undresses with help.
Goes up and down stairs like an adult, has a mature pincer grip, eats skilfully with a spoon and a fork, uses a bat and ball, improved balance and climbing skills.
Dresses and undresses mostly independently, uses knife and fork well, increased agility, skip, dance rhythmically, and use large equipment confidently.
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