Physical Development is one of the prime areas of learning in the Early Years.
The Early Learning Goal is...
Children show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. They move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space. They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.
In order to help children grow towards, achieve and move beyond this we need to provide a wide range of opportunities for children, both inside and outside.
Sometimes we talk about Gross Motor and Fine Motor skills. Gross motor skills often use our whole body, such as running, climbing, lifting and ball play. Fine Motor skills are those we need for smaller, maybe more fiddly, actions. When we peg out washing, draw, thread beads, sort beans, bend pipe cleaners we are using and developing our fine motor skills.
Both are essential to a child's development and enjoyment of the world. They are also both essential to writing. Children need to develop strong back, arm and joint muscles to develop as writers. So nest time you are rolling out dough, playing catch or building with lego you are improving your child's writing ability!
Ideas for developing fine motor skills...
Building with lego and other construction equipment
Threading beads or pasta
Rolling and cutting playdough- anything with playdough!
Doing up buttons or undoing them
Sorting anything small- coins, beans, buttons, pasta, seeds
Mark making- chalks, felt tips, crayons, pencils, paint (you can 'paint' with water outside)
Cooking and preparing food- with an adult
Opening and closing jars or bottles- good fun in water play
Bending pipe cleaners- try threading them into a colander