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MOVE - Physical Development

Physical development is about all your child’s "moves”, from rolling, crawling and walking to shaking a rattle, eating a biscuit and using a crayon or pen to doodle and later write. From the moment your baby is born she is starting her journey of developing physical skills, and the very first year sees some of the most rapid and amazing developments within this area. Increasingly gaining control and strength during the early weeks and months, your baby is constantly practising movements and strengthening her muscles.

Baby playing with feetBabies are hard at work all the time, and from early on have a strong inner drive to progress. Your baby builds his large muscles first for gross motor skills such as kicking and crawling, and these provide a necessary foundation on which to build fine motor skills such as grasping and drawing. Milestones of gross motor skills tend to get more attention, probably because they are so noticeable and often talked about, such as the exciting time when he stands on his own and takes his first steps.. However, fine motor skills are equally important and exciting, in particular to your child. Just imagine the feeling when he feeds himself fhis favourite biscuit or draws a line for the first time!

Remember that readiness for the various milestones will vary during early childhood years (0-5). Your child will acquire different gross and fine motor skills at her own pace and in her own way, and she will therefore arrive at some milestones earlier and some later than her peers. The most important thing you can do is to support and encourage your child ‘s particular journey, allowing her to practice and develop skills as and when she is ready. Enjoy the experience together, and rest assured that she will reach the milestones in her own time and in her own way.

Of course, as the parent you are the most important observer of your child’s development, so if you feel worried about anything talk to your health visitor or physician.

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