Strategies to Support Children's Physical Development

Children develop at different rates. While some are naturally late bloomers and some are ahead of the curve, there are things parents and caregivers can do to encourage and support a child’s physical development.

Developmental Milestones 1. Be aware of the developmental milestones your child has achieved and which ones you should be looking for in the near future.Every age has its own set of milestones, and knowing what they are will help you know what to expect from your child. Avoid pushing your child to do more than he reasonably can developmentally. Some kids are naturally more advanced than others, but you cannot force this to happen. Pushing beyond reason will only frustrate you and your child. Gross Motor Skills 2.

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Gross-motor skills help children move their whole body from place to place. Encourage your child to move from one place to another by herself from an early age.For babies, putting toys out of reach but within view will encourage rolling and eventually crawling. Toddlers should be encouraged to walk as often as possible as they practice this valuable life skill. Older kids can walk distances, run around a playground or sports field, and climb things.

Encourage your child to play outdoors each day, as they are much more likely to run and jump outside than they are in the house. Balance and Coordination 3. Balance and coordination are important to development, but kids achieve proficiency in this area at very different rates.Babies who push up on hands and knees only to rock rather than crawl are practicing these skills. Older kids hone these skills by participating in activities such a gymnastics, horseback riding and martial arts. Activities as simple as playing catch, jumping rope and playing hopscotch also help build balance and coordination.

Fine Motor Skills 4. Fine-motor skills require controlled movement of the hands or feet, often referred to as eye-hand coordination. Encourage babies to grasp small objects with their fingers.Help them learn how to put one thing inside another and retrieve it. Older kids can take art or craft classes, learn to play piano, or play sports such as tennis or volleyball to develop and improve these skills.

Nutrition 5. Proper nutrition gives kids energy to develop and grow. Concentrate on family nutrition and lead by example. Limit sugar, salt and fat intake; focus instead on fresh fruits and vegetables and lean protein. Schedule at least five meals each week that are family meals. Everyone is home, eating together at the table and talking.

These steps may be difficult if your family is used to a different routine; however, children in families who watch what they eat and eat together will develop properly in their youth and take a healthy approach to food into their adult lives. Play Along 6. Children learn more from what their caregivers do than from what their caregivers say. You have to be willing to do the things you are asking your child to do.

If you require your child to play outside for an hour a day, you need to do the same. This is an opportunity to build relationships and family connections with your child by spending time with him.Your child is also much more likely to buy into the idea of physical activity if it is a priority for the whole family, rather than something the kids “have to” do.

Additionally, playing with your kids will help them see that physical activity is fun. This perception will help them continue healthy development and foster healthy habits throughout their lives.Read more: Strategies to Support Children’s Physical Development | eHow. com http://www. ehow.

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