Introduction to ‘Physical development’
Physical development is all about movement, awareness of the body, gaining a sense of space and understanding health and what the body needs.
This area of learning looks at how children develop their ability to move their bodies, hands, feet and fingers and use their senses and movements to explore the world around them. Children also learn to take care of their body, by being aware of what is healthy and developing good hygiene.
You might have heard people talk about ‘fine’ motor skills or ‘gross’ motor skills. These skills are simply actions that involve a person using their muscles. Fine motor skills are small precise movements and gross motor skills are larger movements. Like any other skill, babies and children need to practice movements regularly to get them right.
At CBeebies, we have linked our learning areas with the Early Years curricula of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Physical Development links to Physical Development (England), Health and Wellbeing (Scotland), Physical Development (Wales) and Physical Development and Movement (Northern Ireland)
How are children’s early years supported around the UK?
There are different curricula for supporting early development in the UK, depending on where you are based. In England and Wales there is the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), in Scotland there is the Curriculum for Excellence and in Northern Ireland there is the Foundation Stage.
The EYFS is used by all care and education providers working with children from birth to the age of five (or the end of reception year), developing existing knowledge, skills and understanding using a fun play-based approach.
It aims to achieve the Early Learning Goals and encourages the sharing of knowledge of your child’s achievements with the adults they are working with, recognising that all children are individual and will learn and make progress at their own pace.
The EYFS broadly covers 6 areas of learning, as are the Areas of Learning at the Foundation Stage in Northern Ireland which serves a similar purpose. These areas are:
Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence has four key principles for children from birth to the age of three to help them develop:
Their 3-18 curriculum is focussed on building on those foundations, looking to enable each child or young person to develop four stated capacities of becoming a successful learner, a confident individual, a responsible citizen and an effective contributor.
To read more about each curriculum and our Learning Areas have a read of the links to the right.
Ideas for supporting your child’s physical development with CBeebies
The CBeebies website has a big choice of songs that both you and your child can enjoy moving and dancing along to. Here are a few ideas for games you can do at home to support physical development: