Physical development for kids can vary greatly, especially during the preschool years of 0 to 5, but follows a similar pattern and sequence.
The milestone, “I can hop on 1 foot, jump, and run, is quite general. It is only meant as a guideline not as something kids have to do by the end of preschool. In any case, most kids at this age are running and jumping. So much so that we are usually asking them to slow down, particularly in the house or play center.
This item on the checklist is far from meaningless though. It reminds us that kids have demanding physical needs at this point. They must be active and on the go, not just for healthy bodies but healthy minds too.
Brains and bodies are partners in development. From birth, the child actively programs and stimulates the brain through movement. Repetitive movements install pathways and create wiring used in learning. For example, from the left-right, left-right pattern in crawling the brain makes the pattern connections. Language uses patterns and so does math.
Movement activities of the vigorous and frequent kind are critical for bodies and brains, physical hearts and emotional ones too. Communication follows this alternating pattern your turn then my turn. Relationships are also based on it in a give and take exchange.
Kids grow and develop at their own rate and in their own time. Somehow though, as parents and caregivers, we can’t resist comparing our children to others. Have you ever heard yourself asking another parent, “Does your child walk yet?” or “Is your child talking?” From their answers, we either reassure ourselves our kids are okay or we worry. Just in case you didn’t know, teachers do this too. We inquire, “How many of the kids in your class are reading?” and “What section are your students doing in math?” Then we go back to our classrooms and secretly do a little dance or pace and fret. “Own rate and own time!” should be in big letters at the entrance to every playground and school.
For a play-of-the-day, include some movement activities like time in the playground or park, running in the yard, jumping around like popcorn, and more. What other movement play activities can you suggest for physical development for kids?
The rest of this infographic checklist is on the first Before I Go to Kindergarten post.
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