Goally Penguin Logo with Sunglasses




Physical Development in Early Childhood | Parents Guide

Navigating the complex world of physical development in early childhood can feel overwhelming, but I’m here to help! In this engaging and practical guide, we’ll explore key physical milestones, the power of play, and ways to support your neurodivergent child’s growth. I’ll break it down step-by-step, offering essential insights and helpful tips to make understanding your child’s physical development an approachable and enjoyable experience.

Milestones: The Building Blocks of Physical Development

Imagine physical milestones as colorful signposts marking your child’s route to growth. Although each child progresses differently—especially neurodivergent kids—having a grasp of typical milestones can ease concerns and inform your parenting choices. Here’s an overview of key milestones corresponding to different age groups:

0-12 Months

  • Head control and neck strength
  • Sitting with and without support
  • Crawling or scooting
  • Pulling to stand and cruising along furniture
  • Using a pincer grasp for picking up small objects

1-3 Years

  • Walking independently and beginning to run
  • Climbing stairs with assistance
  • Throwing and catching a ball
  • Using utensils for feeding
  • Drawing and scribbling with crayons
physical developments in early childhood little kids stretching on mat
Read more: Social Emotional Development Milestones

3-5 Years

  • Jumping, skipping, and hopping
  • Improved balance and coordination
  • Building with blocks and assembling puzzles
  • Buttoning clothes and tying shoelaces
  • Writing letters of the alphabet

Keep in mind that physical development in early childhood is a unique journey for neurodivergent kids. Embracing differences is key; progress will unfold at its own pace.

Playtime: The Catalyst of Early Childhood Development

Consider playtime as the secret ingredient in boosting physical development in early childhood. Play fosters much more than fun, paving the way for essential motor skills, emotional well-being, and social interactions. Here are some main benefits of play and helpful tips to make the most of playtime:

Physical ActivityPromote games involving running, hopping, and balancing for improved overall fitness.
Sensory ExplorationOpt for sensory-based activities tailored to your child’s needs, such as slime, playdough, or water play.
Confidence BuildingOffer support and celebrate your child’s achievements to nurture self-esteem.
Social SkillsArrange playdates for practicing essential life skills like sharing, taking turns, and problem-solving.

Supporting Your Child’s Physical Development

physical development in early childhood two little girls looking at plant
Read more: Rewards Ideas for Kids

Engaging in your child’s physical growth journey requires active parenting. To set your neurodivergent child on a path to success, consider implementing these essential support strategies:

1. Embrace Differences

Children with thinking and learning differences often display unique growth patterns. Foster a supportive environment that empowers each child to flourish without unnecessary pressure.

2. Encourage Active Play

Carve out space for regular active play sessions. Ensure your environment is both safe and stimulating, with plenty of room for exploration and movement.

3. Fine Motor Skills Practice

Develop small muscle movements through engaging activities such as stringing beads, coloring, or manipulating small objects. The more fun, the better!

4. Seek Professional Help

Don’t hesitate to consult professionals like pediatricians, occupational therapists, or physiotherapists when concerns arise. They can provide insight specially tailored to your child’s needs.

Goally | Apps To Support Child Development

Looking for fun ways to help your child learn life skills? Try Goally! The Goally tablet comes with award-winning learning apps and video classes to help kids develop the skills they need to become independent with FUN & evidence-based practices.

An assortment of interactive video class thumbnails, including dental care and cooking, on the best tablet for kids by Goally.

Our apps teach executive function, language, emotional regulation, finger dexterity skills, and more.

As your child develops new skills, you can increase the difficulty level of the tasks in the app to challenge and motivate them even further. This helps your child grow and progress at their own pace, while also keeping them engaged and excited about their development.

Goally kids tablet makes bedtime easy with bedtime routines completely controlled by the parent.

In conclusion, navigating the realm of physical development in early childhood involves understanding vital milestones, harnessing the power of play, and offering proactive support. With this knowledge at your disposal, you’re well-equipped to champion your neurodivergent child’s path to a flourishing future.

FAQ’s About Physical Development in Early Childhood

What are key physical milestones in early childhood?
Key physical milestones include crawling, walking, fine motor skills like grasping, and coordination development.

How can I support my child's physical development at home?
Encourage active play, provide age-appropriate toys, and create a safe environment for exploration and movement.

What role does nutrition play in physical development?
Proper nutrition provides the essential vitamins and minerals needed for bone growth, muscle development, and overall physical health.

How important is outdoor play for early childhood development?
Outdoor play is crucial as it helps improve motor skills, coordination, and promotes overall physical fitness.

Can early physical development affect academic performance?
Yes, strong physical development supports cognitive skills, concentration, and overall academic performance.

This post was originally published on 05/28/2023. It was updated on 06/14/2024.

Article by

Emily is a seasoned blog writer for Goally, leveraging her extensive background in child psychology and special education to provide valuable insights and resources for parents. Her commitment to understanding and addressing the unique needs of these children, combined with her expertise in educational strategies, makes her a credible and empathetic voice for families.