amazing ability to grasp and hold objects from their earliest
days, infants soon learn to sit up, crawl, walk and - in what
seems like no time at all - are off and running in all directions.
from developing balance and hand-eye coordination, babies
and toddlers also begin, in varying degrees, developing fine
motor skills such as drawing with crayons or modeling clay.
they can move on to more practical skills, like buttoning
clothes and learning to master a knife and fork.
Playing with your baby is an important
part of a parent's job. Learning to count and recognize colors is good for the brain, but
won't help with developing motor skills. Rolling and kicking a ball, climbing up and down
in safe settings and other challenging physical activities are vital to learning. You can't
write if you don't know how to manipulate a crayon or hit the keys on a computer keyboard.
Skills developed in early childhood in neighborhood playgroups or kids' gymnastics training give
kids a head start in competitive games and organized sports. Later, school-age kids and
teens are regularly provided opportunities in organized school programs for expending the huge amounts of energy at their command.
Probably more importantly, early habits instilled for fun and active play outdoors also helps in the battle against the growing childhood obesity epidemic.
on the Web, find expert tips and advice on developing gross
and fine motor skills with lists of related milestones, safety
tips and advice on baby-proofing your home, activities to share
with your kids, and ways to seek help for developmental delays
to Three - The Power of Play - Excellent guide to child
physical development with tips on fun and engaging activities
to share by age group, answers to specific questions posed
by parents, related resources.
Understanding Physical Development in Young Children -
Good overview of the needs of physical activity in young children with information on developing muscles and motor skills, planning for activities for physical development, with related references and suggested reading.
Coordination and Your 1- to 2-Year Old - Good overview
of how parents can help toddlers find their way, including
suggestions for play and exercise, tips on developing fine
motor skills, and when to seek help for developmental delays.