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Learning Activities That Promote the Physical Development of Children

By Erin Monahan ; Updated June 13, 2017

Children develop physically at different rates, although there are milestones that most children reach by specific ages. There are many ways to promote physical development in your children, including good nutrition and regular exercise. You may also use learning activities that help your child develop both physically and intellectually.

Big and Small Skills

Physical development typically includes growth of the child's frame, as well as both gross and fine motor skills. Physical development is often necessary for a child to meet specific milestones. For instance, the leg and arm muscles must develop before a child can crawl, and the leg muscles must continue to strengthen as a child learns to walk. Walking also includes an ability to balance.

Write Up a Learning Storm

Writing or tracing words with your child can help improve his muscle control and coordination while learning about word structure. Handwriting promotes both physical and intellectual growth, and your child learns to write using both fine and gross motor skills. Physical development is not limited to just the large muscle groups, but also includes the fine muscles of the hands and fingers that need to develop to write, draw and even hold utensils for eating.

Sporty Learning Opportunities

Games such as tag or jump rope, as well as most sports, not only promote physical development in children but also teach them skills such as taking turns and coordination. Teaching your child to play games will give her the chance to understand rules, develop good judgment and learn strategies for success. Additionally, sports and active games help children develop physically, using their muscles and improving their aerobic capacity.

Play with Imagination

Children learn many things through imaginative play, including problem solving and critical thinking. Some imaginative play can also help physical development -- puppet shows or theater games, for example, can help improve fine and gross motor skills. More vigorous imaginative play, such as role-playing games, can help physical development as well. Children get exercise running around in a game of "war" or pretending to be horses or cats, for example.

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