Physical development covers a wide range of gross and fine motor skills. Here at Grasmere Nursery, we offer many opportunities for our children to develop these skills. Gross motor skills refer to the controlling of large body movements that involve large muscle groups, including core, stability and posture. For example, pushing, pulling, rolling, crawling, walking and sitting still.
Gross motor skills provide the foundation for developing healthy bodies and social and emotional wellbeing. Fine motor skills refer to physical skills that involve small muscle movements and hand-eye coordination, which is later linked to early literacy. Children need plenty of experiences to build their core strength, facilitating steady large muscle movements, before they are able to make their fine motor movements more controlled and precise.
A well-developed pincer grip is needed for children to move on to holding pencils, crayons and other mark-making tools effectively. Before a child can do this, they need to be able to do things like run, jump, climb and ride a tricycle confidently.
To encourage the development of a range of core movement skills our children are provided with abundant and appropriate places to play and open-ended resources and equipment to play with. Our lovely orchard gives children to opportunity to move around on unpredictable and challenging surfaces, plus the trees give wonderful opportunities for wild climbing. As well as enhancing their learning about balance, body awareness, coordination and risk, this supports playing and exploring and active learning through our natural environment; 3 of our Grasmere Grassroots Goals.
'Attention, Balance and Co-ordination are the primary ABC on which all later learning depends.'
- Sally Goddard-Blythe
Another key strand of physical development is health and self-care. We promote independence around self-care needs so that children can begin to look after themselves effectively. For example, knowing how to wash their hands, recognise and attend to their toileting needs and be able to fasten their own shoes and coats. At Grasmere we know that taking ownership of these skills is important for children. However, practitioners are always ready to give a helping hand where it is needed!
You may find these links useful for ideas and resources which could support your child's physical development:
Curriculum developed using the following supporting documents:
Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage: Setting the standards for learning, development and care from birth to five, DfE, 2021
Development Matters, DfE, 2021, Birth to Five Matters, Early Education, 2021
Birth to Five Matters, Early Education, 2021