Sunday, 8 February 2015

How to support your little one's physical development!

In this post, we will look at why activities that focus on physical development are so important for little ones and I will give you some fun ideas to get your child moving!

6 reasons why physical activities are important:

  1. They build endurance, flexibility and strength
  2. They increase concentration and attention spans
  3. They promote cognitive and social development, as well as developing your child's gross and fine motor skills
  4. They keep your little one fit and healthy
  5. The body produces endorphins as a result of physical activity which will promote happiness and relaxation in your child
  6. Fresh air and exercise will help your little one get lots of good quality sleep
You can also incorporate many other areas of development into physical fun activities, for example mathematical development could be incorporated by playing a game like musical numbers (when the music stops you must find the number that is said). Developing skills like balance are incredibly important for your little one's cognitive skills and as mentioned above, exercise of any kind will help to increase attention spans. So now, let me give you some fun ideas to get your little one moving!

It can be difficult, especially in a city like Dubai where the weather makes it impossible to be outside for much of the year, but you may be surprised how simple it can be to encourage your child to get moving. Here are some ideas for starters:

  1. Dance and let loose - if you can't get outside, or even if you are in the garden, why
    not throw on some fun tunes and get your child moving and shaking! Dance is a brilliant way of keeping fit and also promotes rhythm (important for language development), control of our bodies and spatial awareness!
  2. Get outside - if you can, try and spend as much time outside when it is possible. If you are in an apartment, why not take a trip to the local park or beach! There is nothing better than fresh air and having space to run around and let loose! The amount of games you can play outside are endless and sure to create hours of fun while developing those all important fine and gross motor skills!
  3. Encourage independence - if your little one wants something, encourage them to try and get it by themselves. If they are getting changed or putting their shoes on, ask them to try and see if they can do it. This will not only develop body control and fine motor skills but it will also boost their confidence!
  4. Act out stories and songs - this will get your little one moving around as well as being lots of fun! It will also promote literacy development :)
  5. Get some play equipment - Have a look for some simple and affordable resources
    such as soft balls, hula hoops, bean bags, cones and balancing equipment. This will help your child develop lots of all important skills and they can create tons of fun activities!
  6. Join some clubs or events - there are always plenty of physical fun clubs or events going on in the local community. Have a look for jungle gyms, soft play, baby yoga, music and movement clubs etc. Not only will your little one have lots of fun burning off steam but it is also a great opportunity for developing their social skills!

For more physical fun events and ideas, check out our Facebook page

See you soon!

Katie is an Early Years specialist in Dubai, where she 
manages an EYFS nursery. She has a special interest 
in psychology and early childhood development. 


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