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Activities That Boost Physical Development in Children


Parents are always worried about the well-being of their kids. Adults are particularly worried about making sure their kids' brains are developing properly for their age. But, what about their physical progress? Toddlers are rated on a growth percentile to show where they compare to their peers, but that only comments on height and weight. Abilities are another story altogether. Here are some activities to encourage physical development in children:


When you see your kindergartners running, you probably tell him or her to stop because you're concerned about safety. While tripping and falling are not fun, they are a part of the learning experience. Running improves gross motor development, and speed is a big part of this. When kids go from walking to jogging and then running, they are improving how fast they react and learning how to move their entire body in unison. 

Playing catch

You don't have to have a little athlete to play catch together. The physical motion of picking up a ball and throwing it improves balance. Learning how to aim adds an entirely different dimension of motor skills that your child will benefit from for his or her entire life. Use different-sized balls, like a tennis ball one day and a softball the next. These different widths and weights will require varied degrees of concentration and strength when it comes to throwing. You could even remove yourself from the equation and let your tot throw the ball for your dog. 

dancing, coordination, children, young kids, kids, toddlersDancing is a fun form of exercise that improves coordination in young kids.


When you head to the grocery store and your child starts bouncing to the music, don't be embarrassed. This fun and entertaining activity is helpful for fine motor skill development. Childhood songs like, "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" that require dancers to follow along with specific actions are a great way to help your kid learn balance, rhythm and how to move his or her hands and feet. Plus, dancing is a great family activity!

Yard games

Head to your backyard or a park and play some games. Red Light, Green Light is a great test of focus and ability to follow directions. Kids must listen and then quickly decide whether they should stay put or start running. Simon Says is another game that involves listening skills and movement. If your child is old enough, play "What time is it, Mr. Fox?" and ask him or her to run around an imaginary clock on the grass to indicate the time.

Visit the playground

Playgrounds are built to challenge children's physical abilities. Actions like kicking their legs to swing or pushing off the ground on a see-saw encourage the development of large muscle groups like the core and legs. Climbing from one level to the next or trying to tackle a climbing wall are all great ways to improve the link between what your kid is seeing and how he or she interacts with the world. The child has to concentrate on the step or handhold and then figure out how to reach it, involving both mental and physical stimulation.

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