Physical Development in Infancy & Childhood

Written by marcie doyle
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The physical development of infants and young children refers to the growth in height and weight as well as the progression of gross- and fine-motor skills. Gross-motor skills are usually large-scale movements that involve at several body parts working simultaneously. Gross-motor skills include crawling, walking and jumping. Fine-motor skills are smaller movements that typically require the use of the hands. Examples of fine-motor skills include scribbling, self-feeding and building with blocks.

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Height and Weight

According to KidsHealth by Nemours, from birth to the first birthday, the average child's weight triples and the height increases by 50 per cent. Still growing steadily, a child will gain an average of 227gr and grow between one-quarter and one-half inch each month from 1 year to 2 years old. Children usually gain about 1.81 Kilogram and grow 2 to 3 inches each year from 2 years until 5 years old.

Birth to 1 Year Old

Infancy is a period of tremendous physical development. Fine-motor skills acquired during this age are holding a rattle by 4 months, transferring objects between hands by 8 months, and picking up small objects by 11 months. Gross-motor skill development includes rolling over in one direction by 5 months and in both directions by 7 months, movement from sitting to a standing position by 10 months and walking with support by 12 months.

One to 2 Years Old

Toddlers in this stage can perform such fine-motor skills as building six-block towers, stringing together up to four large beads, and copying horizontal and vertical lines. Gross-motor skills acquired include climbing, walking up stairs while holding on to the railing, and assisting with dressing.

Two to 3 Years Old

Toddlers in this age range are able to perform such fine-motor tasks as building a nine-block tower, drawing a circle and cross, and using scissors to cut paper. Gross-motor skill development includes jumping with both feet, kicking a ball placed in front of her and riding a tricycle.

Three to 4 Years Old

Fine-motor skill development of preschool age children include building 10-block towers, stringing together small beads, and self-dressing and undressing, with the exception of buttons and zippers. Gross-motor skills include hopping on one foot three times and playing catch with a large ball.

Four to 5 Years Old

Fine-motor skill development of children 4 to 5 years old includes bouncing and catching a tennis ball, building 12-block towers, and drawing triangles. Gross-motor skills include walking on a straight line, hopping three times on each foot and riding a bike with stabilisers.

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